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Stories in English

This wonderful article is the result of a great love that a young lawyer, Francesco Procopio (Checco)
 has for Brognaturo.  Together with the collaboration of Pasquale Salerno and Cosimo Bertucci, 
Checco was able to conduct the appropriate research.

Translation by Carmela Tucci

 

The Castle of the Baroness


Strangely after years of silence and abandonment, in the last little while there has been great 
interest in the Castle of the Baroness.   This Castle had provoked a special and particular
 interest in everyone.
For years we forgot about it and it was ignored and abandoned.

Then one day, unexpected and out of the blue, a light shone upon us and many of us remembered 
that there was a Castle in the area of the Lacina (a forested area surrounding Brognaturo), the Castle 
of the Baroness. 

Was it still there now? Where was it?  Who was the Baroness?  Where did she come from?

As a child I would go to the Lacina with my father.  Or should I say, with my father’s three wheeled 
truck because he was a trackman.

From a distance I saw the Castle that dominated the whole plain.  It was beautiful and it seemed 
perfectly preserved. 

My father never brought me to the Castle, because the mud surrounding the Castle was dangerous. 
There was quicksand and one did not know how many animals had drowned and died of suffocation
 in the quicksand.

For about forty years the Castle remained buried in my memories, swallowed by the quicksand, 
which maybe frightened me so much that it erased the memory.

On the other hand, the Castle could not be seen anymore because of the stretch of trees 
that lined the Lacina.  The evergreens that were planted during the period of forestation had
grown so much that that they had concealed the Castle from everyone’s view.

Hidden but not saved.  The usual cunning and sly individuals have practically destroyed the 
Castle by taking home some sheets of granite. 

A few deficient individuals were able do more damage than time, climate and erosion.

At the end of 2007, while mushroom picking in the same area with some friends, I had a great 
desire to see the Castle ruins.

Luckily Cosimo Bertucci also known as “lu camardu” knew the road and within five minute we 
had arrived at the location.

My surprise was great and it was a  pleasure to discover that not all had gone to waste.

The four towers were still standing and the original structure of the Castle could still be imagined...

I have returned to this magnificent place many times, even by my self.

I have thought thousand times that our stupidity has permitted the irreparable destruction of something so precious

If you think that I am exaggerating look at the photo.

 The way it was

 

      (Picture taken from www.simbario.com

 

               And the way it is 

 

I will let you comment, but my advice to you is that if you ever go or return to Brognaturo, 
have someone accompany you to the Castle, you go on a long walk, because it takes 
about an hour from the curve of “Turnisi”.  You will go across a stupendous and marvelous forest that

 

  

it will take you to The Castle of the Baroness Scoppa of Sant’Andrea.  

 


Picture courtesy of Bruno Papa ( Germany)  

There was a castle in the Lacina

Where they said the soil trembled

It has been reduced to ruins

But back then there was a great Lady

 

There are stories of the great Baroness

That rode her horse

Wearing a gold tiara in her head

And a diamond necklace

 

It had just snowed in the mountains

The evergreen tops were white

The moon shone upon them

And the sky was filled with countless stars

 

She was cold but not afraid

When she came down from the Jennara (an area in the Lacina)

In the middle of the dark night

The cold froze the river

 

Her eyes were black and her hair was long

She would come looking for help, dear Candia

Bent upon the horse's mane

To protect herself from the wind  

This is an Italian song written and sung by doctor Bruno Tassone 


Additional information extracted from the site of Parks of the Serre”

MonteTrematerra Trail – Castle of the Baroness

Distance

From Brognaturo proceed along the provincial road in the direction of Guardavalle for 5 kilometers.  Turn into the hill on the left parallel to the road and proceed for 2 km until the fork on the road.  On the left, the road has asphalt and on the right there are two small dirt roads.  Park your car and on foot, turn on the second road on the right.  Proceed straight on foot until the fork on the road, turn right and proceed a little beyond, and a small path or trail will appear and you will be able to see the Castle from this point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Castle rises in the forest in an elevated position.   The ruins with its recognizable characteristics of the corner towers are visible  According to the legends The Baroness was in search of love affairs, and accommodated young men from neighboring towns, which then she made disappear in the surrounding swamps.

P.S.  Maybe my father was right in telling me that the Castle was dangerous

 

Ciao

Checco

 


The Castle of the Lacina

By Gianni De Stefano

 

From what I know, the Castle belonged to a certain Maria Enrichetta Scoppa Baroness of Badolato, 
who died in 1912. I do not know the Castle’s construction date, but what I do know for sure that 
the Castle  was not her usual dwelling, as her primary residence was in Sant’ Andrea.  
During the 1800’s the plain of the Lacina was presumably devoted to the cultivation of grain. 
From the time when the seeds were planted to the harvest there was a lot turmoil, and a lot of movement and an exchange of agricultural leases.  The top floor of the Castle housed rooms 
dedicated to the Baroness and her guests.  Instead, part of the lower floor was used to accommodate the garrisons, who also remained as garrison troops during the winter months.  The other part of the lower premises acted as  warehouse for supplies, and there was also a small stable that accommodated the horses belonging to Maria Enrichetta Scoppa.  A small church rose in the mountain
in vicinity of the Castle, however, today there are no traces or remains of this structure, therefore it is difficult to go back to the exact location.  I learned some of these things from a person who in turn had learned the information from a gentleman who has been died for some time now, and who died at an age beyond 100.   If I remember correctly they called "Rafieli of Minica" (whose name was Raffaele Rizzo).  
In the year of the death of Maria Enrichetta Scoppa he was a little boy.  Unfortunately it is difficult 
to shed light further on this castle; however, it would be both interesting and beautiful to find 
out more things about this Castle.

 

 


Nicola Garcea
Writes

I will continue with the discussion of “The Castle of the Baroness” adding that the reference to 
the quicksand in the area of the ruins originated from the fact that there has always been large areas
 of swamp land in the area of the Lacina.  Some areas appear to be covered with mud and slime; however, there is water underneath. This swamp area was vast and when someone entered this area (before the dam was built) if they crossed the area diagonally they would certainly encounter the quicksand. In ancient times, the area surrounding the swamp lands was cultivated, and it was not rare to cross it  with a carriage drawn by work ox, until, some practically drowned, this is easy to immagine.

Actually, just last week professor Vittorio Mangiardi and I went on an excursion in the area of the Lacina, with the intent of driving along the lake, but instead we had to take very wide turn to avoid the swampy spots that at first sight seemed dry.   

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