Umbria, Italy

La Rocca dei Trinci

The castle: a 14th century gem

La Rocca dei Trinci is made up of two main buildings connected by a large terrace: the garrison has two floors and the imposing Guelph watchtower is a 32 meter-high pentagon.

From the private parking lot behind the tower, guests enter the courtyard through an opening in the wall which encloses the castle on three sides. A garden path leads to the castle chapel, the garrison, and the staircase to the terrace and the tower.

The large and fully-equipped kitchen is on the ground floor of the garrison, which also serves as the dining room and is decorated with a collection of antique copper and ceramic pots hanging from the walls and ceiling. From the kitchen, there is direct access to the large terrace with large terracotta amphoras, and outdoor tables and chairs. This is the perfect spot to relax al fresco in the cool of the evening or enjoy a bit of sun during summer afternoons.

La Rocca dei Trinci

The history of La Rocca dei Trinci

One of the first mentions of the town of Capodacqua di Foligno is on a parchment dating from January 5, 1229, in which Rinaldo, Cardinal of Sant'Eustachio and Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, delegates to Alberigo, a judge in the Topino Valley, the task of gathering the necessary information to solve a case between the Church of Assisi and two landowners, Napoleone da Armezzano and Bernardo da Capodacqua, regarding the ownership of the castle of Serra di Valtopina. Later, the Cronache di Perugia tell how on May 13, 1289 troops from Perugia and Todi destroyed the castles of Foligno, including Colfiorito, Capralita, and Capodacqua.

The fortress was built by Ugolino III Trinci in 1387 on a small hilltop surrounded by cypress trees to protect the route to Colfiorito, considered of strategic importance at the time.

After severe damage to the structure by the troops of Ladislas d'Anjou, King of Naples in 1413, La Rocca dei Trinci became the summer residence for the Curia of Foligno in 1445; in 1450, Bishop Antonio Bolognini (1444-1461) moved to the fortress and ordered the construction of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Rasiglia.

Later, the fortress came into the hands of the Gentili Spinola family, who counted among its members Antonio and his brother Gianbattista, who belonged to the Papal Congregation in Foligno from 1794 to 1796.

The Trinci Family

The house of Trinci is one of Umbria's historic noble families, with Lombard roots descending from the Monaldeschi line.

The head of the family was Corrado (died: ca 1250), known as Trincia from which the family name is derived, a militia captain who lived in the 13th century in Foligno and descended from Monaldo Monaldeschi, the Lombard count of Nocera Umbra (died after 995). He began as a Ghibelline, but later became a Guelph captain in Foligno, distinguishing himself as the head militia captain under Pope Gregory IX.

In 1305, the now Guelph Trinci line became the ruling family in Foligno, throwing out the Ghibilline Anastasi with the help of noble families from Spoleto and Perugia. The first city ruler was Nallo, followed by his brother Ugolino I until 1338. Later, Nallo's son, Corrado I, came to power and ruled until 1343.

From 1343 to 1353, Ugolino NovelloTrincia Trinci, was appointed by Pope Urbano V the rank of Vicar, but Trincia was killed in 1377 by Ghibelline rebels.

His brother, Corrado II, took over until 1386, and then his son, Ugolino III, rose to power until 1415. This son became a close friend of Braccio Fortebraccio, Lord of Perugia, and in 1411-12, commissioned Gentile da Fabriano to paint the lovely Gothic frescoes decorating Palazzo Trinci in Foligno, which had been built and restored between 1389 and 1407 to be used as the family's main residence. Ugolino III and Costanza Orsini children, Niccolò, Bartolomeo, and Corrado, governed Foligno together from 1415 to 1421. The latter, who became known as Corrado III, was the last lord of Foligno until 1421. His ostentatious power put him on the wrong side of papal authorities, and on September 8, 1439, the Cardinal Giovanni Maria Vitelleschi conquered Foligno and placed it under the Papal State.

Distances from La Rocca dei Trinci
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