Near Viterbo, there is the village Montecalvello (fraction of Grotte Santo Stefano, which is part of Viterbo), famous for its castle. This fraction is in fact composed of a few houses and a medieval castle. The set is a very charming small village, which gives the idea of being a fortress to protect themselves from outsiders and time.
According to many people the original center of the small village dates back to 700 by the King Lombard Desiderio. But the documents that testify with certainty the origins of the castle are in 1200, when makes his appearance the ghibelline Alexander Calvelli, who is thought to have given the name to the place. Over time the castle passed under the hands of various families: Monaldeschi, Raimondi, Pamphili. In 1970 the owner Beatrice Mariani transfers it to the famous painter Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola pseudonym), who will use it as a residence until his death, then leaving the castle to his son. Today, the Castle of Montecalvello castle is a private property, so the interior, except for particular occasions, can’t be visited.
Fortunately, however, it’s possible to enter in the village, walk along the narrow streets and reach the court and the lookout over the valley.
The entry of Montecalvello is on the road and is accessed trough a semi-covered step by arches that lead inside the walls, coming right in front of the small church of the village.
Continuing to the left, you get to the real court, with the bulk of the castle on the left and the other houses on the right, a small fountain in the middle and at the bottom a balcony with beautiful view over the wild valley.
Walking through the streets of Montecalvello you feel like you have stepped back in time, in the Middle Ages, and it really feels like you are the lords of the castle.
As mentioned Montecalvello can be visited without any problems, so do not worry if you meet the owners of the place.
Sure, Montecalvello could be off hand, but if you are passing is definitely a must. If you can, take time also to visit the Infernaccio Valley, a very magic place that ends with a high waterfall that falls on the red rocks (colored because of the high iron content in the water). The place is not easy to reach, but if you want advice just ask. Seeing the beauty of the place, I think I’ll write on a post to tell you about it and show it to you.
Good light to everyone.