THE HISTORY OF PALAZZO MINCIOTTI

palazzo-storia-1Palazzo Minciotti is located in the heart of the higher part of the old city of Assisi, right opposite the Cathedral of San Rufino. It has belonged to the Minciotti family since the middle of the nineteenth century, initially as a dowry brought by Countess Giulia Cilieni Nepis, the descendant of an aristocratic family of the middle ages. Giulia’s father was a famous painter in Assisi, one of the first to use the lithographic method.

The Cileni Nepis are mentioned in the Assisi history books along with the Fiumi family, their historical and most bitter rivals. The fighting that went on for centuries between these two aristocratic families was an integral part of the city’s history and even now there is a rivalry among the descendants which, mellowed by time, takes the form of civilized and jocular debates.

palazzo-storia-2Like many other nineteenth century families, this too was very large. Countess Giulia and Salvatore Minciotti Sr had eight children, but only one of them, Edoardo, the grandfather of the current owners, got married and had an only son. Three of the eight children took religious vows. In particular, Matilde became the Prioress of the Benedectine Monastery for 25 years and lived the Fascist years courageously. She hid many Jewish families in her convent, saving them from the persecution of those dark years. An American movie called Assisi Underground portrays those episodes of racist persecution and protection of the Jews by the Benedectine nuns under the guide of Prioress Matilde Minciotti.

In the entrance hall of the Palazzo the family coat-of-arms is displayed along with the photograph of Giulia and Salvatore surrounded by their children. Much of the furniture and paintings in the apartments, including the iron bed frames, are original.

palazzo-storia-3Currently Palazzo Minciotti belongs to Edoardo and Sofia Minciotti who have worked tirelessly, like their father Salvatore before them, to keep it in the best possible condition with restoration work, but in the total respect of the original features both externally and internally. The family vicissitudes have allowed the Palazzo and its garden to remain intact under one ownership. The splendid terraced garden is on three levels and guests can use both its common and reserved areas. It has wonderful views towards the Rocca Maggiore fortress above the city and it is said that the black rose and the musk rose, very rare in those days, were cultivated here long ago. In the garden there is also a small swimming pool, the only innovation in an otherwise authentic and intact environment. The pool is 5 meters wide and 1.2 meters deep.