Saturday, January 5, 2008


On Wednesday afternoon we took a drive north of Rome to the town of Bracciano. The town was built on the south west side of a volcanic lake and is dominated by a castle built between 1470 and 1485 by Napoleone Orsini. In 1696 the Orsini family of Bracciano sold the castle to Livio Odescalchi, nephew of Pope Innocent XI, and the castle still belongs to this family.

The multi-language signs in each room of the castle allowed me to enjoy the tour led by an Italian speaking guide. I particularly enjoyed the painted wooden ceilings and my favorite room was the Room of the Caesars, surrounded by busts of all of the Caesars. The kitchen was across the courtyard from the main part of the castle and had three roof vents for the cooking fires. The floor sloped to a drain to allow the blood of the slaughtered animals to be easily washed away. We could not take pictures inside the castle, but you can see the various rooms on this website:

These are views of the landscape and the castle as we approached Bracciano.

This is the view of Lake Bracciano from the castle.

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