The Visconti Castle of Crenna is linked to the fame of Lodrisio Visconti, who raised against and then reconciled with the members of the family of his cousin Matteo Visconti, Lord of Milan. In the 14th century, the castle underwent expansion and destruction according to the alternative fortunes of Lodrisio.
The Visconti Castle is located on the top of the hill overlooking the Arno valley, open on the opposite side to the plain toward Milan. The location, favoring the control of the territory, is believed to be at the origin of the initial settlements and fortifications.
The castle is mentioned for the first time in 1160. At the end of the 13th century, it was received by Pietro Visconti with other nearby castles (Besnate, Orago and Jerago) as part of a division between him and his nephews Matteo and Uberto, sons of his brother Teobaldo. In the neighbouring Gallarate, Teobaldo, after being captured by members of the opposite faction supporting the Della Torre family, was executed in 1276.
The castle was inherited by Lodrisio, son of Pietro, who greatly expanded it. In the meantime his cousin Matteo became Lord of Milan. After the death of Matteo in 1322, a conflict between Lodrisio and his sons aroused. Lodrisio was dislodged from Crenna and the castle destroyed. After having put together the Compagnia di San Giorgio, a company of mercenaries, in 1339 he was finally defeated in Parabiago by an army led by Azzone, grandson of Matteo. Lodrisio later reconciled with their cousins and the castle was subsequently restored.
The family branch originated by Lodrisio assumed the surname of Visconti di Crenna. Along generations, divisions among brothers lead to the fragmentation of the area surrounding the castle. In the 16th and 17th centuries the building underwent changes and adaptations after further family divisions.
Heavily transformed during the late 19th and the first decades of the 20th century, the area of the ancient castle is today partly surrounded by recent buildings. A tower and other constructions in the form of revival caste are visible from the center of Crenna. The castle can be seen from the distance at the top of the Crenna hill.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.