Posts Tagged ‘castle’

The medieval village of Roccalvecce, which is delightfully preserved, dominates one of the hills of the castello-roccalveccecaracteristically  splendid panoramic zones of the area between Viterbo and Orvieto, Lake Bolsena and the Tiber.
The Costaguti Castle is situated at the centre of the village on the 1300’s foundation. The Castle was reconstructed and completed in 1700 and today it has been restored in the traditions of the Costaguti family which has owned the Castle for several centuries. The Castle faces the beautiful square of the village, almost a salon in itself, which opens onto the 18th century facade of the town Church, once part of the castle and now the parish Church.
The Reception is on the noble floor, enriched by a canopy one of the symbol of the Costaguti family, leads into the magical atmosphere of the dining room where in special events one can enjoy cocktails and appetizers. The cosy atmosphere of the corridors leads to the richly decorated 18th century styled furnished salon. From twenty to one hundred and fifty people can be accommodated here. The spacious medieval halls are on the ground floor and are furnished with splendid authentic armour and antiques. The halls, which have been carefully restored, can accommodate more than two hundred and fifty people.
The Cellars are situated in the dungeons of the Castle allow one to enjoy the products of the amply furnished wine cellar
The Suites are on the upper floors of the Castle more than fifty people can be lodged in the apartments which have been duly restored and furnished in the style of the period. On the noble floor the frescoed attentively restored period and lavishly furnished bedrooms allow the guests to relive the traditional atmosphere of the antique castle.


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Built at the beginning of the 15th century by F. Crescenzi on the site of an ancient torcrescenza1tower dated 1100, the Torcrescenza Castle is situated in a century-old park adorned with wonderful fountains, only a few minutes from the centre of Rome, between two consular roads, the Via Flaminia and the Via Cassia. Today it is the private residence of Princess Sofia Borghese, the daughter of Prince Scipione Borghese and a descendant of Pope Paul V. Donna Sofia has brought the estate back to life opening the Castles courtyards for private events, conferences and top-level meetings.
We recommend this place for your charming moments as well as to taste the delicious roman cusine in a historical and romantic place. Best solutions and prices if your are a group of people.

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Just 10 Km. far from Orte going in the direction of Viterbo, we can find the castle of Vasanello, which dates back to 1285 defends the territory and the entrance to the ancient village of Vasanello. Orso Orsini built the first tower to defend his properties. However, after only four years, the castle was conquered by a series of aristocratic families.
By the mid-fifteenth century, the property had returned to the Orsini family, who transformed the grim fortress into a delightful residence. The interior was fitted with wooden ceilings which, together with decorative freizes, were frescoed with heraldic symbols celebrating Orsini marriages with other great aristocratic names. Later the castle passed into the hands of other dynasties: the Della Rovere, the Colonna, the Barberini and, since the early nineteen hundreds, the Misciattelli, the current owners. The Orsini Castle in Vasanello, now, is open for guided visits by appointment to the hystorical apartments, the medioeval gardens, the ceramic factory and the permanent exhibit of the artistic production of ceramics which lasted until the eighties.
The Castle and the eighteenth century Orangery in the gardens can be hired for weddings, seminars, lectures, receptions, parties.

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Beeing at the top os St.Peter Basilica and looking in front of you along Via della Conciliazione, you can see the wonderful Castel of Castel Sant’Angelo.  This impressive large circular construction was built by emperor Hadrian in 130-139 AC as a mausoleum for himself and his family in substitution of one, already built on the opposite side of the Tiberby emperor Augustus.
The height is nearly 50m, the design belongs to Hadrian. The mausoleum consisted of a base 89m sq., supporting a round tower 64m in diameter of peperino and travertine overlaid with marble.
Above this was an earthen tumulus planted with cypress trees. At the top was an altar bearing a bronze quadriga driven by a charioteer representing Hadrian, as the Sun, ruler of the world. Inside the building is a spiral ramp, which led to a straight passageway ending in the cella, in which was the Imperial tomb. Hadrian and Sabina (his wife) were buried in the mausoleum, as were succeeding emperors until Septimus Severus in 175.
The mausoleum was gradually transformed into a castle. Theodoric, the king of Italy (493-526), used it as a prison and for a time it became known as carceres Theodorici. By the late 12C the castle was established as papal property. In 1378 it was severely damaged by the citizens of Rome, resentful of foreign domination. In the reign of Boniface IX rebuilding begun. Alexander VI had A.da Sangallo the Elder complete the four bastions of the square inner ward which had been begun by Nicolas V.
From 1849 to 1870 the castle was occupied by French troops. Under the Italian Government it was used as barracks and as a prison until 1901, when the work of restoration was begun. In 1933-34 the castle was adapted for use as a museum (58rooms) and the surrounding area was cleared. It is named – National Museum of Castel Sant’Angelo (Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo).
Being an official prison for many centuries Castel S.Angelo contains numerous prison cells, to begin with those built by Pius IV with the sizes that wouldn’t permit a prisoner to stand on the legs and lie, the only position possible was sitting.
In the so called Cortile Dal Pozzo, built by Alexander VI, were the cells reserved for important persons. For example, here in 1538 – beginning of 1539 for the first time was held Benvenuto Cellini, where he could continue his activity as a sculptor and from where he escaped using the rope made of the pieces of bed sheet. But he was caught in a short time and re-imprisoned again till the end of 1539, but this time – in underground cell.
The processes over the prisoners were held in the Hall of Justice, it was built in Roman times above the sepulchral cella, and has a fresco of Justice attributed to Domenico Zaga.
The executions took place out of the castle on the other side of the Tiber, but in a lot of cases -inside of the castle, right in the cells.
In 1925 the National Museum of Caste Sant’Angelo was founded to celebrate the glories of the Army. Today the interior of the castle can be visited with its seventeenth century rich frescoed halls (Hall of Apollo, Hall of Paolina decorated with the Stories of Alexander the Great, Hall of Perseus with episode of the myth of the Greek hero, Room of Amore and Psiche), the prisons, the collection of antique arms, the collection of ancient marbles, ceramics, and sculptures.
Visit for more info :  http://www.castelsantangelo.com/

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Ninfa: the ancient town
The town of Ninfa takes its name from a little temple dedicated to the nymphs during the Roman period, built on one of the most abundant springs at the foot of the Lepini Hills. These waters gave life to the original river Nymphaeus. Of the abandoned medieval town there remain today an imposing double wall and the ruins of a castle, churches, municipal buildings and many private dwellings. Water is still key to the life of Ninfa, as in the past.
Ninfa had a significant economic and strategic identity as early as the eighth century. This came about due to the flooding and impassability of a stretch of the Appian Way between Cisterna and Terracina, and the consequent spread of malaria. A water dam, to be seen to this day at Ninfa, is an early example of advanced engineering of the time. The resulting lake enabled waterpower to be used to turn rudimentary machinery such as mills, olive presses, bellows and hammers for the working of metal. This made a fortune for the little settlement.
By the beginning of the eleventh century, Ninfa had grown to the status of a small town. It continued to grow and prosper. In 1159, Rolando Bandinelli was consecrated as Pope Alexander III in the church of S. Maria Maggiore, the largest of seven. Several papal families – among them the Tuscolo, Frangipane, Conti, and Anibaldi – fought over Ninfa which was at various times destroyed and rebuilt before passing finally to the Caetani family in 1298. 100 years of prosperity followed. As the result of papal wars and inter-family disputes, however, the town was substantially destroyed in 1382 leading to an exodus of the population and an unstoppable decay that lasted until the twentieth century. In the seventeenth century, Ninfa was used for renewed commercial enterprise, for example iron-works and a tannery, or occasional relaxation for the family, who at that time commissioned Francesco da Volterra to design the hortus conclusus (enclosed garden). In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries artists and travellers regularly visited the ruined town, after failed attempts to repopulate it. Their various depictions of it left an important record of how it was at the time. Notable among them were Carlo and Enrico Coleman, Edward Lear, Gregorovius, Ettore Roesler Franz; and Giulio Aristide Sartorio in the twentieth century.

Ninfa:  the garden
Gelasio Caetani, in the early 1920s, set out to restore Ninfa by means of a well-planned programme of research, excavation and restoration of the ruins, laying out the foundations for a garden today counted among the most beautiful in the world. With his English mother, Ada Wilbraham, the first of Ninfa’s gardeners, and inspired by Ninfa’s evocative and mysterious character, he began planting the great trees that we enjoy today. The creation of a garden at Ninfa, meaning the ability as far back as the 1920s to visualise the potential of the site completely abandoned and covered by a mantle of vegetation, is intriguing – the more so because Ninfa came back to life after centuries of neglect in the form of a garden conceived in a typical Anglo-Saxon style.
The garden, with its paths spreading like sinews, is spontaneous and informal with no formality and little in the way of geometric patterns. The development and planting work continued with Ada’s American-born daughter-in-law Marguerite Chapin. She opened the garden to an important circle of writers and artists associated with the literary reviews Commerce and Botteghe Oscure, which she founded. Such friends were equally inspired by Ninfa.
Marguerite’s daughter, Lelia Caetani, remains nevertheless the true artisan of the garden and in her time Ninfa took on the romantic character we know today. Lelia was undoubtedly influenced by her natural talents as a painter, which led her to select plants in the landscape as if at work on a large canvas. She had a natural and creative touch.
On Lelia’s untimely death in 1977, ownership and responsibility for the garden passed to the Roffredo Caetani Foundation. Ninfa is well cared for. Spontaneity remains key and visitors are little aware of the human touch. Managing such a remarkable place is a difficult and complex challenge with the delicate eco-system always a foremost consideration.
The address: Fondazione Roffredo Caetani
Via della Fortezza
04010 Sermoneta (LT)

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The Castle presents itself as a fortified village – with its watchtowers, moat and enclosure wall – clearly testifying to its giargino-gardenmedieval origin. In 1254, it was originally listed as one of the properties belonging to the Nobles Normanni Alberteschi, but was first passed on to the Anguillara Family, then to the Massimo, and finally, in the 17th century, it can be found as part of the Peretti Estate. At the beginning of the 17th century, Prince Michele Peretti, nephew of Pope Sixtus the Fifth, turned the place into a great and imposing courtly residence. The Castle became the setting of magnificent banquets and hunting parties, while multicolored peacocks roamed through archeological ruins and juniper trees. But the family estate was soon run dry by this extravagant way of life and so, in 1639, the estate and the castle were sold to one of the hall-salonewealthiest Roman families of the Baroque Era, the Princes Falconieri. They commissioned two of the time’s greatest artists to refurbish Torre in Pietra. Architect Ferdinando Fuga – who built the small octagonal church and the elegant staircase 
 that  leads  to the first floor (“piano nobile”) and that could also board horses – and the painter Pier Leone Ghezzi, who was assigned with the decoration of the Interiors. The castle, as it presents itself to us today, is how it was at the time of the Falconieri Family. The frescoes are perfectly preserved: we can still witness the celebrations that took place during the 1725 Jubilee Year, when churchAlessandro Falconieri commissioned Ghezzi to decorate the first floor with scenes depicting Pope Benedict the Thirteenth’s visit to the castle. He also frescoed the side altar walls of the beautiful octagonal church. During the second half of the 19th century, the Falconieri Family dies out and for Torre in Pietra it’s the beginning of a period of decline. But in 1926, Senator Luigi Albertini bought the property with his son Leonardo and son-in-law Nicolò Carandini, and started the land reclamation work of the agricultural estate that was famous at the time and a model for the rest of Europe, and the restoration of the castle, church and village.

The Church inside the Castle.
Work of the renowned architect Ferdinando Fuga the Church is a jewel of the first half of ‘700: inside there is a scroll ornament and two frescoes which are the work of Pier Leone Ghezzi. Seating: up to 150 persons.

The Garden of the Castle.
Inside the main courtyard, two large meadows are fenced by a hedge of boxwood and in the centre of it there is a fountain of the ‘600s shaded by secular trees. The Area 2.500 m²  . Table seating up to 500 persons.

Tourist informations:
Inside the Castle it’s possible to buy wine, cheese and olive oil directly produced from the owner’s farmland.

Address: Castello di Torre in Pietra – Piazza Torrimpietra 2  – 00050 Torrimpietra – (Roma) 
Web Site: http://www.castelloditorreinpietra.it/

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