Rocca Albornoz and Museum of the Duchy of Spoleto

The Rocca Albornoz is a mighty fortress that stands on Colle Sant’Elia, the highest point in Spoleto. Built starting from 1359, it is one in a series of fortresses commissioned by Pope Innocent VI, then in Avignon, to reaffirm the pontiff’s authority over that part of central Italy that was under papal rule.
For his project, the pope sent powerful Spanish cardinal Egidio Albornoz to Italy, hence the fortress’ name; the cardinal entrusted Matteo di Giovannello from Gubbio  “Il Gattapone” with the direction of the works, that would last till 1370 about.
With the passing of time, the fortress also became the city governor’s residence and was embellished with decorations and frescoes, many of which were lost as the facility was turned into a jailhouse, a function it would keep until 1982.
The recent restoration allows to visit the castle, by the rectangular shape and provided with six imposing towers, and two inner courts, one of which served as headquarters for the troops (Court of Arms), the other was restricted to administrators and governors (Court of Honours). A barrel vault decorated at the end of the 16th century with frescoes of cities in the States of the Church acts as passageway between the two courts.
Remarkable rooms tower over the Court of Honour, including the Hall of Honour, destined for banquets and ceremonies, and the Camera Pinta (Painted Room), that features two very beautiful cycles of frescoes by the mundane theme, that date to the 14th-15th centuries. Other fifteen rooms of the castle are dedicated to the Museum of the Duchy of Spoleto, that was opened in August 2007, following the complete restoration of the fortress. Works and materials are on display following a chronological criterion and testify to the artistic vitality and cultural unity of the Duchy’s vast territory, in a period between the 4th and the 15th centuries. Finds dating to the 4th-5th century coming from funerary areas or cult buildings, show the development of the first local Christian communities, in particular of local monasticism, that was particularly well-established all over the Spoleto mountains. The precious, early-Medieval works highlight the political and cultural relevance reached by Spoleto, the capital city of one of the most important Longobard duchies in the Italian peninsula. In particular, the section dedicated to funerary outfits is of absolute artistic value and it lets us understand the Longobards’ social organization. The museum’s second section includes numerous remarkable sculptures and paintings, created between the Romanesque period till the Renaissance, further evidences of the city’s artistic evolution. The visit itinerary is enhanced by displays that illustrate the historical periods highlighted in the exhibiting spaces.

OPENING HOURS
until March 31, 2022
from Monday to Friday
9 am – 1.45 pm (last admission 1.15 pm)
Saturday
9 am – 6.30 pm (last admission 5.45 pm)
Sunday 16th and 30th January, 13th and 27th February, 13th and 27th March
9 am – 1.45 pm (last admission 1.15 pm)
Sunday 23 January, 6 and 20 February, 6 and 20 March
2.15 pm – 6.30 pm (last admission 5.45 pm)

Rocca Albornoz ticket and National Museum of the Duchy
Full € 7,50
Reduction € 2,00 (people aged 18 – 25)
Free until the age of 17
Reductions and free admissions respect the regulations included in Ministry Decree 27 June 2014 (see)