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Torre di Carugo

Via Torre, Carugo

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History and Architecture

In the state of Milan, from the year 900 to the year 1000, feudal authority was in the hands of “counts”, whose jurisdictions were known as “rural countships”. The oldest and most highly considered of these was the Contada del Martesana, with its 12 parishes of Alzate, Desio, Seveso, Asso, Incino (Erba), Cantù, Missaglia, Oggiono, Garlate, Brivio, Vimercate and Mariano. At the beginning of the 11th century the Milanese countryside was in fact organized into pievi, or parishes, each of which had a council and was under the spiritual authority of the archbishop and the temporal authority of the republic of Milan. From the year 1000 to 1300 there was a period of intense conflict between nobles exiled from Milan and the people; in these struggles political (conflict between the communes and the empire), social (conflict between the common people and the nobility) and religious (conflict between orthodox Catholics and heretics) issues went hand in hand. It was in this period that Carugo and its environs entered the annals of the nation’s history. In August 1222 the powerful castle, whose presence is documented since the year 892 and from which the Carugo family (one of the two hundred families that made up the Milanese nobility) took its name and origin, was captured, sacked and destroyed by the Podestà of Milan, Ardigotto Marcellino, during the strife that arose between nobles and the common people. It is said that, after destroying the castle Ardigotto did not dare advance on Cantù, where the archbishop of Milan, Enrico da Settala, had taken refuge with the nobles, because on Assumption Day a great comet had appeared, outshining the moon that was full at the time. A tradition, part written and part handed down orally, holds that in that castle Count Carugo (a figure who has yet to be identified historically!), committed abuses, acts of violence and crimes of every sort; that there were also trapdoor and underground passages which in fact still exist. Legend also has it that he tried to seduce the girls of the village and that one of these, warned of his arrival, cut off a finger in the hurry to hide herself in a chest. Finally it is said that the population, tired of the oppression of this count, entrusted a barber with the task of killing him while he trimmed his beard. Some oral accounts claim that the castle of the cuntcarùc, as he is called in the local dialect, also comprised the “curt del Vilùm” on Via Diaz and that the tower was used to keep a watch on the plain: the fact that they had the same owner is demonstrated by the passage (the “lair of cunt Carùc” the old people used to call it) that connects the two residences underground. Another underground passage led down to the plain.

Hours of opening to the public

Not open for visits.