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Lion Rock (Rocca del Leone)

Rocca del Leone

In the village of Castiglione del Lago, after visiting Palazzo della Corgna, from the museum of the same name one enters a covered walkway leading to the majestic Rocca del Leone, from which one can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the whole of Lake Trasimeno and the surrounding area.

Origin and History

The mighty mediaeval fortress is characterised by a polygonal wall with Guelph battlements with four towers and a triangular keep that represented the most important military settlement on the shores of Lake Trasimeno for centuries.

The fortress was begun in the 12th century on the ruins of an earlier fortification destroyed in 1091 by Henry IV of Franconia. In 1297, the Perugian magistrates decided to fortify the town and, the following year, decided to build a fortress inside the castle to better defend the inhabitants.

Over the centuries, the medieval fortress underwent major interventions. These included those in the fourteenth century by Lorenzo Maitani (1325) - to whom we owe the façade of Orvieto Cathedral - and those in the sixteenth century, commissioned by Ascanio della Corgna, with a significant enlargement of the structure and the stately palace, now the town hall.

The Rocca was occupied by important figures in history, including the German king Henry VII of Luxembourg (1312), and, among lords and condottieri, Guglielmo di Beaufort (1375), Braccio Fortebraccio (1416), Giampaolo Baglioni (1503), Ascanio I Della Corgna (1550), Diomede I Della Penna (1596).

It was during the latter's residence that the stately palace came to be known as 'gli orti di mecenate', becoming the site of a lively literary salon. In 1647 it passed under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic Chamber and in 1860 to the municipality of Castiglione del Lago.

 

A scenic route between ancient walls

In the initial walkway leading to the Rocca, tunnels of small loopholes with panoramic views transport the visitor to long but easy stairs, at the top of which a view of the entire Lake Trasimeno opens up. One then proceeds to the perimeter of its walls, an incredible visual journey from which one can observe the lake from every possible angle.

Inside the fortress are also the ruins of a church dedicated to Saints Philip and James, of Byzantine origin and most probably built on the remains of an Etruscan temple.

An open-air amphitheatre

After various restoration works, an open-air amphitheatre has been created in the inner courtyard of the Rocca. Great national and international artists have performed in this wonderful location, such as Patti Smith, Vinicio Capossela and many others. During the summer season, we recommend you stop by after visiting the fortress to attend the numerous concerts, film festivals and theatre performances hosted inside the fortress.

 

Opening hours

Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission 45 minutes before closing time. It is possible to book the extraordinary opening for guided tours.

Fares

The ticket also includes a visit to Palazzo della Corgna.

Full price: 9 euro

Reduced A (people aged 18 to 25; groups of more than 15 people regardless of age): 7 euro

Reduced B (children between 6 and 17 years old) : 4 euro

Free for children up to 5 years old and for residents of the municipality of Castiglione del Lago.

For further information:

https://www.palazzodellacorgna.it/prenotazione-biglietto/

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