Castle of Lisciano

Castle of
Lisciano

  • 9th –10th century
  • Viewpoint

The Castle of Lisciano (519 m AMSL) is situated in an untouched area near the border with the Municipality of Cortona that is characterised by deciduous forests right above the village of Lisciano Niccone (314 m AMSL). This medieval castle was built around the 9th-10th century on a hilltop towering above the village. Today only some ruins of the old castle are left and traces of its imposing bulk are recognizable in stone lintels, in brick frames and in its characteristic round fortified tower.

Origins of the Castle

The origins of Lisciano Castle go back to the Dark Ages but the lack of documents does not allow a faithful and complete reconstruction of historical events. It seems that since the 9th century the castles of Lisciano, Reschio, Tisciano and S. Maria in Val di Pierle belonged to the noble family of Marquises Bourbon del Monte di Sorbello.

There are different interpretations on how these Marquises took possession of the castle. According to Barbieri, Lisciano is listed among the castles owned by the family since the 9th century, as shown in the family papers and documents. According to Pellini, these castles originally belonged to Perugia and only afterwards, following the occupation of the Perugian territory by Emperors Frederick and Henry, they became property of Marquises Del Monte.

However, at the end of the 11th century, as indicated in a parchment of 1098 preserved in the Benedictine Archives of S. Flora in Arezzo, the Fortress of Pierle and the Castle of Lisciano appear among the Abbey estate. The Castle of Lisciano was built in a coveted borderland that the neighboring powers wished to rule, so that Marquises Del Monte, who owned it, finally decided to be taken under the protection of Perugia.

From 1202 to 1861: the history of the castle

Only starting from 1202 it is possible to have a more accurate description of the events that affected the castles in Val di Pierle, among which Lisciano Castle, and took place, alternatively, under the sphere of influence of Perugia and Cortona.

In 1189 the city of Perugia conquered Umbertide and the Lords moved to other castles losing ground little by little. In 1202 other castles, among which the Castles of Lisciano, Tisciano and Reschio and the Fortress of Pierle, were conquered by the Guelph city of Perugia.

In 1313 this community together with those of Reschio and Preggio spent quite a lot of money to reconstruct the walls of the neighboring Castle of Fiume by order of the judges from Perugia. Moreover, the peace accord between the Pope and the inhabitants of Perugia, concluded in the same year, established that the son of M. Giacomo Degli Oddi was entitled to immunity and privileges granted by the Pope to Lisciano and the so-called “Torre del Miccia” (Fortress of Pierle).

In 1390 Uguccione Casali, Lord of Cortona, occupied the Fortress of Pierle ending the power of the Degli Oddi family. Therefore in 1393 he was appointed Governor and Vicar of the Fortress by Pope Boniface IX. When Casali died in the year 1400, the City of Perugia negotiated with his heirs to have the castle back.

On 19th November 1401 the General Council empowered the Ducal Lieutenant and the Judge to negotiate and conclude with the Lord of Cortona the return of the tower of Lisciano, which belonged to the city; therefore the General Council finally approved the negotiation and return of the castle against payment of forty florins to the Lord of Cortona.

After a brief period in which it belonged to the Casali family of Cortona, since 1479 Lisciano – and its Castle – was part of the heritage of the Church as borderland between the State of the Church and the Florentine Republic, until 1861 when it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

Source: Val di Pierle, Memorie Storiche, Guerra Edizioni 2010

Useful Info

  • GPS Coordinates: 43.2483924 12.158774
  • Distance: 7,4 km
  • Journey time by car: 14 min
  • Journey time on foot: 1 h 42 min