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Art and culture
The Castle
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The Castle

The imposing and elegant Alviano Castle strategically overlooks the entire middle Tiber Valley, and with its majesty, it recalls the grandeur of the Liviani dynasty, lords of these lands since the 12th century. The fortress was established as a defensive residence around 995, with the arrival of Count Offredo from Germany, who is traditionally considered the progenitor of the Alviano family. However, very little remains of the original castle due to the destruction it suffered in 1495 at the hands of Amelia. The grand residence that we can admire today is the result of significant reconstruction work led by Bartolomeo at the beginning of the 16th century. It represents a typical example of a Renaissance castle that retains within its walls the characteristics of a noble residence and, at the same time, a defensive bulwark. The building, in fact, was constructed following the principles of the new military engineering of the time and features a quadrangular layout with powerful circular corner towers and sloped walls. Its noble character is evident from the presence of the double inner loggia and the staircase leading to the upper floor, where large Renaissance-style windows are located. Upon the death of Livio, Bartolomeo's son, in 1537, the Alviano dynasty becomes extinct due to a lack of heirs. Pope Paul III Farnese forces the condottiero's wife, Pantasilea Baglioni, and their daughters to cede their properties to the Apostolic Chamber. This marks the beginning of the fortress's diminishing military importance, and over the succeeding centuries, it is acquired by numerous noble families. Notably, Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, a Roman patrician of great power and ill repute, owned the castle. It is said that thanks to her influence, her brother-in-law managed to ascend to the Pontifical Throne under the name Innocent X Pamphili. Olimpia continued to accompany him throughout his career, and her enormous and undisputed influence at the papal court earned her the nickname of "Papessa" (Popeess). Many legends surround this woman, derogatorily called "Pimpaccia": it is rumored that in Alviano, Olimpia had the habit of luring young boys into the castle. After having them return her handkerchief that had cunningly fallen from the window, and after offering them wine and food and satisfying her carnal pleasures, she would throw them into the castle's dungeons, and no one would ever hear of them again.

Dal 20/05 al 20/08
2022, May 06
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