Mistery Tuscany : Crevole Castle & the Bishop’s Ghost : Do you know the Crevole castle? It is located quite close to Murlo, but today of the castle remain only a few ruins on top of a woody hill. Crevole was one of the many properties of the Sienese diocese, and it housed the bishop every time he visited Murlo. It was considered his usual residence.
For a long time the castle hosted troops of the Republic of Siena. Here, sacred and profane coexisted in harmony for a longtime.
Following the turn of events, Crevole suffered the destiny of Siena and the ups and downs of its Republic until the final vittory by the joint forces of Florence and Spain in 1555, after a bloody battle. From that time on, the castle ruins have been subject to the action of time and today, all that remains of the ancient glory, at the top of the hill, is only a mighty tower and a large portion of wall with an arched window facing the sky. All the rest has been taken up by the growing woods covering the whole valley.
All well renowned castles have their own “traditional” ghost, and Crevole is not exception.
Crevole’s ghost is not just a simple soldier who valiantly died defending his post; Crevole’s spirit belongs to a high religious and very powerful figure: Donosdeo Malavolti, Bishop of Siena from 1316 until 1350. Siena had several bishops coming from the Malavolti family. A sign of the noble family today remains in the main Corso of the city: a broken tower nowadays still called Torre dei Malavolti.
Donosdeo Malavolti was a fighter as well as a man of Church. The Bishop was often on the front line but during one particularly bloody siege by the Florentines, Donosdeo Malavolti was struck down and died. Or so they say…as his corpse was never found. Has Donosdeo really departed this life…?
During his years at Crevole, he made many improvements and with these modifications the castle became a real fortress, very hard to conquer. The bishop loved Crevole which was his mansion where he stored numerous written records as well as his never found rich personal library.
The bishop died before the actual destruction took place, so he never witnessed it as it happened two centuries later; but he was so in love with the place that the legend says… he came back there as a ghost.
It is reported that his first appearance was to the victorious army of Francis from Toledo. The soldiers saw a tall, white figure dressed in his tunic with blazing eyes and moving around with a huge crucifix in a hand while screaming at the moon! Soldiers fled in terror but it’s said that the bishop’s ghost lingered for many years after, protecting the land from any further attacks. People didn’t dare live there for many years. The ghostly apparitions continued for long time and, more recently, witnesses describing the paranormal phenomenon still talk about a scary figure only appearing when there is a full moon and with a sound that appears to be like a cry or howling.
He might be expressing his anger for the terrible conditions of his beloved castle. On the other hand, Donosdeo may be trying to tell us something. Some believe he is trying to point us in the direction of his famous library, lost among the ruins of the castle, probably under the castle foundations. I don’t think anyone has ever looked for the precious book collection. If this the case, Donosdeo is right, these books should be saved from oblivion.
Somewhere, among the ruins there is a XIV century old library waiting to be discovered again. It would be so wonderful, like bringing back to life a piece of history. Maybe this would put an end at the ghostly apparitions and the Bishop could finally rest in peace.