Monteleone: between Rite and Myth

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Palaces and Monuments

Piersanti Palace

Typology: mansion
Chronology: XVI-XVIII century
Piersanti Palace, rebuilt between 1704 and 1709 by the jurist Antonio Piersanti (helped by his Roman patron, Cardinal. Gaspare Carpegna), is composed by two buildings and is characterized by a corner, a rusticated portal and a small tanker to collect rainwater.
Palazzo Piersanti, costituito in origine da due diverse unità abitative, è noto anche come “Casa del Cardinale”. Il complesso si presenta con un angolo e un elegante portale in bugnato, un bel marcapiano e una piccola cisterna aggettante per la raccolta delle acque piovane. La parte inferiore dell’edificio presenta un rinforzo a scarpa, posteriore al sisma del 1703. Il restauro è da attribuirsi all’eminente giurista Antonio Piersanti (nato a Monteleone di Spoleto verso la metà del XVII secolo), che, come attestano due iscrizioni e uno stemma Carpegna, viene probabilmente aiutato dal suo facoltoso protettore, il Cardinale Gaspare Carpegna (dedicatario nel 1702 del proprio libro “Il leone degl’ Appenini”, una raccolta di memorie storiche, religiose e sociali di Monteleone). La famiglia Piersanti, originaria di Gavelli (fraz. di Sant’Anatolia di Narco (PG)), è documentata a Monteleone dagli inizi del XVII secolo, con proprietà a Nempe e lo juspatronato della Chiesa del Carmelo.

Between the beautiful Via degli Archi and the underlying Via di San Francesco, at the first defensive circuit, built around the years 1265-1266, there is a complex of houses between which Piersanti Palace stands for its architectural features typical of the Renaissance. The building, originally composed of two different units, then connected to each other, it is also known as the "House of the Cardinal". Both units overlook Via degli Archi nn.6-8, leaving spaces below used as deposit and warehouses. The complex shows a corner and an elegant rusticated portal (also called "Barburozza") and a nice belt course, above which there are two arched windows. Alongside the portal there is a small cistern for collecting and recycling rainwater, conveyed by the pitch of the roof and projecting on the street. Inside there is still a big and tall chimney (provided inside by the fire room) and a window overlooking the street below. The lower part of the building, as in the adjacent housing, is thickened by a scarp wall, made during the restoring works after the disastrous earthquake of January 1703. The building, as it is documented by some elements placed in Via San Francesco at number 2, i.e. two inscriptions (one walled in the entrance hall inside) and one coat of arms of Cardinal Gaspare Carpegna (Rome, 8th May 1625 - Rome, 6th April 1714), is inextricably linked to the jurist Antonio Piersanti and his eminent patron, who probably helps him in the restoration and recovery of the property. The inscriptions dated respectively 1704 and 1709 say:
FAVSTIS AUSPICIIS EMINENTISSIMI / PRINCIPIS GASPARIS CARDINALIS CARPINEIS / ANTONIVS PIERSANTI HAEREDITARIAM / DOMVM VETVSTATE ET AERE ALIENO / PERGRATAM TERREMOTV CONCVSSAM VIA / INTERMEDIA CLAVSA VINDICAVIT CONSTABILIVIT / ANNO DOMINI MDCCIV” (With the favors of the Most Reverend Prince Cardinal Gaspare Carpegna, Antonio Piersanti rescued, repaired and increased the father's house, weighed down by years and by debts, ruined by the earthquake and with the blocked access. The Year of the Lord 1704.
AVSPICIIS / EMINENTISSIMI · PRINCIPIS / GASPARIS · CARDINALIS · DE · CARPINEO / ANTONIVS · PIERSANCTES / CONSTABILIVIT · ADAVXIT / MDCCIX ” (Under good auspices of the Most Reverend Cardinal, Gaspare Carpegna, Antonio Piersanti reinforced and extended in 1709).
Antonio is born in Monteleone around the mid-seventeenth century by Orsola Sereni, daughter of Girolamo and Bonaventura Sinibaldi, and Giuliano de Piersantes. In 1670 he graduates in canon law at the University of Fermo and begins a successful career in various offices and ecclesiastical chancelleries, so much so that, in the years 1676-1678, is in Rimini as lieutenant governor of Mons. Peter Paul Corbelli. After that, he is in Rome, together with his wife Michelangela Salvatori, where there are already several family transplanted to Carpegna service, to whom in 1702 he dedicates the opening of his book "The Lion of the Apennines" (a short but rich collection of historical, religious and social memories of Monteleone). The Piersanti family from Gavelli (district of Sant'Anatolia Narco (PG)), is documented in Monteleone di Spoleto by the early seventeenth century, with some properties in Nempe and giuspatronato in the Church of Carmel. The family is related to the most illustrious families of that time, such as Sereni, Bianchi, Salvatori and Sinibaldi, amongst them there worth of notice people such as D. Gentile, founder of the company of the Conception and parish priest of Santa Maria de Equo in 1600, D. Luigi, vicar in 1652, and D. Luca Antonio, parish priest of Santa Maria de Equo, who at his own expense in 1690 runs the restoration works in the local Franciscan monastery and donates paintings depicting the Passion.