Santa Cristina



The Castle

History of the Castle

In a strategic position between Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, between Monte Amiata and Lake Bolsena, stands the Castle of Santa Cristina, near Grotte di Castro in the province of Viterbo. Immersed in the green woods of the estate, perched on a tuffaceous rock hill, stands the 18th century Castle of the noble Caterini family.

All around the ancient peasant village, now restored to welcome guests in the comfortable apartments of the ancient structure still intact. The Castle of Santa Cristina has hosted illustrious prelates in the past, such as Cardinal Prospero Caterini, an important advisor to Pope Pius IX and a distinguished figure during the Risorgimento in the passage from the state of the church to the kingdom of Italy. In particular, during 1848 following the expulsion of the pope from Rome by the rioters led by the triumvirate Mazzini-Armellini-Saffi, Pius IX fled and took refuge in Gaeta under the protection of the King of Naples.

In the meantime, Cardinal Caterini had been commissioned by the pope himself to save the treasure of St. Peter with important documents. Then Cardinal Caterini with a caravan of wagons carried out the transport of the values up to his family possession to the residence of Santa Cristina, to then reach the Pope in Gaeta by sea after a stop in Corsica.

After 1848 the Cardinal returned to stay for a long time in the estate administered by his brother Maffeo, which was already a quiet summer residence and hunting lodge of the Caterini family. It was there that he met the Pacelli family who entrusted him with a promising young seminarian named Eugenio to whom he tutored. In fact, over the centuries the history of the Caterini family was often intertwined with that of the Pacelli family, as both lived for a long time in Onano, near the residence of Santa Cristina.

The healthy air of Alta Tuscia was already recommended for people with weak health at the time. Thus it was that Eugenio Pacelli, during his summer holidays as a young seminarian, often came to spend his free time in the company of his relatives Pacelli and Caterini.