Address: Gagliano Aterno

Description

The castle is characterised by an irregular polygonal form, which is well adapted to the terrain where it stands. The irregularity of the floor plan also testifies to the successive phases of restructuring that the originally military structure has undergone over time, turning it slowly in a castle-dwelling.
A testament to the evolution of the building’s typology over the centuries is shown by the large windows, both of single aperture and of mullioned style, which have been opened up around the perimeter of the building and which would normally have been absent in fortified structures. The building also features massive ramparts and double walls thus proving its military origins and its defensive function over many centuries.
The inner wall, with Guelph battlements has round towers at the corners.  Only in the south is a polygonal tower. The main entrance is connected via a drawbridge, one of the few remaining in Abruzzo. The imposing staircase leads from the courtyard to the first level. The structure to the southeast, on the village side, is characterised by a colonnade with two orders, with four arches on the top level and another four pointed arches facing outwards, to the courtyard. Of particular interest is the square-shaped well.

Historical Notes

The castle was built in the 14th century on the ruins of a previous building and was commissioned by the Countess of Celano, Isabella D'Acquaviva, as we can see from the plaque. In 1462 it was destroyed by Braccio da Montone and the following year it passed into the hands of the Piccolomini family - who were the feudal lords in 1463 - and then to the Barberini family who kept the property until 1806 when it was taken over by the Pietropaoli Barons and then finally by the Lazzeroni Marquesses.