From Torre Malaspina to Torre delle Streghe, a story of a stake on the public square of Varzi

From a height of almost 30 metres you can admire a panoramic view of the village of Varzi, the Stàffora Valley and the Oramala Castle.

It is not for everyone, but it is not impossible. And the effort is well rewarded. You have to climb a steep and narrow staircase that, before reaching the top, leads to four rooms that have been used as prisons since the Middle Ages and as security chambers by the police until the 1960s.

Burning at the stake in the public square

At the time of the Inquisition (1460), 25 women and some men accused of witchcraft were imprisoned in the Tower and burnt at the stake in the public square. One woman was accused of having "baked" her five children "with fire". For this reason, only a few people remember it as the Malaspina Tower, while most people know it as the Witches' Tower.

The architecture of the Malaspina Tower

The tower is part of the architectural complex of the Malaspina Castle, dating back to the 13th century. It has a square plan, with walls two and a half metres thick. To reach the top and enjoy the view over the valley, you have to climb 41 external steps and 89 inside the walls. Access is via a stone staircase that leans against the eastern face of the tower and leads to the mezzanine floor of a side body, where a covered wooden staircase begins and leads to the first floor of the tower; from the first floor, a vertical stone link, carved into the outer wall of the tower, leads to the top.