The village of Alviano and its castle

castello di alviano

A naturalistic oasis, a castle, food and wine excellences and traditions are the real treasure that enriches the village of Alviano.

The nature, preserved during the industrial boom in the 60’s, is the invaluable resource that now makes Alviano and the surrounding areas, on the Tiber valley, a unique place.

The majestic castle was built in 1500 by captain Bartolomeo di Alviano. He moved, from the small village of Alviano to Venice to serve the Republic of Venice where he won honors and strengthened his power. He married Bartolomea Orsini, sister of Donna Clarice, wife of Lorenzo il Magnifico, and in second marriage Pantasilea Baglioni. Two rooms inside the castle recall these two unions: the Unicorn room for Bartolomea and the sStar room for Pantasilea, which gave to Bartolomeo the long-awaited male son, Livio; son who, unfortunately, died young and without heirs, extinguishing the dinasty of Bartolomeo.

Inside the castle, in the rooms once used as warehouse stables, there is the Museum of Rural Life. Archaic tools, ancient traditions, widely used not many years ago; the technological progress, makes them poetic and almost nostalgic,  thinking about how much effort and how much work the humble peasant civilization has suffered, but makes, now more than ever, tangible the value of those knowledge and, why not, of those flavors, which we seek and recreate so avidly today. Tools for working in the fields, for breeding, for working with hemp, for cooking and domestic tasks, used by many male and female hands, in a society where everyone had their role and their well-defined tasks.

The Museo dei Capitani di Ventura, located inside the castle, obviously celebrates the figure of Bartolomeo, a great leader, military engineer and strategist, but at the same time a great patron and a man of culture.

But the surprises of the castle certainly don’t end here. The Mayor of Alviano can boast an office as few of his colleagues can do. Covered by a vault that offers perfect acoustics (even by whispering you can be perfectly understood on the opposite side of the room), a steep staircase opens in the floor of the office, probably an escape route, which leads outside through a small secondary exit.

The small church inside the castle, dedicated to San Francesco, overlooks the splendid courtyard that opens through the entrance door. Inside there is a fresco that about the miracle of the swallows, which happened to Alviano: the Saint, that was speaking to the people, invited the swallows to stop their garriver which covered his words; the obedient swallows fell silent until Francesco, at the end of his speech, invited them to start again.

Benedetta Tintillini


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