Country House Palazzone was built in medieval times and is located not far from Rocca Ripesena in the area northwest of Orvieto, in Umbria.
This building is an exceptional example of a country residence: it possesses all the characteristics of a town palazzo, even though it stands alone at the top of a hill in the open countryside. Its architectural structure and construction elements, as well as its ornamental details, can indeed be seen in the most important civic buildings in the town of Orvieto from the late 1200s -such as the Palazzo del Popolo and the Papal Palace- all of which allow us to specify the type and date the building, placing it alongside those similar palaces built in town in the last quarter of the 13th century.
A more intriguing challenge was that of establishing what type of function (other than simply residential) the Country House Palazzone might have had in the area. Historical research has provided some plausible answers to this mystery. According to the documentation gathered, Monaldo Monaldeschi della Cervara, an Orvieto historian from the noble family that dominated the town in the 14th century, wrote in his Comentari historici, printed in Venice in 1584, that Boniface VIII named “…Teodorico di Ranieri Cardinal and Commander of the Patrimony in the year 1299. This Cardinal had the Palace built in the square of Santa Christina in Volsena and the Palace below Rocca di Ripeseno…”.
Given its residential-type architecture and its relatively isolated location in the countryside near Orvieto, the Palazzone was very likely built as a hospitalis, or hostel, for prelates and travelers or as a station for pilgrims headed toward Rome, as the first Jubilee was officially proclaimed by Boniface VIII in 1300.
Now the Palazzone is, in Umbria, one of the most evocative Country Houses.