A stone arched passageway and a narrow stairway connect the upper and lower parts of Aritzo, a mountain village nestled in the woods of the Barbagia di Belvì. Once through the vaulted passageway (sa bovida, in Sardinian) you’ll find yourself in front of an imposing 17th century building built of blocks of shale, sand and mud, infamous for being a maximum-security prison. Over the centuries, this Spanish prison took the name of its celebrated pointed arch, and dozens of prisoners at a time were locked up within its walls, in dire conditions, until the 1940s. Among the inmates locked up in its dank cells were also some French officers captured during an attempted landing by Napoleon in 1793.