Tradition Hotel Castello

History

Casiglio Castle stands on a high ground facing the northeast, which was the typical direction for fortified structures in medieval times.

The actual founding date goes back to 900 AD when a military outpost arose on the plateau, in which two vaulted entrances led to the square center, and inside the court was a well.

The first floor and square tower dates back to 1100. The building was expanded in 1200 and the court lost its characteristic central structure. The most ancient remains of the center are still visible in the facade that faces the cemetery. It originally consisted of four aligned buildings built on two levels, plus a basement, a tower and a wall bordering the Castle and the Church.

It has been said that the construction of the Castle, as it is seen today, was desired by Cardinal Beltramino, who was the most influential character of the Parravicini family alive during the first half of the sixteenth century. However, a document from the parish archives refers to the birth of Beltramino taking place inside the Castle, leaving us to believe that it was not he who founded the castle, but rather the one that restored it and brought it to splendor.

Thoroughout his life he covered various and important assignments: he was an advocate of the papal court; in 1336 bishop of Chieti; apostolic nuncio at the King of Aragon; Bishop of Como in 1339; Bishop of Bologna in 1340 and governmental nuncio and legate a Latere for Pope Benedict XI.

He died at the Papal Court in Avignon in 1351 and, by his on wish, was transferred and buried at the Church of Casiglio.

Some say that his corpse was found intact at the reopening of the tomb in 1942 to move the body, but his clothes were in tatters and his Bishops ring was missing. This triggered such a strong outcry causing people to believe it was a miracle and Beltramino was proposed for beatification.

The stone Castle built in a “U” shape and corner tower, were part of the Pieve d’Incino.  Despite frequent travels that took him away from the Casiglio, the Cardinal remained bound to the Castle where he set up his family’s representative residence to demonstrate the importance of this Castle.

At his death, his brother and heir Guglielmo, nicknamed “Zuccone” (big pumpkin) continued the work and after his death, was continued by the heir Giovanni, who passed away on August 6, 1400 when the work was completed.

During 1400, the castle most likely became the seat of the Milan Consul of Justice and the building was restored and used in part by public services. It was in this period that the walls in the upper floors were painted with frescos and the building was expanded, but the existing structural set up remained unchanged. In later centuries the central structure was developed with surrounding secondary structures then reused for rural use.

During the Sforza dynasty it belonged to Count Del Verme.

In the second half of the 1500, the Castle changed hands from the Parravinci family to the noble Galimberti family. After, from time to time it came into possession of various local middle class families.

In 1965 the fief returned to the Parravicini family. It seems that in 1700 a fire devastated the original tower, which was later rebuilt on the left side of the Castle.

In 1800 the fort was restored and used as a noble residence; in the second half of the century the upper loggia was rebuilt.

Important collections were collected in the Castle by the owner at the time:: Giovanni Cavalleri.

He collected a good 22,000 ancient coins, 10,600 art and ancient history volumes, various medieval weapons, ancient costumes, and local archaeological finds.

It remained famous the visit by King Vittorio III, who has the crowned prince at the time.  In 1890 he went to Casiglio where he bought a penny that would become part of his prestigious numismatic collection. Unfortunately, the renowned collections of the Cavalleri were scattered among heirs and the Castle was abandoned. It was later used exclusively for agricultural work to be then transformed into a country house.

The new residential area became Villa Elena.

In 1985 the Castle, by this time dilapidated and unusable, was entirely restructured, restoring all the original parts without modifying the original structure. During the work, conducted under the artistic direction of superintendency for Environmental and Architectural Heritage of Milan, the original medieval paving in stone slabs, brick and river pebbles were brought to light. Special attention was paid to the frescoes of 1400.

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