hall of fortunes

The Hall of Fortunes enriches Torre Alfina Castle

Restored and opened about a month ago, the new Sala delle Sorti enriches the visit to the Torre Alfina Castle, arousing great interest and curiosity among visitors. It is a room decorated with allegorical frescoes that probably date back to the 1660s and transport observers into a world of mystery and divination.
Table of contents:
  1. The House of Monaldeschi
  2. Allegorical frescoes
  3. Vices versus Virtues
  4. A historical-artistic testimony

The Prestige of the House

The decoration of the Hall of Fortunes was commissioned by Monaldo Monaldeschi della Cervara, canon of St. Peter's and an illustrious member of the Monaldeschi family that ruled the castle and the village of Torre Alfina for centuries. The hand behind the execution of these works remains shrouded in mystery, although a possible influence of the Venetian painter Bartolomeo Cinzio, whom Monaldo Monaldeschi knew well thanks to his stay in Padua, is speculated. The intention of the decoration was to artistically represent the prestige and moral propriety of the Monaldeschi family.

The Allegories of the Hall of Fortunes

The frescoes in the Sala delle Sorti are inspired by the book Il Giardino dei Pensieri by Francesco Marcolini da Forlì, published in 1540. This is a fortune-telling and fortune-telling text in which human vices and virtues are depicted. In the castle hall, depictions of the Vices, such as Insidiousness, Lies and Discord, alternate with those of the Virtues, such as Faith, Charity and Temperance. This juxtaposition reflects the eternal struggle between good and evil, the predictability and unpredictability of fate. But while the Virtues are portrayed indoors, symbolising their constant presence and fundamental role in maintaining morality and good governance, the Vices are depicted immersed in outdoor settings. The final visual effect is the feeling that imaginary windows open up in the room, allowing one to observe the evil that lives outside the castle walls.

Vices and Virtues

The frieze runs along the walls of the room and presents a repetitive pattern: each allegorical depiction of vices is followed by a telamon (a male figure supporting the architecture of the frieze) and then a virtue. Thus Insidiousness, a woman fishing in a river flanked by a lynx, is followed by Charity; Discord, a woman holding a bellows from which smoke comes out, is followed by Temperance. Each representation is rich in symbolic detail, offering a comprehensive overview of the forces that shape human destiny and inviting viewers to reflect on the choices and actions that define one's path.

Historical Testimony

The restoration and opening of the Sala delle Sorti in the Torre Alfina Castle is an extraordinary addition to the historical and artistic heritage of the region. This new space enchants and inspires visitors, offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a world of symbolism and mystery. The allegorical frescoes of the Sorti e le Virtù represent an important historical and artistic testimony to our region and the people who lived here. the room invites reflection on the forces that influence human destiny and the importance of moral choices. The richness of detail and profound significance of these works testify to the skill and vision of its creators, leaving an indelible imprint on the memory of those privileged enough to visit.

castle legends

Legends, Folklore and Magic of Torre Alfina Castle

Once upon a time there was a castle perched on a hilltop, with an enchanted forest at its foot. It sounds like the beginning of a Disney fairy tale or a fantasy tale, but it is none other than the story of Torre Alfina Castle.

It all stems from a watchtower from the Longobard era known as the Casseroaround which, in the Middle Ages, a castle was built. A centre of power, loved, guarded and almost worshipped by the noble families who reigned there, it was transformed over the centuries to become a majestic Renaissance fortress. One of the most significant moments in the history of the castle is linked to Edward Cahen d'Anvers, who at the beginning of the 20th century restored the castle and the Bosco del Sasseto at its feet, transforming it into a magical private garden, complete with a labyrinth of paths and hidden passages.

Table of contents:
  1. The Village of Torre Alfina
  2. The ghosts of the castle
  3. Folk tales and stories
  4. The mystic Marquis Cahen

The Charm of the Borgo

Today, the castle still watches over the village of Torre Alfina. Developed around the keep of the Cassero, the village is articulated as a typical medieval town with narrow streets, stone houses and atmospheres that seem to catapult the visitor into another era. Its main square offers a spectacular view of the castle and the keep seems to be visible everywhere from the village. The inhabitants have always attributed a Powerful symbolism at the Cassero Tower enough to be associated with witches ('tower of witches, n'dò se va, se vede").

Ghosts of the Castle

Around the Castle of Torre Alfina, circulate various legends and mysteries that contribute to making the place even more fascinating. The most famous is that of the Lady Restless, a spirit wanders restlessly through the rooms and gardens of the ancient mansion. Her identity is unknown, but she seems to be particularly attached to the inner courtyard of the castle, where she has left her indelible footprints. But the historic rooms of the castle seem to offer shelter to another ghost named Generoso. This spirit is described as benevolent but prone to pranks. The villagers claim that during foggy days, Generoso enjoys making the castle invisible from the village, adding a touch of mystery to the surrounding atmosphere.

Folklore of the Enchanted Forest

Local legends also tell of fantastic creatures that populate the paths of the Sasseto Forest. From generation to generation, stories of men turned into werewolves after drinking water from the Fontanella del Lupo, a hollow log always filled with water. There is talk of a witch, mother creator and protector of all woodland creatures. And again, the reason for the area's characteristic moss-covered lava boulders is thought to be the work of devils and witcheswhich with nocturnal rituals prevent the vegetation from growing, creating a unique and mysterious atmosphere in the surrounding forest.

Mystical place for Marquis Cahen

The Castle of Torre Alfina was beloved home of Marquis Edward Cahen who chose the Bosco del Sasseto as his burial place. He had a neo-Gothic mausoleum built there, now called the Fairy Temple. The lanes and paths in the forest were the subject of constant care and attention by the nobleman and his guards. The residents of the village were not allowed access for fear that man might damage this natural jewel. It is said that one day a child was caught by the guards stealing chestnuts and in his eagerness to flee he fell, losing his loot. The next day, the guards came to the home of the little thief with a basket full of chestnuts, kindly offered by the Marquis of Cahen.

Today, the Castle of Torre Alfina is registered in the Italian Register of Historic Houses of Excellence and on 29 September 2023 was awarded the prestigious Golden Crown of Residences d'Epoca. The Borgo since 2007 joined the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy. For centuries, the castle, the village and the forest all around have stimulated people's imagination with their unfathomable aura of magic and mystery. The locals themselves are devoted to these places and the enchanted creatures that seem to inhabit them. Visitors cannot fail to be fascinated by the magical mysticism of this hidden gem in the heart of Tuscia.

The Lady Restless of Torre Alfina Castle

The Castle of Torre Alfina seems to be inhabited by the restless spirit of a mysterious lady who wanders the rooms and the garden without being able to find peace. Staff and visitors talk of apparitions and objects that move. And the Ghost Hunters also intervene.

Ancient dwellings are fascinating places in which the lives of mysterious characters and protagonists are intertwined. The majestic Torre Alfina Castle is a place rich in history and, apparently, inhabited by the spirit of a mysterious woman, nicknamed the 'Lady Restless'.

Table of contents:
  1. Evidence of moving objects
  2. Traces of presences in the castle
  3. Footprints in the garden
  4. Ghost hunters on the hunt for evidence

Moving Objects

It all stems from a series of direct testimonies of people who were allegedly witnesses of inexplicable events. The most recent was that of a married couple who had decided to stay overnight in the castle over Christmas. As a member of staff was about to open the door to their room, a crib with a very heavy glass bell on top suddenly shifted about 20 centimetres, crashing to the ground and shattering the bell into a thousand pieces.

Bell Apparitions and Unexplained Footsteps

But the evidence goes back even further. It is said that the staff who worked in the castle during the period of ownership Cahen (late 19th and early 20th century) would have witnessed even more disturbing events. Lilting footsteps in the old servants' corridor on the third level of the castle, without anyone arriving; the servants' call bell ringing inexplicably in the historic kitchen, without anyone having operated it. It even seems that a female figure was seen descending the 19th century staircase leading to the castle's main floor or suddenly materialise near the statue of the violin player.

Indelible Footprints in the Courtyard

And again. In November 2021, the castle gardener notices areas of grassless grass in the courtyard lawn, as if someone walking had left his footprint directly on the earth. Months pass, the grass dries up and only earth remains. The following spring, the grass is lush and green again, except along that mysterious walk, barren footprints that start in a corner of the courtyard and fade into nothingness.

Ghost Hunters speak

The interest aroused by these unexplained events also involved a team of Roman Ghost Hunters. The group installed cameras, a high-sensitivity recorder, a thermal imaging camera and an infrared and ultraviolet camera in the castle rooms. Although they did not record any striking paranormal events, the thermal camera seems to have detected athermal alteration on a chair of the ceremonial hall, although no one was seated there.

Like all historical residences, the Torre Alfina Castle remains a fascinating place full of enigmaswhere history, mystery and folklore intertwine in a unique atmosphere. We therefore look forward to a new manifestation of the Lady Without Peace, in the hope of discovering her identity, her story and thus being able to give her the longed-for eternal rest.

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