Le Dimore del Quartetto

CASALE DI CENTRONE, ROME

Categories , ,

The Casale di Centrone stands on the highest hill overlooking the pristine valley of Santa Maria di Galeria, located halfway between the Via Aurelia and the Via Braccianese.
Belonging to a religious order in the eighteenth century, it was purchased in the nineteenth century, together with the entire surrounding estate, by the Piscini family, which also made it the management center of their other estates located in the province of Rome (Cerveteri, Veio) and of those active herds in the Upper Valnerina (Ussita – Macerata). A few decades later, a third wing was added to the already important building, giving the former convent its current horseshoe design.

The thick walls of the ancient building remind us how once the Roman countryside was not an easy place, where, not infrequently, one would come across soldiers and brigands and with the presence of malaria, which alone was enough to make these territories majestic and not very hospitable to the traveler. The nearby ruins of the dead city of Galeria Antica, abandoned in the nineteenth century due to malaria, bear witness to those difficult times. A little later, following careful reclamation work, the Tenuta del Casale di Centrone gradually began to populate itself with new farmhouses, rural buildings, fountains, distinguishing itself in the genetic improvement of the Sopravvisana sheep and the Maremmana cattle.

Due to the importance of industrial archeology that it covers, the perpetual motion Water Pump, invented by the Montgolfier brothers at the end of the eighteenth century, certainly deserves a mention, because probably it is the only still active in Italy. An Etruscan aqueduct still in use, small fragments of a Roman villa that emerge from the working of the land, ancient artefacts dating back to the Paleolithic, kept in the innermost parts of the estate, finally tell a succession of very ancient times, perhaps present as in nowhere else.

Among the illustrious guests who stayed at the Casale di Centrone, we remember the Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, a direct relative of the Piscini family, who seems to have laid the foundations here of the Lateran Accords, State – Church, with Benito Mussolini.

Today the company, in addition to the pure wild breeding of Charolaise beef cattle and the sowing of extensive crops (Durum Wheat, Sunflower, Erbai, etc.) is also engaged in the cultivation of white grape varieties (Viognier, Vermentino, Trebbiano, Malvasia). Inside, from centuries-old olive trees, Evo oil of the Leccino cultivar is also produced. Millefiori, Acacia and Chestnut honey complete the estate’s production.