Rocca Aldobrandesca of Suvereto

How to reach

Suvereto in province of Livorno (Leghorn) is one of the most beautiful medieval village of the Val di Cornia. It can be reached following the SS1 Aurelia until Venturina/Piombino exit, then drive on the SS398 road for about 10 km following directions.


Suvereto was founded on a hill, not far from the sea, of the Val di Cornia, and the Rocca Aldobrandesca with its architectural modifications marks the centuries of its ancient history.


The first mention of Suvereto was of year 973. This era of the settlement (10th-11th centuries) a village of wooden huts developed at the top of the hill with very few constructions in rough stone. Suvereto was at that time already under the rule of the noble feudal family of the Aldobrandeschi, who were in control also of great areas and lands in southern Tuscany and Maremma, it was the most northern stronghold of this vast environment extending from the river Fiora to the Cassia Road.


During the 12th century significant changes took places on the hill, a quadrangular tall tower in fine worked stone was built, more for military than for residential purposes. In the same time a small town developed on the terraced land at the slopes of the hill. The buildings were set in concentric circles reaching the up the perimeter walls of the fortification. With the construction of towers and fortresses in stone the Aldobrandeschi reinforced their supremacy on the territory.


In the 13th century the tower, that was no more updated to the defense needs of the time, was lowered and partially rebuilt adding a bastioned scarp to the walls. At the beginning of 14th century (in 1308 according to an inscription found on the west gate) started new works of strengtheningand expansion of the fortress, a large trapezoidal building was added on the north side of the tower with scarp walls on the east and west sides and a monumental Gate on the north, endowed with a beautiful roman arch and a stone staircase. The internal area was protected by a covering over two wooden floors, anchored in the inner part to two stone columns.


These developments can be attributed to the changed Political scene: through the concession of the 'Charta Libertatis', recognized by Ildebrandino degli Aldobrandeschi, the community of Suvereto became a municipal entity but at the same time the city of Pisa established its growing power on the territory, until the definitive demise of Aldobrandeschi. After these works the new Rocca became seat of a Pisan garrison.


The Rocca was object of other changes, but its slow military decline leads to the definitive abandonment in 17th century. During 19th century was converted in civil house, in 1950, already partially ruined, was dismantled. In the last years the mighty rests were purchased by the Municipality, restored and reopened to the public.