Calice al Cornoviglio Castle

Calice Al Cornoviglio, Italy

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.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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User Reviews

Franco Scarpa (4 years ago)
Lo avevo visto diversi anni fa passandoci in bici in stato di semi-abbandono, è stato recentemente ristrutturato con cura. È possibile anche celebrare matrimonio nella sala principale. Vista strepitosa dalle montagne al mare
Luca Scappazzoni (5 years ago)
Luogo magico con un panorama mozzafiato!!!! Peccato che sono poche le opportunità di trovare il castello aperto al pubblico. Si può ammirare solo esternamente...
Alessandro Tanelli (5 years ago)
Ristrutturato da poco dovrebbe essere la nuova sede del Comune di calice. Erroneamente viene definito castello ma è stata una fortezza forse in origine a difesa del castello dei Malaspina più all interno. Ma nel corso degli anni ha avuto varie vicissitudini e diversi proprietari. Molto caratteristicho si gode di ottima vista sulla valle del magra. Purtroppo penso che non sia sempre aperto per le visite.
Kitty la Belle Murphy (6 years ago)
Very beautiful location and the castle looks magical lit in the evening .
Andrea Meucci (6 years ago)
Beautiful view.
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