The Pignatelli Della Leonessa Castle is located in the Municipality of San Martino Valle Caudina, on the slopes of the Partenio mountains.

Built in the first half of the 9th century as a defensive fortress by the Lombards, the Castle was renovated several times during the Norman-Swabian rule. In 1343, the fiefdom of San Martino was bought, together with the Castle, by Giovanni Lagonessa, a member of the French Lagonière family who, once settled in Italy, changed their surname to "Della Leonessa". 
In the following centuries, there were various disputes over the ownership of the Castle, until, in the 17th century, the feudal lords of San Martino decided to turn it into a noble residence, thus making it less useful as a fortification. With the end of feudal rule in 1806 and the death of the last male heir of the Della Leonessa dynasty, the Castle passed into the hands of the Pignatelli family, who had it renovated in the 1970s.

The Pignatelli Della Leonessa Castle still retains its original appearance of a medieval fortress. Most of the defensive structures, such as the crenellated walls, watchtowers and walkways, are intact. Equally well preserved are the keep (defensive tower), the Palace, with its large hall with frescoed walls and vaults decorated with friezes and coats of arms, and the rooms, although the latter were reduced in height towards the end of the 17th century, with the addition of wooden ceilings that covered the original pointed and barrel vaults. You can still admire the cistern-like oxbows for collecting rainwater, the prisons and the inner oratory.

Witness to the rich and very important past of San Martino Valle Caudina, the Pignatelli Della Leonessa Castle stands in a dominant position over the entire Irpinian town.

Via Murillo, 1, 83018 San Martino Valle Caudina AV
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Castello Pignatelli Della Leonessa

Via Murillo, 1, 83018 San Martino Valle Caudina AV

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