Malaspina Castle in Gambaro

Malaspina Castle in Gambaro
Malaspina di Gambaro castle was built by Ghisello, son of the Marquis Pietro, who received this parcel of land from his family. In 1520, Ghisello was killed in this castle by his relatives.
The Malaspina family received the feudal ownership of Torrio (in Val d’Aveto) e Noceto (presso Gambaro, in val Nure) in 1423. Following this event, the family took up the title of Degli Edifizi, with reference to the territory around Gambaro.

The castle was restored by the family’s heirs, who kept it until the last Gambaro member died in 1624, and then was passed on to Camera Ducale. In 1636, the troops from Genoa under the control of Doria and Malaspina families, Spain’s ally, occupied Gambaro moving toward Bettola. Odoardo Farnese sent his troops commanded by Francesco Arcelli to send the invading troops from Genoa back to their homeland. The final battle in Gambaro caused many victims. Among the prisoners there was Polidorone, commander of the foreign troops, who caused great surprise when he was transferred in chain to Piacenza for his height and his long moustache.
Ranuccio II Farnese attributed a fief in 1683 with this area and district to the counts Corrado and Ippolito from the Landi family in Rivalta, who in 1687 also received the title of marquises because they left their possessions in Bardi and Compiano.

Gambaro became an important jurisdictional centre on the border between Liguria and Piacenza province. The Landi from Rivalta kept the castle until 1785, when it was passed on to the Bacigalupi family from Geona, then it became the headquarters of the Municipality. The castle was also used to house the commissioners of the States of Parma and Piacenza. Napoleone established there his mairie, and then the dukes kept the municipality offices in the castle until new rich families from Ferriere obtained that the Municipality moved from Gambaro.
In the second half of the 1960s, the castle was uninhabitable because of its precarious structures.
The situation got worse over time and in 1970, when the corner tower collapsed together with further debris in the following years, in the first years of the 1990s there was only part of the northern side of the castle still standing, but the rest was left without any roof. In 1996, with the new owner in charge, attentive restoration interventions on the northern side (the only one that survived) of the castle were initiated. In 1998 two vaults and attics were rebuilt, with the -1 and the +1 floors. The works were interrupted at some point, and every amelioration achieved up to then was soon erased.
In 2007 the Alberoni family acquired the property of a collapsing castle , but with the directions from Sovrintendenza ai Beni Architettonici a new wave of restoration works lasted from 2008 to 2013.

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