The Castle of Montegualandro is located in Tuoro sul Trasimeno, at the border with Tuscany, on the summit of a hill overlooking the whole Trasimeno Lake area. This particular position has made the Castle an important military infrastructure, which several sources date back as far as the Etruscan period, in particular because of the finding on-site of the famous “Stele di Montegualandro” (Montegualandro’s Stele), now kept in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale dell’Umbria (National Archaeological Museum of Umbria) in Perugia.
Later documents states that Hannibal would place his camp here during the famous Trasimeno battle in the year 217 BC.
The castle later was owned by Ariberto, Lord of Monte S. Maria, who received it as a gift from Charles the Great in the year 802 AD.
In 917 the Imperator Berengar gives the lordship to the Marquis Uguccione II Bourbon and successively, in 1665, the Castle is conquered by Frederick Barbarossa after a battle against the Perugian people, who gives it to the Marquesses Ranieri.
In 1238, Andrea di Giacomo Montemelino, of the same name’s family from Umbria and authority of Perugia, purchased the castle and was appointed Lord of Montegualandro by Pope Gregory IX.From this moments starts the long ownership of the stronghold by Montemelino family, who,through lots of ups and downs, will keep control over it until 1678.
With the death of Count Adriano di Montemelino, in 1676, the Countship is offered for sale “cum titulo” by Pope Innocent XI and purchased (1678) by Ruggero Ranieri for the sum of 13.000 scudi. Montegualandro then follows the events of the Papal State: in 1798, after the Jacobin revolution and the proclamation of the Roman Republic, it becomes stronghold of the Trasimeno Department and later (1809) it is part of the same department referring to the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.
At the fall of Napoleon, in 1815, there is a return of the Papal police, who will leave Montegualandro in 1851, following the agreement between the Papal State and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany
After the annexation of Perugia’s province to the Kingdom of Sardinia (1860), the castle becomes the centre of the Agricultural Holding of Montegualandro, owned by the Counts Ranieri.
Click here to watch a video of the castle from above