Fosdinovo is a village of the lower Val di Magra, in the province of Massa Carrara. It is at 550 m. of altitude and has a population of 3,500 inhabitants. Its story is linked to the Malaspina family who are the owners of the castle still today.
The village was probably born in the Early Middle Ages with the aim to garrison the road that linked the valley with the coasts and the trade going toward the Padana Valley. This was a time when numerous paths were created. They crossed the territory and connected the sea to the Tuscan hinterland and the Val di Magra with the passes to the North. At the beginning, Fosdinovo was under the control of the powerful bishopric of Luni that submitted it at the end of a long dispute with the nobles who had administered it before in the XII century.
In 1306, the village hosted Dante Alighieri who came here as a diplomat to end the conflicts between the bishop and the local rulers. Therefore, thanks to the intercession of the Divine Comedy's famous author, Fosdinovo was taken by Castruccio Castracani and later passed under the dominion of the Malaspina who deeply marked Fosdinovo's history. This family governed the territory for five hundred years and left numerous construction works as heritage (the restructuring of the castle, the "Sepolcri di Galeotto" inside the church) that can still be visited in the town.
Fosdinovo survived the turbulences of the last medieval centuries and the XVI Tuscan century. While the wars between factions or disputes between the Spanish and the Florentines were ravaging other places, Fosdinovo was experiencing periods of peace and wealth. The town enriched so much that in 1666 the Empire authorized it to mint its own money. Only Massa and Tresana had such privilege in the area.
After napoleon ended the French domination of Tuscany in the first years of the XIX century, Fosdinovo was withdrawn to the Malaspina and the Congress of Vienna (1814) gave it to the authority of the Dukedom of Modena that was then governed by the Estensi. This family born in Ferrara immediately transformed Fosdinovo into the capital of the Dukedom of Lunigiana. In 1859, the town entered the Kingdom of Italy.