The Copertino Castle is located in the eponymous city of Copertino, north of Gallipoli on the heel of Apulia.
Like the castle of Otranto, Copertino was built for the defence of the peninsular of the Salento. The castle was originally built in the Norman period, and altered significantly for Alfonso Castriota by Charles V's renowned fortifications expert Evangelista Menga in 1540, in response to significant military developments including the use of gunpowder. The alterations included a ditch and majestic bastions with 90 arrow slits to allow cannon movements. Copertino therefore incorporates an Angevin keep, being later enlarged to a quadrangle plan with a tapered rampart at each of the four corners. The entrance portal is in Catalan-Durazzesque style, conceived as a triumphal arch, with the entrance to the family chapel of St Mark to the right of the entrance vestibule. The chapel itself is decorated with 15th Century frescoes by the mannerist painter Gianserio Strafella.
The Castle's inner courtyard includes several enormous galleries, and to the left of the Castle's entrance is the porticoed palace built for the Squarciafico Pinelli, Counts of Copertino and Marquesses of Galatone, ancestors of the Princes of Belmonte. Copertino Castle is one of the largest fortresses constructed in Apulia.
It is held in local folklore that Isabella of Clermont, daughter of Tristan de Clermont and Catherine of Taranto, who later became Queen of Naples, was born at Copertino Castle.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.