||Not too far from the Palace sets the Pignatelli Family’s Castle. It is possible to book a guided visit to the Castle. The spacious rooms and the garden, with a nice view of San Martino valley, are the perfect frame for musical or eno-gastronomical events. The Castle Pignatelli della Leonessa is of Longobard origin and was built on a strategic point of the valley, probably in the first half of the 9th century (this date is based on a historical document dated 837 which tells of a military installation and a Monastery in San Martino Valley.
The Pignatelli castle was almost certainly restructured in the Norman period when four corner towers were added. Nowadays it still displays few of the characteristics of a military installation (ducts and cisterns), especially after the transformation in the middle of the 16th century when the entire building was modified for residential functions. Inside the courtyard, which is not very large, a 16th century staircase gives access to the upper floors and the main hall. The castle can also be accessed through a porta falsa (false door), so called because it exposed attackers to fire from the projecting turrets. Alongside the castle there is a chapel dedicated to Saint Michael Archangel, which preserves the coat of arms of the d’Angiò family, while another church of medieval origin (St. Mary in Altissimis) is located a short distance from the village.
Nowadays it is still possible to see the old tank for the rainwater, the prisons, the sentry boxes and the oratory. The Castle was abandoned from the 19th century and the upper level, together with the south area of the castle, were completely demolished in 1908 and then restored to make it inhabitable again, by the Duchess Melina della Leonessa. The Castle, situated at an altitude of about 400 m., can be reached by a steep road which departs from Piazza del Gaudio wich leads to the first door. A stone paved road leads to the second entrance of the complex, a gate built with vaulted stone blocks. Through the gate you will reach the charming courtyard of arms: on its right side is located the entrance to the Chapel of the Castle, consecrated on 18th October 1706 by Cardinal Orsini.
The building has a rectangular shape. A few meters from the chapel a hall leads, through a typical stone-steps staircase useful to ride on horseback, to the main courtyard of the castle - quadrilateral shape - dominated by a wide stone staircase in a double ramp, which leads to the residential rooms with chimneys, on the upper floor of the venue still inhabited nowadays.
All the rooms of the Palace - with two floors inside - face on the northeast side of the courtyard. Upstairs is the largest hall of the castle with wooden floor and ogival or groin vaulted ceiling. The large room is rich of decorations and frescoes of the XVII-XVIII centuries, representing important historical moments of the Leonessa dinasty.
On the East gate are represented Charles III of Durazzo and Captain Carlo della Leonessa; on the West Wall is depicted King Charles of Anjou and Guglielmo della Marra and on the North Wall is represented the Kingdom Marshal, Giovanni della Leonessa.
The vaults are decorated with frescoes with friezes, old weapons, flags and floral decorations. This hall communicates with a panelled-ceiling room, now the dining room, whose coverage reveals the ancient cross-wall structure in the corners. The lowering of the ancient vaults, completed in ‘700, was aimed at doubling the living space.