Fortress of Nepi

Fortress of Nepi

The Borgia’s Fort of Nepi

Without a doubt, the fortress is one of the most distinctive monuments of Nepi. Its ruins conjure a clear perception of the great influence the town of Nepi has had in times past.

The defensive walls of Etruscan-Roman origins represent the oldest part of the fortification. Along these stands a great quadrangular tower, positioned so as to guard the eastern boundaries which at the time were the most exposed.

The castle rises just before the ancient walls, together with a further tower, this one presenting a round structure, and built so as to defend the fortress during the most violent period in the history of Nepi, the Middle Ages. From here, on the very top, the view is breath-taking, stretching out on either side into the horizon, overlooking the whole of the Agro Falisco.

Rocca dei Borgia di Nepi
Rocca dei Borgia
Rocca dei Borgia cortile
Rocca di Nepi

The Borgia family and the Fort

During the 15th century, Rodrigo Borgia, when appointed governor of the town of Nepi, drastically altered the original structure of the fortress, by entrusting the renovation works to one of the most reputable architects of his time: Antonio da Sangallo “the old”, to whom we also owe part of the construction of the Fort of Sangallo in Civita Castellana.

The project conceived by Sangallo, had the purpose of making the fort a more habitable space, in addition to enhancing its system of defence. The architect designed the great fortified walls enclosing the castle, on the vertexes of which a number of towers of various dimensions were positioned. Thus, he redesigned the castle, making it a residential building, which developed on three different levels.

 

Lucrezia Borgia in Nepi

In 1499 Rodrigo Borgia, who had by then already been elected Pope Alessandro VI, bestowed the town of Nepi to his daughter Lucrezia Borgia. Besides gifting the people of the town with a period of great prosperity, she carried out further renovations works on the fortress, making it all the more inhabitable.

The fundamental structure of the castle was preserved as it had been conceived by Sangallo, maintaining the partitioning on three different floors. The level ground was designated as the main reception room, and the great ceremony hall is still visible today. This same floor also housed the restrooms, kitchens, and lavatories. Then the first floor was meant for accommodation for the Castellans, whereas the top floor was reserved for guests.

 

The Farnese family and the walls

The structure of the Fort remained essentially untouched until the arrival of Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Nepi and son of Pope Paolo III.

The main purpose of the Farnese Duke was to enhance the defensive strength of the town. He entrusted the fulfilment of such a project to Antonio da Sangallo “the young”, nephew of Sangallo “the old”, who had been previously been called upon to work by Rodrigo Borgia. Sangallo “the young” carried out the construction of a great wall so as to safeguard those sides of the fortress which were most exposed to threats, also providing it with two angular bastions. These fortifications commissioned by the Farnese Duke represent a fine example of military architecture of great strength and effectiveness for the time in which they were built. Not long after the departure of Pier Luigi Farnese, the town of Nepi began its demotion from its strategic position and was gradually abandoned, until it finally lost all the splendour it had gained throughout the Renaissance.

 

The visit of the Fortress and the contacts

The times to visit the Rocca are those opening the Civic Museum. To concentrate the wait, it is 11:30 in the morning and the afternoon at 15:30 (in winter time).

Winter Time (from 1 June to 30 September)
Tuesady, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 11:00 - 13:00 16:00 - 18:00 
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 - 13:00 15:00 - 18:00

Summer time (dal 1 Giugno al 30 Settembre). 
Martedì, Mercoledì, Giovedì, Venerdì: 11:00 - 13:00 16:00 - 18:00
Sabato e Domenica ore: 10:00 - 13:00 16:00 - 19:00

Telephone: 0761 57 06 04
E-mail: museo@comune.nepi.vt.it 

 

Come and visit one of the most important castles of the Agro Falisco, the Fortress of the Borgia family overlooking the town of Nepi!

Where is the Fortress of Nepi

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