The Castle of La Rancia and the Battle of Tolentino

Photo credit: Stefano Leopardi

Photo credit: Stefano Leopardi

Think about a castle. What comes to your mind?

A ghost wandering through its rooms? Or ,maybe, the dungeons most castles have? Or even a princess imprisoned in the tower and waiting for her Prince Charming? Many battles come to my mind, that took place outside and inside its walls in the old days. Seeing these sites is like to enter into the past of a land. Finding out these places were the background of fights and bloody sieges, where the history took place is really exciting.

Ancient print describing the Battle of Tolentino, that took place in the land of the Castle of La Rancia on May 2 and 3, 1815

Ancient print describing the Battle of Tolentino, that took place in the land of the Castle of La Rancia on May 2 and 3, 1815

Often we are not inclined to take a deeper look into the historical events on which we found our memory. Everything is expected, far away, old. And this is also sad for the many fallen who have given their lives to follow an ideal.

Another print drawing this important historic event

Another print drawing this important historic event

After visiting the Castle of La Rancia, I started looking for info about this important symbol of the town of Tolentino. Among the others I have to mention the battle of Tolentino, an epic event that took place on 2 and 3 May 1815…exactly two hundred years ago!

This year was the second century of the battle of Tolentino. For the occasion some historical reconstructions took place last May

This year was the second century of the battle of Tolentino. For the occasion some historical reconstructions took place last May

On those days, the area all around the castle was the scene of a raging battle between the French army of Gioacchino Murat, king of Naples and Napoleon’s brother-in-law, and the Austrian troops of General Federico Bianchi.

Some images from the historical reconstruction that took place in the countryside around the Castle of La Rancia...

Some images from the historical reconstruction that took place last May…

...in the countryside of the Castle of La Rancia

…in the countryside of the Castle of La Rancia

This battle (called “della Rancia” ora “di Tolentino”) was so important thatit later came to be regarded as the first in the Italian Risorgimento (or “resurgence”, the period leading to unification of Italy).

The stunning view of the Sibillini Mountains on the background of the Castle of La Rancia!

The stunning view of the Sibillini Mountains on the background of the Castle of La Rancia!

The charming building is square in shape and composed of crenellated walls strengthened by three towers. In defense of the main stands one of the towers that were accessed by a drawbridge, later replaced by a brick. It stands out between the Adriatic Sea and the Sibillini Mountains, and the green of the countryside.

I monaci intenti alla raccolta della "rancia" in una riproduzione dell'epoca

The monks working at harvest of the so called “grancia” (wheat)

The majestic castle was built in 1357, owes its name to the ancient granary, named “grancia” after the Latin “granica”, used by the Cistercian monks of Fiastra Abbey (that it is not far from the castle) at the end of the 12th century. Only later it was transformed into a fortress, given its strategic location and its great architectural layout.

Entry to the castle trough its bridge...originally

Entry to the castle trough its bridge…originally a drawbridge!

Crossing the bridge (currently brickwork) knowing that in the past it was a drawbridge, the kind that today we can only see in the movies.

Ecco la stanza delle torture...nell'area seminterrato del castello

Here’s the torture room…in the basement of the castle

Exploring its basement once used as a prison as evidenced by the large iron rings fixtures on the walls…well, it’s really impressive! The mystery of the past follows you in this wonderful journey through time.

Il Castello della Rancia ha ottenuto il Certificato di eccellenza 2015 di TripAdvisor grazie alle recensioni positive ed entusiaste di tanti visitatori per questo speciale luogo che trasuda di storia, circondato dalla campagna marchigiana

The Castle of La Rancia gained the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015 thanks to the many positive and enthusiastic reviews describing the castle as a place full of history in the wonderful countryside of Le Marche

The castle hosts events and conventions. And there is the possibility of joining an animated guided tour (aimed at school groups or children). Attendees will be involved in a story that will take cue from the museum and they will be guided to the discovery of the place.

Rievocazioni storiche in costume per le visite scolastiche al castello

Historical reconstructions take place for school groups visiting the castle

So dear friends, if you aim to “be king (at least) for a day”, I urge you to take a trip to wonderful Castle of La Rancia!

Photo credit: Stefano Leopardi

Photo credit: Stefano Leopardi

Discovermarche warmly thanks the Museum of Tolentino for their cooperation. For more information please visit http://www.tolentinomusei.it/

Please visit the website of the museums to find out more: http://www.tolentinomusei.it

Please visit the website of the museums to find out more: http://www.tolentinomusei.it

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