Briona Castle

Briona Castle

Briona Castle, locally known as Castello di Briona, lies in the village of the same name, in the Novara province in the Piedmont region in Italy.

A fortification at this site was first mentioned in 1140 when it became the property of Guido III, Count of Biandrate. There probably had already been a fortification here since the time of the Lombards (6th-8th century) due to its strategic position; a hill dominating the road to the city of Novara.

That fortification came into the hands of the Visconti family in 1356 but was sacked in 1363. In 1449 Francesco I Sforza, Duke of Milan, granted Briona as a fief to the Counts of Tornielli. They then erected the present castle and made it their seat. They also held the nearby castles at Barengo and Proh. Briona was confiscated from them for a couple of years in the late 15th century but it was returned to them in 1499.

In 1583 the last Tornielli count died without a male heir and the castle was inherited by the Dal Pozzo d'Annone family. They sold it, in 1864, to Paolo Solaroli who had bought it for his retirement. Solaroli was a general and adventurer as he had served in Italy but also in Egypt for the Ottomans and even in India and Afghanistan for the British East India Company. He died here in 1878. His descendants still own the castle.

Briona Castle is now a private residence, so it can not be visited. You can however stay as a guest in the castle farmhouse; the 'cascina'. A very nice castle.


Gallery

Briona Castle

Briona Castle

Briona Castle, locally known as Castello di Briona, lies in the village of the same name, in the Novara province in the Piedmont region in Italy.

A fortification at this site was first mentioned in 1140 when it became the property of Guido III, Count of Biandrate. There probably had already been a fortification here since the time of the Lombards (6th-8th century) due to its strategic position; a hill dominating the road to the city of Novara.

That fortification came into the hands of the Visconti family in 1356 but was sacked in 1363. In 1449 Francesco I Sforza, Duke of Milan, granted Briona as a fief to the Counts of Tornielli. They then erected the present castle and made it their seat. They also held the nearby castles at Barengo and Proh. Briona was confiscated from them for a couple of years in the late 15th century but it was returned to them in 1499.

In 1583 the last Tornielli count died without a male heir and the castle was inherited by the Dal Pozzo d'Annone family. They sold it, in 1864, to Paolo Solaroli who had bought it for his retirement. Solaroli was a general and adventurer as he had served in Italy but also in Egypt for the Ottomans and even in India and Afghanistan for the British East India Company. He died here in 1878. His descendants still own the castle.

Briona Castle is now a private residence, so it can not be visited. You can however stay as a guest in the castle farmhouse; the 'cascina'. A very nice castle.


Gallery