19/04/2017 Total Views: 46611 Today: 6
Castellaro Lagusello, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy, is a frazione of Monzambano. The village is located on a small hill overlooking a lake shaped like a heart. Castellaro comes into being in the 11th century as a simple “castelliere”, i.e. a circuit of defense walls without buildings inside: a temporary refuge facing a “lagusello”, a small lake. The village is situated on a hill, overlooking a small heart-shaped lake. Everything around rise of morainic hills, a few miles from the shores of the Lake Garda. The current Castle Castellaro dates back to 1100-1200 and owes its origin to the Scaligeri, although, because of its strategic location, border was soon involved in disputes between Verona and Mantova, finishing in possession, in turn, of the Visconti, Gonzaga and of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. Built on a natural hill north of the small lake, the Castle, defended by massive crenelated walls and ten towers, was divided into two zones: one towards the lake entrusted to the “lord of the castle” and northwards to a captain with the task of defending the drawbridge entrance to the Castle and a fortified village. From the ancient castle still remain almost intact, the walls, four towers, some sections of the walkway of ronda and two rustic medieval houses. In 1600 the Castle lost its defensive construction characteristics and was ceded by the Serenissima Republic of Venice to the counts Arrighi, who without changing the outward appearance, he transformed a part in comfortable and stately residence. One enters the small village from the north through a wide gate, which until the 1700s also had a drawbridge. A tall square tower, called the Clock Tower, rises above the gate to protect it. Venturing further among the rustic houses, one soon comes to the Baroque church of San Nicola, which holds a wooden Madonna from the 1400s. One enters the small village from the north through a wide gate, which until the 1700s also had a drawbridge. A tall square tower, called the Clock Tower, rises above the gate to protect it. Venturing further among the rustic houses, one soon comes to the Baroque church of San Nicola, which holds a wooden Madonna from the 1400s. Following the tiny side streets, filled with a forgotten silence broken only by the scratching of chickens in the courtyards, one reaches the small square where stands the 19th-century Villa Arrighi (today owned by the Tacoli counts and open to visitors only by request), which incorporates a fort with defense walls with Guelf battlements and mullioned windows, from which there is a beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding countryside. The view of the village from the south is also admirable, with the city walls from the 11th century (from the same period as the old castle and once including nine towers), the lake adorned with ditch reeds, and the luxuriant nature all around. Monzambano is a Doc wine-producing area: Tocai (white) and Merlot (light-red and red) accompany the dishes of the local Mantuan-influenced cuisine. Another product, also culinary, is the traditional salami, known for its particular curing process (with a purée of garlic and spices) and honored with its own Festival. The king of the Castellaro Lagusello menu are the capunsei, a type of small gnocchi made from bread crumbs, parmesan, and boiling broth that in olden times would be stuffed inside a capon, hence their name.