The Oldofredi castle was one of three fortifications built to defend Montisola: the second was the fortress Oldofredi Martinengo in Sensole and the third was in Siviano. Like the Sensole castle, with which it is often confused in many sources, the Peschiera castle was also owned by the Oldofredi family. A tower may be used by Frederick Barbarossa in 1162 as a military observation point. The first document attesting the presence of a castle in Peschiera is a notarial deed dated 26 March 1488 signed 'in Peschiera of Montisola' in the 'Oldofredi residence'.
The castle exchanged hands many times during the 19th and 20th Centuries: first to the Oldofredi Tadini branch, then to the Maraglio family, from which it takes one of the names by which it is known, and finally to the Agnesi family. These changes brought about significant modifications and demolitions that determined its present appearance. Currently the property is used as a residential complex and restaurant.
The complex consists of several buildings built around an open courtyard on the southern side. The originating centre was almost certainly built in the Middle Ages, but over the centuries it has been renovated several times, both internally and externally, to turn it into a stately residential complex. In particular, the portico with pointed arches and the overhanging dovecote at the north-eastern entrance all leant against it; the loggia with Sarnico stone columns and pillars were added along the eastern side, and along the western side the portico with seven arches and overhanging loggia with fourteen arches, which originally boasted architectural elements in Sarnico stone, replaced in recent times by masonry pillars.
The most ancient part consists of the building facing the lake, while the more recent part is upstream, featuring exposed masonry that has been largely rebuilt. On the southern side of the ancient centre there was the tower described by Giovanni da Lezze in 1610 and demolished around 1870. There is an exquisite gothic fresco of Lombard style dated 1458 on an outer wall of the ground floor. The painting depicts Madonna and Child on a Throne seated on a throne with a greatly partial view.
Thanks to recent renovation work, several medieval walls have been brought to light, connoted by the presence of joint sealings, and have revealed torn fragments of decorative late medieval mural paintings, located on the first floor of the northern side. On the main floor there are halls with wooden 18th Century painted ceilings.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.