As I promised in a previous post, here are more photos from my trip last weekend to Rimini. These photos are from our Sunday stop in the village of Gradara. Gradara is a small village along the Adriatic coast near Rimini with a historic castle, The Castle of Gradara. The castle and village are located on the Italian regional borders of Le Marche and Emilia-Romagna.
The Castle of Gradara started out as a medieval keep built in 1150 by the De Grifo family to guard the town of Gradara. Eventually the local Malatesta lords obtained Gradara for themselves and turned the tower into a castle and protected it with an inner defense wall. The Malatesta family kept the castle for another two centuries and lost it to the Sforza family in 1464.
According to legend, Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo were murdered in the castle in 1289 by Francesca’s husband Gianciotto. Paolo just happened to be Gianciotto’s brother. When Gianciotto discovered that his brother had betrayed him and was having an affair with his wife, he murdered both Francesca and Paolo. This tragedy was immortalized by Dante in the fifth canto of The Inferno. Again, this is just a legend as there is no documentation to prove the truth of this story.
Today the Castle of Gradara belongs to the Italian State, purchased in 1928. Over the last twenty years restoration work has been done and continues to be done. Today, open to the public, are all of the rooms on the “piano nobile”, the noble floor.