In ancient times Sarzana was protected by a wall defended by a series of towers that constituted the access to the village.
Of that original structure, four of those fortifications have come down to us.
The Torrione San Francesco was part of the former Franciscan Convent which was rebuilt as a fort by the Genoese troops in 1487 during the Serrezzana War against the Florentines.
The Torrione Stella and the Torrione Genovese, both located at Porta Parma, also played an important role in defending the city against Lorenzo il Magnifico. On the bastion of the first is still visible San Giorgio killing the dragon, symbol of the Genoese bank that bought the city.
The Torrione Testaforte is located near Porta Nuova or San Bartolomeo, better known as Porta Romana, south of the Citadel, crossed the gardens of Piazza Cesare Battisti. It was built in 1513 by the Sarzana podestà Luchino Stella.