Copertino (LE) - Cupertino Castle

Director: Filomena Barbone
Ticket: 5,00 €; Reduced 2,50 €
Opening days and times: Monday-Saturday 8.30-13.30; Closed: Sunday;
Ticket office: Monday-Saturday 8.30-13.30; 
Copertino (LE)
Address: piazza Castello
CAP: 73043
+ 39 0832931612
Fax: + 39 0832931612
Sito web:



The castle was built by the architect Evangelista Menga Nardò between 1530 - 1540, by the will of Marquis Alfonso Granai Castriota, general of Charles V and lord of the vast county, founded by Charles I ofAnjouin 1266.

The Renaissance building is quadrilateral, and encloses the Anjoumastio, a former defensive structure referred to as the first architectural structure. On the north, you can see traces of beams from the drawbridge with the emblem from XV century of Ladislaus of Anjou Durazzo and his wife Mary of Henghien visible on entry.

It is surrounded by four massive corner bastions and a wide moat dug into the rocky bank. Two string-courses and rest of the underground underlines its defensive function.

The entrance displays a magnificent Renaissance portal, flanked by two columns supporting a crown-shaped composite frame containing a series of bosses, outfits, and commemorative bas-reliefs. As well as, medallions embossed with figures of famous people linked to local history. The complex ornamentation that emerges from the door reflects considerable wealth and represents the greatness of the lord.

The entrance leads through a vaulted hall into a courtyard overlooked by buildings of different eras, a well and a three-arched portico bearing the coat of arms of Pinelli Pignatelli family. On the other side, the Angevin stables and tunnels cross the perimeter of fortress. On the right, a small rectangular barrel-vaulted chapel dedicated to St. Mark is characterized by a portal with a tympanum. Inside visitors can admire both sides of the altar. The sarcophagus of the Marquis Uberto and Stefano Squarciafico, who succeeded the Castriota family were made by L. A. Russian from Gallipoli in 1568. The Squarciafico family, owners of the castle since 1557, entrusted artist Strafella Gianserio fromCupertinofor the frescoes.

The architect, who was active inCupertinofrom 1560 to 1577, decorated the environment with figures of saints and scenes from the Old and New Testament. On the vault, there were four Evangelists in imitation stucco on the frame. Only two of them are still visible.

The upper floor, that is accessible through a staircase from the courtyard pool, leads to the “old palace” rooms that were residence of the baron’s. The remains of the frescoes are in the chapel of the Maddalena.