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

Open every Sunday from October to March

How to visit the Caetani Castle of Sermoneta

The Castello Caetani from October to March will be open only at weekends.
The visits are carried out in groups along an itinerary and last about one hour.

Guided tours

The Castello Caetani, from October to March, is open to the public only at weekends, while from April to September it is open every day except Thursdays.
Guided tours are carried out in groups (minimum 2 people, maximum 50 people) along an itinerary and last about an hour.

To book your visit: www.giardinodininfa.eu

In March 2019 the castle will be open the following days:
2 / 3 / 9 / 10 / 16 / 17 / 23 / 24 / 30 / 31

From April to September it will be open every day except Thursdays.

Guided tours leave at the following hours:
from October to March:
morning 9,30 – 10,30 / 10,30 – 11,30 / 11,30 -13
afternoon 14 – 15 / 15 – 16 / 16 – 17,30
from Aprile to September:
morning 9,30 – 10,30 / 10,30 – 11,30 / 11,30 -13
afternoon 15 – 16 / 16 – 17 / 17 – 18,30

 

The route is not recommended for people with walking problems.

Weekly closing day: Thursday.

Entrance contribution

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

Ordinary guided tour + visit to the Dungeons € 13 p.p.
Open every Sunday from October to March

Dungeons entrance contribution € 8 p.p.

Organized Groups

The groups, minimum of 20 participants, can visit the Castle any time of the year.

To book: phone +39 0773 30008 (only Italian speaking) or email castello@frcaetani.it at least ten days in advance.

Payment on spot. For other payment methods, such as bank transfer, please agree them with booking office.

Entrance contribution

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

accompanied by an adult

 Free

Schools

Schoolchildren can visit the Caetani Castle every Monday and Wednesday in April and May.

Booking is necessary: email: castello@frcaetani.it – phone +39 0773 30008

Schoolchildren contribution

Students, guide included € 4,00 p.p.
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

Visit 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.