Duchy of Castro

The Duchy of Castro was a fiefdom in central Italy formed in 1537 from a small strip of land on what is now Lazio's border with Tuscany, centred on Castro, Lazio, a fortified city on a tufa cliff overlooking the Fiora River which was its capital and ducal residence. Technically a vassal state to the Papal States, it in fact enjoyed de facto independence under the rule of the House of Farnese until 1649, when it was subsumed back into the Papal States and administered by the House of Stampa di Ferentino.[1]

Duchy of Castro

Ducato di Castro  (Italian)
Ducatus Castri  (Latin)
Motto: Castrum civitas fidelis
StatusVassal of the Papal States
Common languagesLatin, Italian
GovernmentNon-sovereign monarchy
Pier Luigi Farnese (first)
Ranuccio II Farnese (last)
Historical eraEarly modern era
 Created by Pope Paul III
 Disestablished. Ranuccio II is forced to cede the lands back to Pope Innocent X
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Papal States
Papal States
Today part of Italy

The title of Duke of Castro has been held since the late 1860s by the claimant to the headship of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, since the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was annexed to the newborn Kingdom of Italy. Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro currently holds the tile.

It was created a duchy by Pope Paul III (1534–1549) in the bull Videlicet immeriti on 31 October 1537, with his son Pier Luigi Farnese and his firstborn male heirs as its dukes. It only lasted little more than 110 years and was eclipsed by the Farnese's possessions in Parma. It stretched from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Lago di Bolsena, in the strip of land bounded by the river Marta and the river Fiora, stretching back to the Olpeta stream and the lago di Mezzano, from which the Olpeta flows. The duchy of Latera and county of Ronciglione were annexed to it.

Wars of Castro

List of Dukes of Castro


  1. Lunario Romano, Palazzi Municipali del Lazio 1984
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