The origins of the Castle of Montignano date back to 962 when Ottone I of Saxony was crowned in Milan as Emperor of Germany and King of Italy by Pope John XII and he tried immediately to create ranks of loyal feudal lords in central and southern Italy.
To Count Arnolfo, a German courtier and a relative of the Emperor, a part of Umbria was assigned as his feudal domain as well as a region, called Arnolfa, which included Montignano.
In the early years of the 16th century, the Atti family, feudal lords of the Casigliano Castle, extended their lands right up to the boundaries of Montignano which, until the 15th century had belonged to the Matalucci family, a family of Guelph lineage, allied as well as related to the Atti family.
The Castle was seriously damaged by the passing of the French troops, and Todi’s municipality administration board deliberated on the 27th August 1577, that the population of Montignano was exempted from paying taxes due to the “damage suffered”.
In 1602, the Priors of Todi sent out an order that the castle walls should be restored and that the door was ”made safe by chains”.
In the first half of the 18th century, the Spanish, Imperial and French armies came down into Italy due to the Wars of Succession and upset the area’s peace and tranquillity.
In the 18th century, the Matalucci family restored the Castle: the walls were used as a façade for the new palace, inside the rooms were increased in size and so the castle became a nobleman’s residence, adorned with an elegant loggia, a private family chapel and a garden.
The Malatucci family became extinct as there were no more male heirs; and in 1775, Lavinia, daughter of Giacinto Matalucci, married Count Francesco Francisci of Todi whose family came from Collesecco, near Avigliano Umbro.
This aristocratic family played an important role in the Risorgimento period in Todi with Count Federico and his brother Giuseppe both enrolling as volunteers in the wars of independence. Federico, working also in politics, personally handed over Todi’s election results in the 1860 plebiscite to King Vittorio Emanuele II of Naples.
After approximately four centuries, on 28th November 1887, the Francisci family alienated the Castle of Montignano to Angelo and Vincenzo Tacchi, businessmen from Foligno with a contract stipulated by the Tuderte notary Sebastiano Antonimi. The Tacchi family owned Montignano for 20 years but never showed any interest in the property.
In 1908, the Alcini family from Massa bought the castle and its estate, including the grain mill. Enrico Alcini, who died in 1940, one of the family’s most remarkable members, was Mayor of Massa Martana and he is remembered for the many initiatives he made in order to improve the town, such as the building of the town’s cemetery.
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