Massino Visconti Castle

Massino Visconti, Italy

The Visconti Castle of Massino is located on the Vergante hills in the municipality of Massino Visconti. Since the 12th century it has been a possession and one of the preferred residences of the Visconti of Milan. At that time it was frequented by the family ancestor of the lords and dukes of Milan. Afterwards its property was transferred to other collateral branches of the lineage, from the initial Visconti di Massino to the current Visconti di San Vito.

The vast view that can be seen from the site of the castle, covering the Lake Maggiore and the territory beyond it, is supposed to be the motivation of the initial interest of the Visconti of Milan, leading them to the acquisition of the Massino court from the Abbey of Saint Gall in 1134.

A first mention of a fortification goes back to the 9th century, when Massino became prerogative of Engelberga, wife of the Emperor Louis II of Italy. The settlement was then donated to the monastery of San Sisto in Piacenza, then transferred to the Abbey of Saint Gall. In 1134 Guido Visconti son of Ottone was invested by the Sangalese monks of their properties and rights in Massino. Eight years later the investiture was confirmed by King Conrad III. Since then it has always been a possession of Visconti families.

In 1823 the property of the castle was transferred from the Visconti di Massino (a Visconti cadet branch originated from Ottone, the eldest son of Guido) to the Visconti d'Aragona. In 1863 it was acquired from the Visconti of Aragon by Pietro Pallestrini, scholar, author of an industrial review of the Verbano and mayor of Massino, who restored it and then transmitted it to the Visconti di San Vito another Visconti collateral lineage. Part of the furniture and the archive of the Visconti d'Aragona were moved to the Visconti Castle of Somma Lombardo, another estate house of the Visconti di San Vito.

At the beginning of the 20th century the importance of the Visconti Castle in the local history has led the municipality of Massino to rename itself Massino Visconti. The town can be reached by the Genova Voltri-Gravellona Toce highway, Meina exit. After the first houses the castle appears in its imposing dimensions near the church of Santa Maria. Three towers remain of the castle: two of them on both sides of the southern gate, perhaps the original entrance, surmounted by the usual Biscione. At the center of the castle stands the main tower. The courtyard of the castle ends with a terrace towards the village and the Lake Maggiore. On this side stands out a loggia open for public announcements to the village.

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Details

Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Enrico Ripamonti (5 months ago)
Per valutare a fondo l'edificio bisogna cogliere una delle poche occasioni in cui viene aperto alle visite. Dall'esterno si possono comunque apprezzare il grande mastio centrale e le torri (modificate in abitazioni) che risalgono ai primi del 1500 e la seicentesca villa che a nord guarda l'ampio giardino. Questo castello (che non va confuso con quello medioevale, non più esistente) non ebbe mai, infatti, funzioni militari ma nacque in epoca tarda come residenza fortificata poi riconvertita in prestigiosa dimora di campagna. Gli edifici a sinistra del cancello principale sono, invece, del primo 1900 costruiti in "stile antico".
Biba Bozzola (8 months ago)
Il posto è meraviglioso. Non viene molto curato, ma come tutto Massino, ma vale la pena vederlo. Carina la mostra dei vecchi giocattoli..
Paolo Boaro (9 months ago)
Aperto in occasione di una giornata del FAI. Pur se rimaneggiato resta una bella testimonianza della presenza della famiglia Visconti nel territorio. Personaggi in costume rinascimentale intrattenevano i visitatori con esibizioni di spadaccini e falconeria. Presenti bar , ristorante , stands di associazioni di volontariato e della Pro Loco . Bravi i volontari impegnati nella spiegazione degli ambienti visitati. La vista che si gode dal belvedere è stupenda .
Franco Vaiano (9 months ago)
100ok
Moshe Feldman (11 months ago)
Incredible piece of history
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