Castello di Palo, Ladispoli

Ladispoli, aerial view of the Tyrrenian coast and the Palo-Odescalchi Castle (1500AD )

The Castle of Palo or the Castello di Palo is a medieval fort located in Palo in the Ladispoli municipality. The castle is today owned by the Odescalchi family. The castle stands overlooking the sea where in the ancient time the Etruscan town Alsuim had once stood. The castle had originally been built for defense and the manor is the only structure which is fortified along with the Flavia tower which had been built during the 16th century as a watchtower. The manor itself is imposing and large and still in good condition. A beautiful dense forest surrounds the castle in an area of around 140 hectares.

 

The History of the Castle

The castle dates back to the year 1500 when it had been built on the site of an older medieval castle which had been called Palus because of the extensive swamps which had been present in the surrounding areas. Several important people had stayed in the castle over the centuries like Flavio Orsini, Pope Sixtus V, Pope Paul III, Felice della Rovere Orsini, Pope Alexander VI and Francesco Orsini.

After the castle had been purchased by the Odescalchi family it had been sold to the Duke of Genoa and later to marquis Carlo Loffredo from Trevio. However, in the year 1870 the castle had again been returned to the Olescalchi family. The castle remained with the family since then and the family took to the cause of restoring the castle and using it for the interest to the locals. The castle had even been rented to the local merchants who had recruited field cowboys and local peasants.

Ladispoli, the Palo-Odescalchi Castle seen from another angle

The castle along with its massive walls had come to be regarded as a safe refuge and provided protection in the village to shepherds, peasants and artisans. In the year 1888 the prince had decided that the summer vacationers and the residents off the town should be resettled. Along with the help of Vittorio Cantoni, a noted engineer, the strip of land between the two streams of the area had been carved up to make a settlement which is today known as Ladispoli. Today the castle is privately owned.

 

Ladispoli

The first evidence of human presence in the area dates back to the Neolithic period around 3000 BC. The first remains that had been found in the area had been arrowhead from the Late Neolithic area which had been found in the swamps of the Torre Flavia. Ladispoli stands on the location of the old Alsium port which had been an Etruscan city in the area. The main square of the city is Piazza Marescotti which had been renovated recently in the year 2005 and had been dedicated to the well known Roberto Rossellini.

There are several interesting places to visit in Ladispoli which include a wildlife oasis in the municipality of Palo which had been established in the year 1980 and is managed by the WWF. The Wooden Bridge is a bridge which had been opened up in the year 2007 on the Regina Elena waterfront.

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