Italiano Castel Madama

Castel Madama province of Rome

The origin of the Castrum and the Feud

According to one ancient legend in this place on the summit of a hill was the hermitage of St. Michael Archangel. The original nucleus of Castrum Sancti Angeli was formed around 1000 A.D., in so-called epoch of the "incastellamento", probably by initiative of the abbey of Subiaco as happened in the rest of the Valley of the Aniene, with the purpose to cultivating new lands.

In 1256 the Castrum and the attached grounds were purchased by Giangaetano Orsini and in 1308 the sons of Fortebraccio Orsini built the Castle, typical for Middle Age rectangular fulcrum of the Borgo Medieval. From that moment Castel Madama became the Place Baronial for six hundred years.

Catasto Gregoriano, 1819 (Archivio di Stato di Roma)

In 1520 the small Castrum Sancti Angeli passed to the family of Medici, beginning from Pietro, husband of Alfonsina Orsini, up to the Madama Marguerite of Austria, noble woman daughter of Carlo V and wife of Alexander Medici, which gave historical shine and a new name to the small Castrum. To the death of the beloved lady the feud passed to the family Farnese in Parma.

After Farnese from 1700 to 1825 Castel Madama passed to baron Pallavicino in Parma – Busseto, and only in 1849 the Marquis Tiberi next “padrone” of castle gave independence and full powers to the Community of Castel Madama, on order of Pious IX forced by French, after the pontifical restoration against the Roman Republic. French asked to Pious IX to break the feudal structure and to allow the growth of an agrarian entrepreneurial, as it had been happening many years before in the rest of Italy and Europe.

To the end of the XIX century series of events start slow, but progressive transformation of the country: the end of the Pontifical State; in 1870 Rome became the capital of Italy with the relative modernization and expansion; in 1880 was build the railway Rome – Sulmona; in the 1894 development of Università Agraria, public body manage common lands.

At last Castel Madama doesn't have only resources in the agriculture, but also in the commercial and handicraft activity. Besides, in the first decades of the '900, Rome and Tivoli became important industrial centres and they started to attract workers coming from the whole Valley of the Aniene: still today around half of the castellans work in Rome and Tivoli.

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