Murat Castle of Pizzo Calabro
A small perched manor, a true bastion of military history
What it is and where it is
Castello Murat is a manor dating back to the second half of the 15th century, although the larger tower, otherwise known as the "Mastia or watchtower," had been built as early as the late 14th century. This small bastion of military history, which has withstood conflict and natural disasters, stands near Pizzo's Piazza della Repubblica, along the Tyrrhenian coast of Vibo Valentia, Calabria.
Why it is special
As you enter this castle, you will be as if catapulted into the midst of the Napoleonic era and you will become engrossed in the story of this character, Murat: a French general in Bonaparte's retinue, later proclaimed king of Naples. You will penetrate the castle's secret tunnels, traverse narrow corridors, discover hidden treasures and retrace the highlights of Murat's imprisonment, up to the moment of his death.
Not to be missed
In addition to the rediscovery of what is perhaps one of the least nationally known castles, probably because it was never a stately residence but only a military fortress and prison, the greatest spectacle is given to you, once again, by the surrounding nature. In fact, from the terrace of the castle, on the one hand you can admire Piazza della Repubblica in all its beauty, and on the other hand, the natural setting formed by the high hills that sink their immense roots into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
A bit of history
In the 15th century, the original settlement was renovated and enlarged under the command of Fernando I of Aragon, to contain the raids of the Saracens who infested the South Seas at the time. But it was with the French king-general Bastide Murat (after whom the castle is named) that this fortress reached the height of its political and military importance. In fact, this place witnessed the assassination of Murat himself (October 13, 1815), after the second fall of Bonaparte and the end of the Napoleonic regime in Italy.
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