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Fascinating castles in the Niccone valley

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Mar 232020Fascinating castles in the Niccone valley 11miles long, where Tuscany meets Umbria, the Niccone valley or also called ‘Valle del Niccone’, owes its name to the Niccone stream, a tributary of the Tiber which is located between Umbertide and Cortona.
Tagstourism, tours, travel, discovery, art, off the beaten track, landscape

11miles long, where Tuscany meets Umbria, the Niccone valley or also called ‘Valle del Niccone’, owes its name to the Niccone stream, a tributary of the Tiber which is located between Umbertide and Cortona.
This long, wide and quiet valley is a well known holiday destination for selective travelers from all over the world. Along the valley stand out the peaks of 5 castles and some ‘borghi’, with other words fortified villages, built during the Middle Ages, testimonials of the political and military tension by the Papal States for expansion of territorial neighbors. The northern valley wall mainly resides in Tuscany from which, continuing towards Umbria, you can see the remarkable ‘Castello di Pierle’ (Pierle Castle), sitting at the most extreme western part of this wide valley. Built on the eastern side of Mount Maestrino, the imposing castle dominates the fertile valley just like a majestic eagle.


Pierle Castle

 Reaching the castle, its height appears almost disproportionate to the modest size of the hill where the castle is located. Around the castle there is a small church and some old houses where few people live in total tranquility together with some domestic animals. The charming part of this castle is the fact that very little is known about it and it is difficult to figure out the exact date of its construction. But an ancient tradition says that Pope St. Leo the Great was born here. For certain we know that the castle belonged to the Marquises of Monte in the 11th century. In the 14th century, Bernarbo Visconti, lord of Milan, granted the castle to the Oddi counts of Perugia. It was later bought by Francesco Casali of Cortona, who in 1371 rebuilt the castle, transforming it into a fortress which, although now reduced to ruins, showed all its grandeur. Subsequently, abandoned to itself, the castle became a hospital for bandits and for this reason Ferdinando dei Medici in 1574 ordered its distribution. The oldest castle in the entire valley is the Lisciano Castle, dating back to the 9th-10th century. Built in 1202 by the Marquises of Monte, it was protected by Perugia and then returned under the Papal government in 1479. The castle was also owned by the Marquises of Sorbello. Today, unfortunately, only a few ruins are left of this castle. 

Leaving Umbertide, towards the direction of Città di Castello along the Tiberina 3Bis, on the left appears in the middle of the greenery, the castle of Montalto with its high tower. In ancient times this castle was a fortress of great strategic importance for the defense of Fratta against the expansionist targets of Città di Castello.


Sorbello Castle

The Sorbello castle looks so different from the others because it is one of the very few castles in the area that has Ghibelline traditions, as its crenellated towers demonstrate. The primitive bulk of this building dates back to the 10th century, while the south side dates back to the 12th century; in 1600 it underwent radical changes and first it became a representative palace, then a villa instead. Its history is closely linked to the events of the Marquises Bourbon of Monte S. Maria Tiberina. Inside the castle, the noble apartments are full of magnificent ceilings and chests of drawers. Interesting are the waiting room, decorated with beautiful 17th century paintings, and the throne room, where the Regent handled justice.


Reschio Castle

 The castle of Reschio is located on the border between Perugia and Tuscany, in the municipality of Lisciano Niccone, on a hill about 3 kilometers from the public road of the Niccone valley. In the Middle Ages the castle was long disputed by the Lords of Perugia, Florence and Città di Castello for its location and various housing units. Located inside a private estate, the castle is currently undergoing a transformation into a luxury relais. On the estate there are some villa to rent available for weekly accommodation. Here are some; Casa Suore, Palazzo, Spinaltermine, Grugliano.


Casa delle Suore

 Along the valley, the village of Montemigiano, a typical example of a fortified medieval village, has expertly restored and divided into residential units. 

Another interesting village is Preggio, once the medieval seat of power for the region and on eventually to the village of Niccone, standing in the mouth of the Niccone Valley.
Today, along the entire valley you will find private luxury vacation villas available for weekly rentals. Here are some to discover; villa Ada, villa Arcelle, villa Cannelle, villa Casa Lazzari

Discover the Niccone Valley on Google Maps by clicking on the link below. Shops, churches, castles, restaurants and nearby golf course:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=14S43ienEuvwOs7fR-QpiskTeNKQubu_W&hl=en&ll=43.271501196664644%2C12.231164700000022&z=12


Umbria valley




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