The Castle of the Caetani Family

Sermoneta Stronghold and its dungeons

The origins of the Caetani castle date back to the 13th century


History of the Castle

The origins of the Caetani castle, which dominates the medieval village of Sermoneta, date back to the 13th century when it was in the hands of the  Annibaldi family. By then it  was already characterized by two fortified keeps, the Maschio, a 42-metre-high tower, and an adjacent smaller, known as the Maschietto.

In 1297, Pietro Caetani, used the suasion of his uncle Pope Boniface VIII to acquire a number of properties from the Annibaldi family. These included Sermoneta and Bassiano. In the 15th century, the Caetani significantly expanded the castle at Sermoneta. The collegiate church of San Pietro, where the remains of the Caetani family were kept, was re-sited within the  Piazza D’Armi. The Camere Pinte, frescoed rooms with mythological and allegorical scenes, date back to the 1470.

In 1499 Pope Borgia Alexander VI, excommunicated the Caetani and took possession of their property, depriving them of privileges and rights. Under the Borgia, the castle became a military fortress: the city walls were reinforced, the citadel was constructed, as was the walkway running the length of the battlements. The upper level of the Maschio was destroyed and with it the Church of San Pietro in Corte, which was razed to the ground with no respect for the remains of the Caetani buried there since 1400.

In 1504, soon after the death of Pope Alexander VI, Pope Julius II Della Rovere reinstated the Caetani as Lords of Sermoneta.

In the course of its history, the Caetani castle has hosted emperors, popes, princes and cardinals, and grandiose celebrations. In On 2 April 1536 a great honour was paid to Charles V, who, accompanied by 1000 knights and 4000 infantrymen, visited the castle as guest of Boniface I Caetani (1514–1574).

In the 17th century the Caetani began to move away, and with Sermoneta no longer having its former strategic importance the castle was gradually abandoned. In the 18th century the castle suffered devastation and looting by the Spanish and French military, and during the 19th century it was used as a military warehouse.

Only at the end of the 19th century did the Caetani return to occupy it at which time they initiated major restoration work, transforming the castle into a social and educational centre.

Today the Roffredo Caetani Foundation protects and preserves the castle, thus perpetuating the work begun by the centuries-old Caetani family.

Visit the Castle dungeons

How to visit the Caetani Castle of Sermoneta

The visits are carried out in groups along an itinerary and last about one hour.

PUBLIC OPENINGS

The entrance to the Caetani Castle in Sermoneta is divided into time slots.
The visit, lasting about 1 hour, takes place exclusively accompanied by an official guide and in a group following a pre-established itinerary.

IMPORTANT COVID-19 EMERGENCY INFORMATION:
From 1 April 2022, for access to museums, archaeological parks, exhibitions, archives, libraries and other places of culture, the possession of the reinforced green pass, or the basic one, is no longer required. The obligation to use surgical masks remains.
For more information, visit the website www.dgc.gov.it.
Admission is limited in compliance with the physical distance provided for the safety of visitors.
The collaboration of each visitor is precious to ensure that the visit to the Castle takes place in maximum safety: YOU MUST BRING A MASK FROM HOME, at the entrance our staff will provide information on hygiene and health measures to be respected during the visit: always wear a mask. In some places, dispensers with sanitizing gel are available.

TIMING AND ENTRANCE CONTRIBUTION

Entrance to the Castle for guided tours is on the following days and times, to purchase entrance fees you must go to the website: https://www.giardinodininfa.eu/collections/castello-caetani-di-sermoneta
To organize a private group visit (outside the opening days indicated on the website https://www.giardinodininfa.eu/collections/castello-caetani-di-sermoneta) it is necessary to send an email to castello@frcaetani.it

With the indispensable contribution of each visitor, the Roffredo Caetani Foundation provides for the maintenance and enhancement of the Caetani Castle in Sermoneta.

The entrance fee can be purchased here

Adult € 8,00 pp.
Children under 12 years old
accompanied by an adult

 

Visitors with a disability*

Free

 

 

€ 6,00 pp.*

 

* For people with disabilities with a companion, it is possible to purchase the contribution directly at the Caetani Castle in Sermoneta without the need for any reservation for the time slot.

The Castle closes one hour after the closing time of the ticket office.

Organized Groups

Groups, consisting of a minimum of 25 participants, can visit the Caetani Castle at any time of the year, except on Thursdays, the weekly closing day.

The visit to the castle can be booked by writing to castello@frcaetani.it for information, costs and methods

Entrance contribution

Groups minimum 20 pax € 6,00 pp.
Children under 12 years old

accompanied by an adult

 Free

Schools

School groups can visit the Caetani Castle every Tuesday and Wednesday in the months of March, April and May.
Booking is mandatory by writing an email to castello@frcaetani.it with which it will be possible to agree on the day, the number of participants and please, for organizational purposes, to provide the telephone number of a teacher who will accompany the class on the day of visit.

Schoolchildren contribution

Students, guide included € 5,00 pp.
Disabled  Free

Groups visiting the Castello Caetani can also book a visit to the Garden of Ninfa or the Pantanello Park.

No Drone Zone

No Drone ZoneThe Roffredo Caetani Foundation informs that it is forbidden to send drones on the Caetani Castle of Sermoneta for matters of confidentiality and private property.

Entrance and Visit

  • the Directorate of the castle reserves the right to modify the itinerary for security or restoration reasons. In special circumstances, access to the Castle will be precluded
  • we recommend comfortable clothing avoiding high heels or smooth shoe soles
  • due to the presence of stairs and bottlenecks, the use of strollers during the visit is not recommended
  • the Directorate of the castle reserves the right to modify the itinerary for security or restoration reasons. In special circumstances, access to the castle will be precluded

In the Castle

  • inside the Castle it is not possible to have a pic-nic
  • inside the Castle it is forbidden to bring balls, collect flowers or plants
  • we’re sorry, but dogs are not allowed
  • the castle has no bar or refreshment point

Visitor information

For information fill out the form here beside.






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Caetani Castle in Sermoneta

Castle Caetani
Via della fortezza
04013 Sermoneta (LT)
ITALY

Please note that parking is located outside the walls of Sermoneta.