The Castle of Romena
The Castle of Romena is one of the most emblematic places in Casentino thanks in part to the beauty of the verdant landscape that surrounds it. The place name Romena (or Ormena) is of Etruscan derivation, attesting to its very ancient origin.
Founded in 1008 at the behest of Marquis Guido Alberto of Spoleto and Camerino, just a century later it was brought as a dowry to the Earls Guidi through the union between Guido IV and Ermellina, his young heiress.
The castle still stands today at the end of an evocative avenue shaded by cypress trees, a scenery that has remained imprinted in the minds and hearts of two great literates such as Dante Alighieri and Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Dante, in fact, stayed here during his exile, a guest of the Conti Guidi, for about a year, and Romena and fonte Branda are mentioned in the XXX canto of the Inferno, while D’Annunzio in 1901 wrote the third book of the Laudi and in particular the poem Il Cervo (The Deer) there.
In 1440 the castle was conquered by the troops of the Milan Visconti led by Niccolò Piccinino, but a few years later it returned to Florentine hands and from then on followed the fortunes first of Florence then of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In the 16th century a devastating earthquake reduced the manor to a ruin, and in 1768, following a public auction, it was purchased by the Counts Goretti de Flamini, who are still its owners today and have made it visitable again thanks to impressive restoration works.
You can access the castle through Porta Gioiosa and Porta Bacia, while a tower, equipped with a drawbridge and moat, provides entrance to the Cassero. The Keep – the highest tower – and the so-called Prison Tower can also be visited. There is in addition a cistern used to collect rainwater and an underground passage, now plugged up, that led outside the castle. Between the keep and the third Tower of Postierla, you can enjoy the wide space of the parade ground where D’Annunzio pitched his tent and turned it towards the Holy Mount of La Verna to be inspired.
The castle and its history still live on today and speak to us of a distant but always fascinating time that is worth staying and listening to.
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