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Once upon a time there was...

In 1279 a period of great struggle began between the Bishop and the Commune of Rimini regarding the dominion of the castles in that territory. Thus Monteleone passed into the hands of The Malatesta until 1335, when Francesco Ordelaffi took possession. He was followed - in turn - by Nolfo da Montefeltro three years later, as the new lord.

In 1358, it submitted totally to the power of the Pontificial State, although in 1433 we find Monteleone once again in the hands of the 8th Lord of Rimini, the great patron of the art, Sigismondo Pandolfo, who relinquished it to Ramberto, count Giaggiolo, in exchange for a gaming Sparrow-hawk a year.

On his death, around 1448, the feud returned to the Church until 1465, when Pope Paul IInd conceded it to Gotfried of the Isei.

In 1485, it returned to the Archibishopry of Ravenna, in the figure of Filasio Roverella of Cesena, who gave it in feud to his family, in which it remained until 1745. The powerful Roverellas enlarged and enhanced the castle and by 1734 it had literally lost any military pretence having being transformed into a country manor.

In 1748 due to a lack of male heir, the feud passed as part of her dowry to Attilia Roverella’s husband, count Ignazio Guiccioli of Ravenna.

In the Guiccioli family, count Alexander had earned himself the esteem of Napoleon, and was thus, nominated President of the central administration of Emilia, by the French emperor in 1797.

Having become “Gran Maestro della Carboneria”, the count in 1817 enrolled the English Lord and poet George Byron into the society. The latter was the lover of Teresa Gamba - third wife of count Guiccioli- and many poetic verses were often dedicated to her. In fact Monteleone was visited by Byron, to whom the village square is dedicated.
Presumably the castle was the seat of frequent Carbonari meeting.

At the present time the castle and its estate belong to The Volpe Counts, descendents of the famous Medieval expert and historian Gioacchino Volpe.

Restored and tastefully furnished, it is often a subject of study for architects and castle experts interested in researching the different stages of development, the additions and modifications made throughout the centuries.
Numerous, the illustrious guests, wether of Royal blood, intellectuals or creative artists, who have stayed in the castle at Monteleone.

Figures like Cristoforo Serra, the painter, commissioned for a few decades during the XVIIth century, to preside over the castle as captain of the Militia; the already quoted Byron, the opera singer Lina Pagliughi , princess Margaret of England and many others.


Ritratto Lord Byron ospite del castello di Monteleone
Lord Byron
Antica litografia del Castello di Monteleone
An old litography of Monteleone

Società Agricola Tenuta Volpe s.a.s. di Cecilia Fanfani & C.
Piazza Byron, 19 - 47020 Monteleone Roncofreddo (FC) Italy
Phone +39 0541 949183 Fax +39 0541 802346