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The Castle of the Innominato near Bergamo

The place where the bad guy lived, maybe

The Castle of the Innominato near Bergamo during the #italiagrandsketchingtour.

What I didn’t imagine while stopping in the San Girolamo Church was that I would discover one of the most famous places for the Italian literature. Fortunately I asked the priest in the church what was on the top of the hill, because actually this relic was very poorly indicated.

On the top of the hill in fact rest the ruins of the Castle of the Innominato, the bad guy that caused Manzoni to write over 500 pages of book ‘I Promessi Sposi’. The book narrates the misadventures of Renzo and Lucia, two young people that had to be married on the Lake Como but couldn’t because an evil prince, the Innominato (without a name), wanted the girl for himself causing of course tons of troubles for them and for generations of students that have to read and study the book since the first edition of 1827. The book is so famous and important for the Italian literature because it is the first romance written in Italian language in a modern style.

Anyway, I have to admit that I actually loved this book, once I read it outside of the constrictions of school. And I was very excited to have found the castle. This area was very important throughout the centuries because it laid on the border between the reign of Milan and Venice and this hill was crucial for controlling the area. The castle changed hands many times through the centuries since its foundation in the 11th Century, but it is renowned as one of the residences of Francesco Bernardino Visconti, lord of Brignano, who belonged to one of the most important noble Milanese families. He had been guilty of very serious crimes, so much that he was the one that inspired Manzoni for his character.

Nowadays the castle is in ruin, but there are still some parts that are possible to visit and also a museum is open here. In the middle of the ruins, a huge cross was erected by the Alpins in the memory of Padre Pigato and it can be seen from far away.

Once back from the castle, I decided I couldn’t skip drawing this landmark, even if the wood, the hills and the ruins were a big challenge: so much greenery, and green is definitely my hardest shade to paint. But as usual dedicating myself to the task was enough of a reward and the memory linked to this work remains indelible.

Painting of The Castle of the Innominato near Bergamo

Title of the painting ‘The Castle of the Innominato near Bergamo’

This is a painting from the Italia Grand Sketching Tour Collection, a series of original ink and watercolor paintings done on location during my tour to discovery the  marvelous Italian heritage. All paintings are also available as numbered and originally signed prints.

The painting is also featured in the book about my motorbike Italian tour. By acquiring this work you will get to know better Italy also thanks to a personalized story about this place that I will include in the package.

Painting information:

  • Watercolor and ink on white paper
  • Size 19 x 28.5 cm (7.5 x 11.2 inches)
  • Shipped in a box
  • Certificate of authenticity will be sent with the painting

Prints information:

  • Printed on white watercolor paper, numbered 1 to 50 and signed
  • Size 21 x 29.7 cm (8.3 x 11.7 inches)
  • Shipped in a box
  • Certificate of authenticity will be sent with the print
The Castle of the Innominato near Bergamo

Write me!

It is available for sale, original and numbered prints. Please let me know which subject you are interested in.

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Italia Grand Sketching Tour
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