Monselice Castle

Monselice, Italy

Monselice town is known of an imposing architectural complex called Castello Cini, which incorporates several diverse types of building. From the 6th to the 16th centuries the castle has changed from a luxurious residence, to defensive tower to become a Venetian villa.The Castle is made up, in fact, of four main nucleuses: the most ancient part is the Roman house (Casa Romanica, 11th century) which together with the Castelletto (12th century) form the first dwelling area.

During the course of the 13th century the Torre Ezzeliniana, an imposing defensive building ordered by Ezzelino III da Romano, was built detached from the main structure. Its inside is characterized by monumental 'tower' fireplaces, unique in Italy for their form and functionality, ordered by the Paduan Lords of Da Carrara in the 14th century.

In 1405, after the birth of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, the complex in Monselice was acquired by the aristocratic Venetian family Marcello, who undertook the construction of Ca' Marcello, a connecting building between the pre-existing structures. The Marcello family then enlarged the central rooms of the Torre Ezzeliniana to form a summer residence, used uninterruptedly until the beginning of the 19th century.

The Venetian nobles gentrified the complex by constructing the elegant Library (16th century) on the esplanade in front of the Tower; by restructuring the Venetian Courtyard (17th century) and adding the private family chapel during the 1700s.

The fall of the Republic of Venice, at the end of the Eighteenth century, marked the slow but progressive decline of the old Monselice castle. The ownership of the Castle passes to various local families, among them the Girardi-Cini, but this does not enhance the fortune of the complex. The final blow was given by the Italian Royal Armed Forces, which during WWI used the Castle for military purposes, abandoning it in 1919 thoroughly sacked of all of its treasures.

In 1935 the estate was inherited by the Earl Vittorio Cini, a man of great intellectual refinement. He undertook an accurate research of the furnishings (furniture, paintings, rugs, tapestries, ceramics, musical instruments and cloth materials) and weapons, recreating on the interior of the castle the medieval and renaissance atmosphere that even today welcomes visitors into residential areas and in the vast Armoury.

Since 1981 ownership of the monumental complex of the Cini Castle of Monselice has passed to the Veneto Regional Authority, becoming a regional museum jointly with the Antiquarium Longobardo and the Mastio Federciano.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

xaversensation (2 years ago)
Very quiet and lonely in the winter evenings. We believe the place is much more beautiful in the summer when trees are green and everything lives up. But we're not sure about the number of tourists visiting this spot around that time.
James Barry Ryan (3 years ago)
Definitely worth going to see beautiful setting and nicely restored.
Atma Beauty (3 years ago)
Beautiful everything. The views are just stunning. It attracts other kinds of tourists, so it is not crowded. The surroundings are also beautiful and many little restaurants nearby offer amazing pasta and the local wine. Totally worth a visit.
David Lummus (3 years ago)
A beautiful castle with different phases of construsction. It is only accessible with a guided tour that costs €8. It is definitely worth it. The guide is knowledgeable and the spaces of the castle are restored and furnished with antiques, including an impressive collections of armor and weapons.
Mike Monteleone (4 years ago)
Beautiful villa at top of walk, good photo opportunities. Thought the hours and entrance fee for church were unreasonable. Found a parking lot at the rear of the castle by following a dirt road. Guy manning it charged 2 € and had a good sense of humor.
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