Castello Masciantonio, Casoli

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  11. Castello Masciantonio, Casoli

Masciantonio Castle is a Renaissance castle in Casoli, Province of Chieti, Abruzzo.

abruzzo

The Normans built the castle in the eleventh century. There is only the tower left of the old building. The Orsini family expanded the castle in the fourteenth century, and subsequently, Pasquale Masciantonio and other Italian noble families owned it. The poet Gabriele d’Annunzio sought safety at this location.

The ducal palace has an asymmetrical rectangular shape with two cornice-delimited parts. The interior is opposite a well-tended garden. Between the parish church and the castle lies the control tower, which has a beccatell on top.

A castrum of Casoli is first mentioned in the Memoratorium of Abbot Bertarius of Montecassino, dating from before 833. The land of Casoli belonged, at least from 1143, to the county of Manoppello, which in 1344 was enfeoffed by Giovanna I of Naples to Napoleon II Orsini. The pentagonal tower around which the castle was likely built was probably erected from the 12th century, in the Norman period, as an extension of a pre-existing watchtower from the Lombard period. People from the Roman town of “Cluviae” settled there, by then besieged by the Saracens. The Orsini finally lost their fiefdom in 1514: Casoli and its castle then belonged to Fabrizio and Ascanio Colonna, then to the Carafa, Crispano and Filomarino families; in 1642 the fiefdom was acquired by Tommaso d’Aquino, a nobleman from Taranto, who in 1645 also obtained for himself and his heirs the title of Duke of Casoli. The d’Aquinos held the duchy until the eversion of feudality in 1806, but retained ownership of the castle in the following decades.

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