Originally built as a defensive fortification, the Camozzi Vertova Castle has very ancient origins. Its structure testifies to its early medieval character, and it is indeed one of the oldest castles still preserved in the Lombardy region. The three elements of which it was composed, namely the keep situated at the top of the hill, the fortress positioned on the hillside, to which the keep is said to have been connected by an underground passageway, and the village tower, are all believed to date back to the 10th century. The fortress was originally constructed to defend the Lombardy plains from invaders from the Camonica Valley and the Brenner Pass. In the 12th century, Alberto degli Albertonis de Capitaneis de Vertua, who was the Lodi representative of the Lega Lombarda (Lombard League) military alliance, and who had signed the Peace of Constance in 1183, became its owner. During the Middle Ages, the castle of Costa di Mezzate served as a powerful bulwark of resistance against Niccolò Piccinino, who commanded Duke Filippo Maria Visconti’s troops. Piccinino was in the throes of encircling the Venetian army led by Francesco Gonzaga, when his attempts were successfully blocked by the strenuous defence of the soldiers in the fortress. Over the course of the following centuries, the castle partly lost its character as a medieval fortress, adapting to the spirit of the Renaissance and becoming transformed into a stately home. Notwithstanding these modifications, carried out by Alberto degli Albertoni’s descendants, who gradually abandoned the family name of Albertoni and chose to retain only the surname of Vertova, the building’s fortunes remained closely linked to the Italian history books, as evidenced by documents contained in the archives and visits by illustrious figures such as Margaret of Savoy, the Queen of Italy, and St. Charles Borromeo, who stayed there in the 17th century. The last male progenitor of the Vertova Counts died in the first half of the 1800s; the family line then continued through the female descendants via Countess Elisabetta from the Camozzi de Gherardi Vertova family, whose children scribed the most beautiful pages of the History of the Risorgimento Period in Bergamo (“Storia del Risorgimento Bergamasco”). Now under the ownership of Countess Maria Edvige Palma Camozzi de Gherardi Vertova, the castle, with its ancient towers, frescoed rooms, Italian-style garden and the numerous prestigious works of art it contains, represents a historical and artistic heritage of considerable value. Guided tours can be organised for groups of a minimum of 20 people by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.