Castello Panicaglia is strategically located on a hill overlooking a valley where the ancient road Via Flaminia winds, along the way to Assisi. For centuries the castle belonged to the Mancini Family.
In 1984, when Pope Pius IX had to flee Rome with his retinue because he was menaced by the troupes of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Mancinis gave shelter within the safe walls of the castle to the Regent Secretary of the Papal State, the Bishop Marini. The Mancinis also helped him escape when a spy discovered and revealed his refuge. After a ferocious battle, all the male members of the family were arrested, sentenced to death, and imprisoned in the Rocca di Spoleto, waiting to be executed. At this point the women of the family lead by Marianna Mancini went to Anita Garibaldi and asked for mercy; their appeal was accepted.
Profoundly grateful to the Mancini Family for their high sense of honour and loyalty to their given word, Pope Pius IX awarded them the title of “Knights of the Papal State”, that was added to the prior title of Marquis and to the family crest that is still visible today in the south-west wing of the castle.
In addition to the prestigious title, the papal seal also established that the male descendants of the Mancini Family who wished to take the vows were awarded the title of Bishop for three generations. The last member of the Family who had that title was Giovanni Battista Mancini. He was the father of Daniele Mancini, renowned architect, and author of the renovation project of the building after the disastrous earthquake in 1997.
These brief historical facts are disclosed with the consent of the last heir of the Family, the Marquise Isabella Mancini di Lanciano.