Montauto Castle

Montauto rises on the watershed between the Casentino Valley and the High Tiberina Valley (the valley of the river Tevere), it can be reached from Arezzo (from Florence following the A1 toward Rome until the 'Arezzo' exit) driving on the SS71 Umbro-Casentinese until the exit for Anghiari and, after approximately eight kilometers, at the height of the Scheggia Pass, there's an indication for the castle on the left.

Monatuto was center of an Etruscan settlement born here for the exploitation of the rich mines of branch of its territory. Was then the seat of center of a Romano-Bizantina Watch Tower and fief of Goffredo, son of Ildebrando: to him in the year 967 the emperor Ottone I granted these lands in the high Tiberina Valley. The real castle had its origin around the years 1170/80, historical period in which were mentioned for the first time the Lords of Montauto like feudatory. The castle was the most powerful of this area, with three walled enclosure and an high central keep.

Another view of the Round tower and below the "Barbolana"

Its importance was mainly due to its position: on a height of about 700 meters high, practically impregnable, with two sides on the crag of the valley of the Sovara stream, the third protected by rocks of the mountain and the main front turned towards the only road of access reinforced with a mighty defensive system: from here the dominion on the surrounding lands was really complete. The castle was also one of the preferred goal of Saint Francisco during its travels from the Verna to Assisi and Rome and until the year 1503 was conserved one its frock in the little chapel of the castle. In this year the castle was taken, thank to a treacherous attack, by the Florentine Army and all its treasures were stolen.

Almost totally destroyed, the castle was rebuilt in the renaissance era. The most important and still visible addiction was the big round bastionated tower, sitedin the angle towards the road of access, attributed to the architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The double lancet windows in stone and other fine furnishing as the loggia are successive, when the castle was transformed in a residential villa. Montauto castle is endowed with two chapels, the biggest with beautiful carved portal in stone and fortified external forehead and the little and ancient were Saint Francisco prayed. All the complex is still property of the Counts Barbolani da Montauto, descendants of the 12th century owners, not visible.

Near the castle are present two fortified villas: the 'Barbolana' of 16th century origin and the 'Galbino Castle' built on an preexisting medieval fortification.

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