• Art & Culture

Lodi, invitation to court

Scenes of court life in the majestic Castle of Sant'Angelo Lodigiano that dominates the plain with an unequaled past

It certainly cost Bernabò Visconti, a Lord of Milan during the 1300s, a pretty penny to transform a huge fortress into the majestic castle of Sant’Angelo Lodigiano, with its mullioned windows and a tower that dominates the plains: 100,000 gold florins, if legend is to be believed.

That was how it was back then – far be it from the great and good of the time to simply buy flowers for their beloved. The lady in question was Beatrice della Scala, the firstborn of the Lord of Verona, who had married 10 daughters off to the heirs of (almost) all the courts in Europe: from the king of Cyprus to the Duke of Kent, Francesco I Gonzaga and Leopold III, Duke of Austria. Imagine them all in the Throne Room of the castle, which is home to a wide range of collections (from the Morando Bolognini museum/home, with its antique furniture and a generously stocked armoury, to the Museum of Bread and the Museum of Agricultural History).

The scene that springs to mind cannot be all that different to that offered by the fresco in the chapter house in Florence’s Santa Maria Novella: the couple are sitting down, he with a white mantle and a falcon on his left arm, she wonderfully elegant, beaming with ethereal beauty, a puppy in her lap, biting her finger. They were the couple of the century.

A visit to the castle of Sant’Angelo Lodigiano to see them is well worth the effort.

Take me here: Lodi, invitation to court

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