The Historical Archive is housed in the Castello del Governatore di Piazza, which has an angular and stellar shape and is surrounded by a gallery, used by the sentinel on patrol. On the inside, you will find: Quartiere del Capitano, with its beautiful painted wooden ceilings from 1587; the crossing gallery, intersecting the gate, which allowed the garrison a way from one bastion to another; the ‘night’ and ‘resting’ guards.

Its foundation dates back to the 16th century, when, as the capital of a peripheral judicial magistracy of the Medici Principality and then of the Grand Duchy of Lorraine, Castrocaro, the residence of the Captain, enjoyed special privileges due to its border position. It was in fact the only seat of appeal (apart from Florence) of the Tuscan State, of which it was a part uninterruptedly, following its institutional changes from the 15th century until the Unification of Italy.

In 1923, its territory was detached from the province of Florence and aggregated to that of Forlì together with the entire sub-Apennine strip that had formed the province of Florentine Romagna. These archives represent the historical memory of the local community.

As we said, they are some archives, as they are not only the actual archives of the Community of Castrocaro, but also of a magistracy of the Tuscan State as well as that of the Province of Romagna of which Castrocaro was the capital from 1542 to 1776.

Its constitutions and laws are still preserved in a complete compendium, as well as the most remarkable criminal archive in the national (and perhaps international) panorama. Open to public consultation since 1989, following the publication of the inventory by Edizioni Analisi in Bologna, the Archive has been the subject of research and studies aimed at both publications and dissertations. It serves as an open laboratory for various didactic experiences. Examples of this are the DVD “I percorsi delle pene” (The Paths of Punishment) and “Eliopoli: il gioco della storia” (Eliopolis: the game of history) – realized following an experience with pupils from the secondary school “Scuola Media Mercuriale” in Forlì. Designed for education in the archives, “Eliopoli” is a project for schools, created to show how history can be an engaging game, but above all, to make them understand that ‘History’ – the real one – is made mainly of archive documents.

Included since 2004 in in the educational week programme ‘Quante Storie nella Storia’ (How Many Stories in History), organized by the Emilia-Romagna region in collaboration with ANAI (National Association of Italian Archivists), the Archive offers, all year round, the the use of themed guided tours by reservation, free consultation, and the arrangement of workshops and simulated research paths previously planned.

How to get there: By car km 9 from Forlì – State Road 67 Tosco- Romagnola
Opening hours (by appointment): Mondays from 9.00 to 1.00 p.m. – Thursdays from 9.00 to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.00 to 5.00 p.m.
Admission fees: free entrance

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