Address: Via dei Normanni, Anversa 67030

Hours : Private property; inhabited in the summer with the possibility of visits on request


The remains of the medieval castle and the ruins of the high tower, dominate the village.
The original structure consisted of an irregular pentagonal enclosure, with a square tower on the mountainside and an access road to the south.  Given its function as the curia, it might have had a palatium interior.  During the first half of the 13th century the palatium was extended towards the tower with the addition of a new building and little towers were built along the enclosure walls.  
At the beginning of the 14th century, the embankment of the entire defensive enclosure was built, and the living quarters and the keep were modified from a square to a pentagon which faced towards the mountains. These measures were needed in order to adapt the architectural defensive apparatus to new attack techniques.
In the 16th century, among other things, a new entrance and a raised garden were created.  The courtyard was transformed into another garden and a tower with a circular staircase connecting the two floors was erected. A small chapel, dedicated to Santa Maria in Parapasso, dates back to the second half of the 16th century.  The castle was heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1706, so much so that in the 1754 Land Registry of Anversa it was described as "ruined".  Still visible are the two ruined sides of the tower without windows and traces of corbels on one of the sides.  A low structure connects the tower and the living quarters -  the latter has a rectangular shape with several square windows with balconies and an arched doorway from the 16th century surmounted by the stone crest of the Belprato - Della Tolfa-Orsini family.  At the end there is a garden on two levels joined by the turret.

Historical Notes

Built in the 12th century in a strategic position by the Normans - and already mentioned in the Catalogus Baronum of 1150 - it was used as a lookout and for defense. Located in the sight line of the Castello dell’ Orsa at Roccacasale, it controlled one of the southern approaches to the Peligna Valley, that from the Valle del Sagittario. The castle was then for a long time the garrison of the Di Sangro family, rulers of the area from the mid 12th century until the first half of the 15th century, who further enlarged and strengthened the building. In this period it was used as a feudal curia where the Norman king, or his representative, judged both criminal and civil cases. Its location made it easily accessible from both the Valley Peligna and from the interior highlands dominated by the Di Sangro family. At the end of the 15th century, the Belprato family became the new lords of Anversa. Under them the building was modified and also enjoyed a period of great cultural splendour, welcoming both writers and scientists. The castle hosted celebrities such as Torquato Tasso (1585-1588) and, between 1593 and 1606, the scientist Fabio Colonna. The Belprato family were succeeded by the Di Capua family in the 17th century. According to tradition, under the governance of Don Titta Di Capua there was a return to the most brutal and vile of customs such as the jus prime noctis - so much so that the castle was burned down as a vendetta agaisnt him. Gabriele D'Annunzio, visiting the fort in 1896, was so impressed by the environment of the surrounding gole del Sagittario, that he set his tragedy entitled "La fiaccola sotto il moggio" here.