How to reach
From Rome: take the A24 motorway towards Pescara and exit at Vicovaro-Mandela. Continue on the SR5 and Via dei Cavoni in the direction of Borgo Mandela / Via S. Cosimato in Mandela.
From Rome Tiburtina take the regional train to Avezzano, stop
Valley of the Aniene-Mandela-Sambuci. From the station continue on foot for about 3 km until arrival.
For train timetables, see the Trenitalia website (www.trenitalia.it)
The Castle offers today the same opportunity, as in the Grand Tour, to go for walks in the beautiful countryside where the Latin poet Horace used to meditate and walk, and which was consacrated as an ideal view in the 17th Century by the German painter Jacob Phillip Hackert (1737-1807), considered to be the artistic heir of Lorrain and Poussin one hundred years later.
The Ancient Roman village called Pagus Mandela, conquered by the Romans in 5th Century BC, which Horace talks of in his first Epistle, is buried in the grounds of the Castle in the same view painted by Hackert.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, for the defensive reasons the population moved up hill at Cantalupo while the defensive out post was at Bardella (Mandela castle).
In the 16th Century a powerful and cultured family of Spanish and Portuguese origin, the Nunez- Sanchez, transformed the fortress into a castle of leisure and built a formal garden high up in the court with a magnificent belvedere from where to see these views.
In the 18th Century, Goethe, Lord Byron and Corot and many other travellers of the Grand Tour came to see the ideal view. Corot drew the Gardens of Horace in France after his visit in the area.
In the 19th Century, Julie Bonaparte, who married Alessandro del Gallo, of the present family, held an international literary salon in Mandela, where Julie hosted painters, poets and intellectuals in their Grand Tour.
Julie and Alessandro bordered with trees the beautiful landscapes immortalized by Hackert, including the ruins and medieval towers, turning them into a naturally landscaped parkland. Just beneath the castle they also built a romantic wood, with paths and open spaces for summer enjoyment, which has its own microclimate, and which has been restored to its original enchantment and can be visited today.