San Venanzo

On the footprint of stories whose reliability is linked to more or less imaginative tales, handed down from popular tradition, in the bloody rivalry between the different branches of the Monaldeschi family it is useful to remember two anecdotes: In 1351 the Monaldeschi della Cervara (branch of the deer) captured a young man from the branch of the viper suspected of threatening a girl of his village, brutally killed him in the basement of the Castle of Torre Alfina and then reduced his body into pieces so small to make them food for falcons. Another episode of the fratricidal struggles between the Monaldeschi concerns that for the continuous theft of cattle between Corrado Monaldeschi and Pietro dell’Angus, whose appendix (angus = snake) refers the belonging to the branch of the viper already present in the territory as lords of the castle of Pornello. In the poem by Luciana Bonaparte which tells the deeds of the “Bella Imperia” (Imperia di Montemarte, widow of Corrado, the royal lady of Collelungo around 1450, handed down by the legend as a ghost of the same castle), the irascible Corrado goes out of his mind at the sight of the bloody corpse of the faithful esquire sent to Pietro to ask for the thefts and he takes his revenge by forcing the hated consanguineous to flee and setting his manor of Castelvecchio on fire.
The dynasty of the Counts Faina has the great merit of all those works recognised at international level: a great enrichment of the family whose possessions extended from Perugia to the Tuscan Maremma, the climb to control Banks and political seats and finally, the unrestrained ambition to acquire a prestigious newly designed villa at the height of the acquired noble class.
Count Eugenio, once he became senator, he took charge of it with great determination and appropriately orienting the resolutions of the City Council, which had already broken down the two access gates to the town, in about eight years he succeeded in the aim of: take possession of the dominant part of the castle, almost completely demolish the walls and the houses, build a stable outside with the horse stables and the workers’ houses, demolish the old church to make it a pond and encourage the construction of a new one in the lower part, widening the base of the internal space with the construction of the cellars and finally enclosing within a fence the new nineteenth-century style palace, the greenhouse, the gardens of the villa as we see it today standing out from a proper botanical garden of the grove below.

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