Serravalle Castle in Bosa, Sardinia

Serravalle Castle is located on the hills of Bosa, a small village known to be one of the prettiest in Italy and located at about one hour’s drive from the more famous Alghero, in Sardinia.

A guide to Bosa’s Serravalle Castle

The castle was built in 1112 on the Serravalle hill and belonged to the Malaspina dello Spino Secco family, which had arrived on the island from Tuscany in the 11th century. Back then, this area of Sardinia was part of the Judicate of Torres (a judicate is a sovereign, independent state that took power in Sardinia between the 9th and 15th centuries, whereby the Judge had the powers of a king). Subsequently, the area was controlled by the Judge of Arborea. 

The Legend

Legend says that the Marquis who ordered the construction of the castle was such a possessive man that he ordered that a tunnel linking the castle to the village church was built so that his wife could visit the church without having to be seen by others. He was so jealous that he cut off his wife’s fingers and wrapped them in a handkerchief. When he took that out in front of his friends and the fingers fell off, he was eventually imprisoned. They were literally petrified at the sight of the fingers – so much so that it is said the rocks used to be the castle are actually the petrified guests”

view of Bosa from Serravalle castle
view of Bosa from Serravalle castle

The Building Stages Of Serravalle Castle

According to research the castle was built in various stages and underwent several modifications before being eventually abandoned. The first stage saw the construction of a tower and the northern walls in the 12th century. It was only in the 14th century that the main tower – designed by architect Capula (the same who designed the Elephant and San Pancrazio Towers of Cagliari) – was built. Back then, this had three different floors. From there, the newer walls around the castle were built, as well as the seven square towers.

It was when the Aragonese took power in this part of Sardinia that a new pentagonal tower was built, together with the Nostra Signora de Sos Regnos Altos, which dates back to the 14th century and was located within the walls and decorated with beautiful frescoes which are still partially visible and represent the lives of saint and martyrs such as St. Lawrence and St. Christopher.

village of Bosa
village of Bosa

Serravalle Castle Today

Unfortunately, much of the original structure of Serravalle castle has been destroyed, but the watchtowers and the walls continue being an impressive sight, not to mention that the views from there are absolutely breathtaking. You will be able to get bird’s eye views of the Temo river as it gently floats through the village and all the way to the sea, to what is today known as Bosa Marina. Facing the river, you can spot the colorful buildings that at the time of the Savoy hosted the tanneries.

Practical Information For Visiting Serravalle Castle

Serravalle Castle is open daily from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. However, you may want to double-check the opening times by calling the cooperative that manages the site at +39 340 395 5048 +39 329 850 507. The admission is €4 euro.

Claudia Tavani is a travel blogger based in Sardinia. She started her new blog, Strictly Sardinia, with the aim of letting others know about what she thinks is the most beautiful island in the world. You can also follow her on Instagram.

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