- Art & Culture
Castle of the Unnamed
On the rock of Somasca in Vercurago here you are the castle of the Unnamed (castello dell’Innominato) where Lucia was prisoner.
The Castle of the Unnamed doesn’t have a precise location in The Betrothed, but traditionally it is located in Vercurago, in its upper district of Somasca. Here are the remains of the fortress that in the fourteenth century was a castle owned by the Visconti family, even if it was built starting from fortifications belonging to Carolingian period.
The Unnamed is not a literary invention of Alessandro Manzoni, in fact it seems that the writer was inspired by Bernardino Visconti. Tradition tells Visconti lived at the above mentioned castle and his history of crimes, remorses and conversion is reflected in the description of the figure of the Unnamed.
Nowadays the ancient fortress preserved intact the perimeter wall, part of the defensive bastions and some towers, while the indoor spaces and chapels have been largely rebuilt in later times. The original walls were partially damaged by cannon fire by the Austro-Russians against the French, who were holed up at the fortress of Somasca during Lecco’s reconquest in 1799.
The long staircase that leads to the castle is also original and was excavated in the rock. In the sixteenth century part of the old military structure was converted by St. Jerome Emiliani in facilities to accommodate orphans.
Cover image: illustration darft for the edition of The Betrothed dated 1840 Library Braidense