Discovering the village of Monte Castello di Vibio

chiave torre di maggio monte castello di vibio

The charm of the village of Monte Castello di Vibio is certainly due, at first glance, to its medieval structure still well preserved.

Already from afar, its silhouette, nestled on a hill, fascinates for its strategic position on the surrounding valley, foretelling an atmosphere that, entering the castle walls, envelops those who stroll among the ancient buildings.

Narrow paved streets lead to small squares where the main monuments of Monte Castello di Vibio overlook: the Teatro della Concordia, the churches of Santa Illuminata and San Filippo and Giacomo, the Palazzo del Comune.

Of its millennial history Monte Castello di Vibio preserves a collection of memorabilia, a sort of trunk, yes, like those preserved in the attic where they are stored in bulk, and also a little forgotten, more or less precious memories without apparent relationship between them, except to be small pieces of history and stories.

We find, kept in a red velvet lined case, a big key: it is the key to the door of the Torre di Maggio, one of the bastions still visible in the city walls, obviously placed in a strategic position. From its top, in fact, a large part of the valley and a long stretch of the Tiber river are visible, allowing us to enjoy a breathtaking panorama.

Between coats of arms and noble friezes, important testimonies emerge, like a letter signed by Giuseppe Garibaldi sent to the Municipality of Monte Castello.

The collection is also enriched by a sword (probably medieval), some sabers of various armies and eras and by a certain number of stone balls; three helmets from the First World War: one German, one Italian and one French and a gas mask, and two stone holy water fonts from the Middle Ages.

In one display case seals for sealing wax and a treatise on a source of local mineral water are held, while in another wall display case three muskets from the 19th century make a fine display: a Steyr 95 model musket, most likely of origin German, but with hand-engraved Arabic letters, a French-made St. Etienne musket with twisted barrel and the last Swiss-made; 4 muzzle-loading rod guns of 1822 which were probably used by some of the eight Montecastello “garibaldini”. One of them may have belonged to the Garibaldi volunteer Enrico Ippoliti, originally from Monte Castello, who participated in several expeditions. His rifle was hit by a Mauser shot fired by a Bourbon soldier during the battle of Caiazzo (1860) near the banks of the Volturno river, damaging the weapon irreparably.

At the end we virtually close the trunk, saving memories for the times to come…

Benedetta Tintillini


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