Saturday, June 16, 2018

Love and death, a dangerous pair. The castle of Malaspina with the Wandering Writer

The story I am going to tell you this week is the tale of two different women. They didn't just live in different times, but they also had different characters and stories. Nevertheless, one thing bounds them together, and it is not only the fact that they lived in the same castle, but their destinies were bounded by love, one of the most dangerous feelings.
As first let me introduce a bit of the history of the castle, which is located in Fosdinovo in the northern part of Tuscany close to the sea. The castle location was extremely strategic as it could control the outlet to the sea of the valley. As usual, there is not an exact date for the building of the castle, but there is a document from the year 1084 that tells about a castle in the region of Fosdinovo. This first castle was acquired by the marquise Spinetta Malaspina in the year 1300 and the fortress walls to defend the castle were then erected.
After a short period, the feud was conquered by Castruccio Castrocane, Lord of Lucca, but his fortune didn't last long, and by the year 1334, the fortress returned definitely in possession of the Marquise of Malaspina, who enlarged the structure.
But let's go back to the stories of the two ghosts who seem to haunt the castle, the first one is the Countess Cristina Pallavicino, widow of Ippolito Malaspina, who was assassinated by his brother who wanted to get hold of the rich feud.
The countess is recalled as an extremely beautiful but ruthless woman. She used her beauty to entice her lovers in her bedroom to satisfy her sexual appetites. However, after she got what she was looking for, she used to kill her lovers by letting them fall on a well placed just in front of her bed. Some say it is just a legend other confirm this as the real fact. Truth is that the well is still present in the bedroom, although it has been recently sealed to avoid accidents. It seems like her ghost s still wandering in the castle, perhaps searching for new lovers, or to tell her version of the story. We will never know.
The other story belongs to a young woman Bianca Maria Aloisia Malaspina, who lived in the middle of the XVI century. Legend tells that she was betrothed to a noble gentleman, but at the age of 15 she fell in love with the stable boy and refused to marry.
The parents, disappointed by her behavior and not seeing any chance to divide the two lovers, decide to close her in a monastery and forget about her. We all know that love knows no boundaries, and she escaped the monastery to reach her beloved.
Blinded by rage and shame she was bringing to the family, his father decided to kill her lover and condemn her daughter to a terrible death. She was walled alive in one of the rooms in the cellar together with a dog, symbol of her loyal love and a boar, symbol of rebellion to the family. I know that is just insane, and even more crazy is how a family could do this to their beloved daughter (or any other human being, not to count the animals).
No wonder that her ghost is still haunting the place seeking revenge, or to find back her lost lover.
So here we have two very different stories, where love and death are the major players, a pair you should never bring together...

I leave you with some thoughts for this day, hoping you enjoyed the story and the castle, which is a great sight and deserves to be visited over and over.

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