Castle of Bornato

castello bornato  - dimore storiche italiane

In the heart of Franciacorta, among the gentle hills of vineyards, dominates the Castle Bornato and Villa Orlando, rare example of a Renaissance villa built in a medieval castle. The location is absolutely stunning and the view glimpse on the Po Valley and on clear days all the way to the Apennines.
The original core was an ancient Roman castrum built to control the consular road linking Brescia and Bergamo.. In the early Middle Ages Inverardo da Bornato strengthened the fortress within the battlemented walls, building towers and buttresses, moats and drawbridge.
His grandson Giambellino, great patron of arts and letters, made the house a meeting place for artists and poets from all over Italy, among which deserves mention Dante Alighieri.
In 1564, the Bornati family heir, Gandini, built inside the castle the Renaissance villa called today Villa Orlando from the family who owns it since 1930.

The park hosts an Italian garden to the south and an english garden to the north. There are several trees aged more than hundred years: cedars of Lebanon, deodara cedars, ginkobiloba and, very rare, a Sophora laponica dated 200 years, the only one survivor of the first imported into Europe at the end of 1700. In the woods northeast there is a romantic grotto built in 1800 in medieval dungeons.

In the ancient cellars located under the main tower of the castle, for 700 years the wine labelled Castello di Bornato has been produced until the early 2000. In the underground area, oak barrels over 50 years old for red wine are still in place. In the other part of the cellar 8 barrels glass blocks have been used up to 70 years for white wine and a small barrel of cement for the red wine. A small museum area houses antique equipment including a deraspatore, two presses, a corker, a filter, an electric pump, a bottler, a hand pump. Today the production of wine, one of the most prestigious labels of Franciacorta, is decentralized to accommodate modern machinery and follow the latest techniques in terms of winemaking. Produced in small quantities of excellent quality and bottled only in the best vintages, the wine can be tasted and bought in the premise.

vigneti castello bornato  - dimore storiche italiane

The central nucleus of the castle consists of a Roman stronghold built in defense of the consular road that linked Bergamo to Brescia. Inverardo from Bornato, broadening and strengthening the stronghold with a circle of 300 meters of crenellated walls, with towers and buttresses, moat and drawbridge, has given it the appearance it still has today. Giambellino, grandson of Inverardo and great patron of the arts and letters, made the maison a meeting place for artists and poets from all over Italy, among which deserves mention Dante Alighieri. The growing importance of Bornato led, within a few years, the construction of a second wall to protect the entire village, which the Castle was the citadel of this second wall, preserved only in a few short stretches, is now recognizable by the circular path. The invasion of Franciacorta by Azzone Visconti in 1326 marked the beginning of the decline of Bornato, which often will be the focus of bloody incidents of battle. In 1509 Franciacorta came under the brief domination of the French King Louis XII. The splendor of Bornato returned in 1564, when the family died out in Bornati Gandini family, who built the castle in the Renaissance villa now known as the Villa Orlando from the last family who owns it and that still lives here.

vino castello bornato  - dimore storiche italiane

The Castle is open to the public from mid-March to mid-November, on Sundays and holidays, or during the week for groups (min. 20 persons) on reservation. It provides guided tours of the interior of Villa Orlando with its beautiful frescoed halls, the park with the Italian garden, the crenellated walls that surround the castle, the private chapel at the base of the tower and the secret cave. The visit continues with the ancient cellar located in the basement where you can admire the oak barrels for red wine and barrels in glass block, used up to the 70s for white wine. In the small museum area a little exposition of antique equipment hosts a deraspatore, two presses, a corker, a filter, an electric pump, a bottler, a hand pump, all dated in the 50s. The tour ends with an important highlight: the wine tasting of the production of the Castle Wine farm: Curtefranca red, Curtefranca white and, on request, Franciacorta Brut, all from organic grapes. The wine can be purchased in the premises.

The Castle Inn is hosted in an old farmhouse dated 1200, recently totally restored saving the original structure, builiding materials and decoration, close to the castle roman stronghold and facing the vineyards. 5 independent charming apartments, delightfully furnished, self contained with fireplace, original floor and wood ceiling, can host form 2 to 6 people and are available on a weekly and monthly basis.

Adjacent to the walls of the Castle, once ancient stables, the Restaurant Palafreno retains the charm of the time and reminds, from the name, the noble saddle horse harness in the Middle Ages for rides and parades. The walls dating back to the sixteenth century, host 4 rooms which retain the signs of the ancient past with a charming and calm atmosphere. The innovative cuisine, with traditional local ingredients will suit every taste.

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General Info

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  • Rooms : N.A.
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Events and Weddings

  • Available Halls : 2
  • Seats : 80

Movie Set

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  • Breakfast : Price N.A.
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  • Tickets : 8€
  • Open on : Sun
  • Opening times : 10:00-12:00 / 14:30-18:00
  • Bookshop :
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Castle of Bornato

Region : Lombardy

Province : BS

City : Cazzago San Martino

Address : Via Castello, 24

ZIP Code : 25046

Visit Website

Telephone: 0039 030 72506

Places of interest nearby:

Franciacorta is a small wine-producing area in northern Italy located in the hills south-east of Lake Iseo in Lombardy. A fullday excursion in Franciacorta will include the Olivetan Abbey of Rodengo Saiano and the monastery of San Pietro in Lamosa in Provaglio Iseo just 5 km from Bornato direction Iseo, dominating the suggestive bogs, now a nature reserve. Famous thanks to Christo land art The Floating Pier featured in 2016, Lake Iseo is worth a visit.Nestled between the mountains of Bergamo and Brescia, is a little gem with stunning views and charming atmosphere. In the middle of the lake, Monte Isola, one of the largest island in the lake of Europe, has little charming villages and long pedestrian roads with no cars. A path through the chestnut trees leads to the top of the mountain at 600 mt. above sea level at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ceriola.

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