If Vulci wasn’t magnificent enough, the archaeological park sits next to this beautiful medieval castle with a history enthralling enough to merit its own book!
Built on the ruins of a 9th century fortress, the castle was restored during the 12th century by Cistercian monks and is connected to Vulci by the Ponte del Diavolo bridge, which crosses the Fiora River.
The original 9th century structure was dedicated to San Mamiliano and destroyed by the Saracens.
It’s 12th century replacement couldn’t have been in starker contrast to the ancient abbey and was used as a refugee and hospital for pilgrims. The centre was run with the mysterious and later heretical Templar Knights.
In the 16th century, the castle was bought by Alessandro Farnese, otherwise known as Pope Paul III, and he restored it to his liking. Farnese then left the fortress to the Papal States, who valued it for the border it shared with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Unfortunately when Napoleon Bonaparte arrived he took everything of value in Tuscany for himself including this castle, and it remained in French hands until the Torlina family bought it back in 1859.
A striking and fitting companion to this ancient city, the castle now houses the
Museo Nazionale di Vulci.
Photo: Alessandro Colombi via Flickr