17th Century and the corner of the 19th Century on top of Mid-Evil Era
The court yard of the horseshoe, 19th Century part of the castle
Walking into the castle for the first time is very overwhelming. It's a huge open area where the carriages used to drop off people. They would stop at the bottom of an extravagant staircase which has 3 levels. Each level is made up of 14 stairs and each flight is made out of one piece of marble. The first level was the Brandolini bedrooms, The 2nd level was for the Dining and the top level was for guests who had arrived. The count would stand up at the top of the staircase and the guests would walk up the stairs and they would all go sit and drink tea/coffee that kind of thing.
Stairway to the Count and Theater as well as the cells/torture chambers
When the carriages droped the people off at the bottom of the stairs they would "park" down here in the "garages" until the guests were ready to leave.
A Winding staircase that went down 9 floors!
The chandelier in the Counts bedroom (we weren't supposed to go in there)
Just about every room had a chandelier
At the top of the stairs is the Theater. There are two fireplaces in this room that are original that were given to the Brandolinis as a gift for a wedding that had taken place. When a Brandolini got married their family seal would change. The Brandolini symbols were the three looped rope up top and the scorpions in lines on the bottom. If it was on the left it meant a male Brandolini got married and on the right a female Brandolini got married. There was one seal however that had two Brandolini crests. Of course we asked about incest and it sure was. When a female married back then all their riches and property went to the man no matter what. There was no separation of things, it all just belonged to the man. So in order to keep the castle and riches in the family a female Brandolini married her cousin who was also a Brandolini. This way the castle and riches went to the man but since he was a Brandolini it stayed in the family.
Some of the crests painted on the walls in the theater.
If you look at the seal in this room it is the "incest" seal!
In the 1900's the castle belonged to the monks. They didn't have the money to fix it up so it just kept falling apart. The final restoration of the Castle was done by it's most recent owner and finally opened to the public in 2001. It was changed into a hotel then and all the updates had been made. It was sad to see it had changed so much from time to time but it was still an incredible experience.
There wasn't much to do at the Castle but there were plenty of paths and people to hang out with. We walked quite a ways away from the castle out in the woods and it was great. So peaceful. And with there being so many other couples on the retreat there was always someone willing to take pictures for us.
Brandon and I on our walk in the woods
A Marble statue of Mary and baby Jesus. There were so many rosaries hung on them, it was neat!
Of course the castle has it's own winery!