The history of the medieval village of Castel San Giovanni della Botonta, in the province of Perugia, stems from a story of recapture. Around 1352, Spanish cardinal Gil de Albornoz was sent to Italy by Pope Innocent IV to restore papal authority in the States of the Church, which had been taken over by local lords during the long “Avignon Papacy” (1309-1377).
Albornoz carried out his task effectively, and was able to reinforce the hold of ecclesiastical authority by strengthening its military image with the construction of various fortifications between Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Lazio. Castel San Giovanni della Botonta, built in 1376, is one of the structures that were born out of this strategy.
The Tower of Botonta, inside the fortified village, is now a wonderful ‘albergo diffuso’ – an integrated accommodation spread out among different buildings – giving visitors a taste of life in a medieval castle, complete with a public oven, a bank, the seat of the Comune, and a watchtower.
It is a place that had to be reconquered, and now conquers all with its beauty.