First stage of your trip it is the Colmollaro Castle, about 10 km from Gubbio, where, according to tradition, the Supreme Poet stayed. This sandstone castle enjoys a superb view along the way to Galvana and to Serra Brunamonti, southeast from Gubbio, surrounded by silent woods and by a polygonal shape city wall over 400 meters where several loopholes seem to see the surrounding narrow valley engraved by the Saonda stream.
The defensive complex formerly belonged to the fief of a noble family from Gubbio, the Raffaelli. One of its members, the count Bosone Novello, when he was mayor of Arezzo (1315 and 1316 – 17), it is told he became friends with Dante, who was exiled in that town, and later he hosted him into his fortress. The two men had the same political orientation: they were Ghibellines.
According to literary tradition the Supreme Poet, father of Italian language, wrote to Colmollaro, around 1318, a triplet of the XI canto of Paradise, dedicated to Saint Francis, where he also described the land you are visiting: “Intra Tupino e l’acqua che discende del colle eletto dal beato Ubaldo, fertile costa d’alto monte pende (…)”.
It is a detail that makes more exciting to visit the medieval fortress, even if the situation of up to date research certifies that the first documents about the actual castle date back to the second half of the XIV century, an era that casts doubt about the previous Dante’s presence in this place.
Whatever’s happened, this castle is able to take you back to that time with the gloomy and secretive charm of its quadrangular tower high approximately 20 meters, still untouched, in addition to the large courtyard and the donjon composed of two floors, the main one for stately rooms, the lower one intended for storage. It is also part of the complex a small church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, dating back to XII century, which keeps inside a few fragments of the ancient frescos.