Sambucetole - Amelia in Umbria

The foundation of the Castle of Sambucetole, which was an outpost of Amelia against the Castle of Laguscello, owned by the Chiaravalle and which served to guard the territories against Todi, dates back to the end of the 13th century. The first known document mentioning the Castle dates back to the Statutes of Amelia of 1308. In 1408, following an attack on Sismano, Captain Francesco degli Atti devastated Sambucetole in retaliation. In 1413, the town was destroyed by Paolo Orsini and the inhabitants fled.

In 1425, the Municipality of Amelia undertook to renovate the castrum and to recall the absent Sambucetolans through a notice, otherwise their assets would be confiscated. The castrum was rebuilt and repopulated only in 1471 thanks to the work of a certain Messer Nicolao Coclite, a Greek nobleman from the Peloponnese. He led thirty-four families of Schiavoni settlers (a term used at the time to indicate the Balkan Slavic populations) to cultivate the land and settle in the Sambucetole Castle. It should be noted that until the Second World War the inhabitants of the surrounding villages called the inhabitants of Sambucetole “slaves”.

The ancient castle was surrounded by walls and had a single entrance door. Several interventions carried out after 1880 have altered its original structure. However, some sections of the perimeter walls and three defense towers remain, one of which was transformed into the current bell tower in 1793. The parish church, dating back to the 14th century, is dedicated to Saint Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. Over time it has undergone several transformations and renovations.

Today it is possible to admire behind the main altar a canvas from 1639 by the Sienese painter Marcantonio Grecchi, which depicts the patrons San Matteo Evangelista, San Ubaldo and the co-patron San Rocco together with the Holy Family. In the right chapel there is a canvas depicting the Madonna of the Rosary among the Saints (mid-17th century), while under the altar there is a wooden statue representing the Deposed Christ, known as “Dead Christ” (17th century). In the left chapel there is a canvas depicting Saints Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of Padua, Maddalena, Apollonia and the Holy Trinity (first half of the 17th century). Under the altar is the body of San Clemente Martire, patron saint of Sambucetole since 1785, when the parish priest Monsignor Stefano Perelli had the saint’s remains transferred from the San Ciriaco cemetery in Rome to Sambucetole, where they were placed in an urn wood in the parish church on May 16th, the day on which the patron saint is celebrated.

Among the places of interest nearby we can mention, south-east of the castle along Via Amerina, the Church of San Giacomo in Redere, located inside the Convent of the Capuchin Friars.

One kilometer north of the castle are the ruins of the Castello di Lacuscello, from which you can enjoy a remarkable view of the steep cliff that descends to the lake below formed by the Rio Grande.