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

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

monica prataviera (6 months ago)
The Castle is most interesting. And the guide who took us around (you can only visit it with a guide) was very informative.
Frank Fisher (8 months ago)
Closed when we were there, but it was impressive outside!!!
Ante Dadic Cico (9 months ago)
Lovely to visit, very good experience and castello is magnificent and noble place
Kenneth Mayer (9 months ago)
A beautiful tour of a wonderful castle. The items in the castle were collected in the 1700s-1800s and were not from the castle, but were from the medieval period. You have to take the guided tour to see the castle, but it is worth it.
Gerald Z (10 months ago)
Quite an interesting experience - definitely worth the entrance fee.
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