The Knights of Malta’s Castle in Magione

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Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Gramsci 1 - 06061 Castiglione del Lago
Born as hospital of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, currently Knights of Malta, and dedicated to St. John Baptist, the original core of the castle was built at mid-12th century not far from the important road axe among Perugia, the Trasimeno Lake and Tuscany. 

Even if some people believe that the facility belonged originally to the Knights Templar, later passed to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, there are no documents attesting this proposal. On the contrary, all documents of the 12th century tend to show as the castle always belonged to the current owners.

In March 1261, this hospital was almost totally destroyed by the militias of the Perugia municipality; the only remains of the original structure are partially the church, the base of the bell tower and some parts of the current western wing. Already renovated in the second half of 13th century, in 1367 the structure was extended in its eastern side, whereas a first lodge over the church and probably the circular tower on the left of the current entrance were executed in 1471.

The 16th century saw the construction of other arcades, which incorporate some parts of the 14th century arcades and are still visible on the three sides of the inner courtyard. It was probably on the occasion of these new works, or right before them, that two frescoes representing the Nativity and a composition with the Virgin Mary, St. John Baptist and St. James have been made. Other minor works occurred in 1644, when the sandstone puteal has been built on a pre-existing tank.

The name Badia, used by the Magione inhabitants to call this facility, established itself in modern times, when the term Magione was no longer indicating the same structure (thing that was still happening in the 16th century), but referred to the village in place of the more ancient Pian di Carpine. After all, the documentation of the late 15th century refers to the abbatia (abbey) Mansionis Plani Carpinis.

Currently the facility represents the operational centre of a wide farm whose products are characterized by a high quality. The different kinds of wine seem almost to enhance their flavour within the ancient castle walls and they are generally appreciated by those who drink it. The wine is so delicious to actualize what was claimed by the humanist Giannantonio Campano who, at the mid-15th century, stated that there were few districts producing better wines than those produced around the Trasimeno lake.

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