The striking Piccolomini Castle in Celano (province of L’Aquila) comprises a perfectly symmetrical, rectangular central block that has slightly protruding corner towers with bartizans and merlons. The walls surround an elegant interior courtyard whose well at the centre is surrounded on all sides by an arched portico accessed through the imposing entrance way. Arches also feature in the upper floor loggia. The building is encircled by an irregular defensive wall which was reinforced by square turrets.
The castle’s establishment was attributed to Pietro De' Berardi who built the curtain and the first two storeys in 1392. Building was continued by Lionello Acclozamora. However, it was Antonio Piccolomini who transformed the castle from a military construction to an elegant residence. Restoration work on the serious earthquake damage caused in 1915 began in 1940 but was interrupted by WWII, it was later continued in 1955 and completed in 1960.
Today, the castle of Celano houses the offices of the Soprintendenza del Ministero della Cultura, the National Museum of Sacred Art della Marsica and a prestigious collection of archaeological artefacts belonging to the Torlonia family.