Key to Umbria: Montefalco

Patrician Palaces

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Palazzo Bontadosi (16th century)

Clemente Bontadosi built this palace in Piazza del Comune.  He was not born into the Bontdosi family, and it is unclear when and why he was adopted into it.  He became a prominent Franciscan (Provincial Minister for Umbria in 1568-71, Minister General of the Order in 1584-6). 

Clemente Bontadosi played an important role in the political life of Montefalco.  He laid the foundation stone of Santa Maria della Consolazione in 1588.  He became Bishop of Nicastro in 1586 and died there in 1593.  He was buried in the chapel that he had built (in 1589) in San Francesco.  His arms can be seen at the centre of the facade.

The palace now houses the Hotel Palazzo Bontadosi.

Palazzo de Cuppis (rebuilt 1480-9)

Bernardino de Cuppis built this palace in Piazza del Comune.  (His wife, Lucrezia Normanni d‘ Anguillara had been a lover of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II, and the mother of their illegitimate daughter, Felice).  The palace passed to Cardinal Francesco Soderini in 1516, but returned to the de Cuppis family in 1524 when Bernardino’s son, the eminent Cardinal Giovanni Domenico de Cuppis bought and (in 1537-42) restored it.  He is commemorated in the inscription on the elegant portal.

Palazzo Santi Gentili (late 16th century) 

The Oratorians acquired this palace in Piazza del Comune when they arrived in Montefalco in 1697.  The palace functioned as a school from ca. 1860 until 1952.  Its wine cellar now houses the Centro Nazionale Vini Passiti (National Sweet Wines Centre), which the Municipal Council of Montefalco established in 1991.

Palazzi Senili (16th century)

The Senili family owned two palaces in Montefalco:

  1. Ottaviano and Gisberto Senili built the palace in Corso Goffredo Mameli in 1504-7 and extended it in 1513-5.  The facade was ruined in the 19th century, but one of the original windows survives.  The arms of Cardinal Ranuccio Farnese (died 1565) are on the facade as a record of his stays in the palace as a guest of the family.  Frescoes in the interior record the privileges that King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary conferred on Piergentile Senili when the latter acted as an ambassador for Pope Sixtus IV to the Hungarian court in 1478.

  1. Lattanzio Senili built the palace in Piazza del Comune in the early 16th century.  He was later accused of helping troops of the Bande Nere led by Orazio Baglioni to sack Montefalco in 1527, and was lynched in Piazza del Comune.  The inscriptions across the windows of the piano nobile proclaim his virtue and imply the injustice that he suffered.

Palazzi Tempestivi (16th century)

The Tempestivi family were among the most important in Montefalco from the mid-16th century. The family owned two palaces in Montefalco: 

  1. Bernardino Tempestivi , who owned the palace in in Corso Goffredo Mameli, played host to the future St Charles Borromeo in the first of these palaces in 1579: the Confraternita di San Carlo Borromeo was founded here soon after the canonisation of St Charles Borromeo in 1610.  Today, the palace belongs to the Accademia di Montefalco. 

  1. Cherubino Tempestivi, who was the secretary to Pope Clement VIII, built the palace in Via Tempestivi.   The design is sometimes attributed to Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, and the frescoes inside are from the Zuccari workshop.

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