Zumelle Castle is located in the village of Tiago in the municipality of Mel. Nearby the castle is the early medieval church of San Donato, of Lombard origins.
A first fortification here existed perhaps as early as c. 46-47 AD, when the Romans were consolidating their hold in the Valbelluna, conquered in the 1st century BC. The construction sat on a strategical location, commanding the road coming from the plain through the Praderadego, which has been identified as the Via Claudia Augusta Altinatis or, more likely, one of its side branches.
During and after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the castle was the major stronghold of the area as it guarded the connections between Feltre and Ceneda. According to a legend, the ruined fortifications were refounded by one Gaiseric, a faithful of queen Amalasuntha. After her assassination, he established here and had two twins (gemelle), whence the name. During the early Middle Ages the castle was the location of a feudal struggle, started in 737 when the Lombard king Liutprand appointed Valentino, bishop of Ceneda, as lord of Zumelle. This caused a controversy with John, count-bishop of Belluno, who already ruled these lands; the war was ended in 750 after the intervention of the new king Aistulf. In 963 emperor Otto I gave the county of Zumelle to the bishops of Belluno.
In 1037 emperor Conrad II assigned it to his baron Abelfred. The latter died with no male heirs, and the castle went to his daughter Adelheit, who married Wilfred of Colfosco. Their daughter Sofia in turn married Guecellone II da Camino, and thenceforth the castle was owned by the Caminesi family.
The castle was rebuilt in 1311 by Rizzardo IV da Camino, lord of Treviso, Belluno and Feltre, but after its conquest by the Republic of Venice it lost its importance. In 1501 it was sacked by imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai. Restored, it was subsequently owned by the Zorzi and Gritti families and, after the fall of the Venetian Republic, by the Austrian Empire. In 1872 it was acquired by the commune of Mel, which is still the current owner.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.