Calice al Cornoviglio Castle is situated atop a hill overlooking the village. Founded in the 11th century, the first appearance in historical sources dates from 1206 when an act stated that the bishop of Luniwas to return the property of the castrum calisi (original name of the castle) to Guglielmoand Corrado Malaspina.
The castle had belonged to the Malaspina family from the 12th century on, but in the 13th century it was occupied by Gualtiero II, bishop of Luni; it was returned to its rightful owners in 1206. In the second half of the 13th century, the property of the castle was indirectly handed to the Fieschi family through the marriage between Agata Fieschi and Morello I, son of the ancestor of the Giovagallo family, already lords of Calice, Veppo and Madrignano. For political reasons, already in 1276 the Fieschis were forced to transfer many of their properties – including the castle of Calice – to the Republic of Genoa, which allowed themto stay as feudal lords.
The property of the castle was then alternatively handed from the Malaspinas to the Republic of Genoa for a certain period. In 1547, the Republic donated the fief to the Doria family and an imperial gift by Charles V confirmed their property ownership of the estate. Nevertheless, some bands connected to the Fieschi family tried an actual assault on the castle with the aim of abducting the marquise Placidia I Doria Spinola, lady of the estatein place of her husband. Anyway, the marquise and her children managed to avoid the assault by taking refuge, probably in the village of Veppo (Rocchetta di Vara), while the castle and the nearby abodes were set on fire.
Another marquise, Placidia Doria, married with amember of the Del Carretto family, who was also a descendant of the well-known admiral,would turn the structure into a residential building. In 1772, all the estates were handed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the castle became the seat of the local podestà and of the Florentine garrison; later it was handed to the Duchy of Modena.
The castle has a solid trapezoidal structure, with a circular tower at one corner. The unusual plan of the building is the result of many renovations and transfers of ownership over the centuries.
The castle has four floors: the underground floor now hosts the Museo dell’Apicoltura (Museum of beekeeping) and the Statua stele di Borseda (Borseda statue menhir); the first floorhosts the art gallery David Beghè; the second floor is the seat of the Centro di educazione ambientale (Environmental education centre), of a small museum dedicated to Pietro Rosa, of conference halls and temporary exhibitions; the third floor or attic is still to be sorted out in order to use it. Today the castle looks more like a manor house than like a building with defensive functions.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.