Origin of the name
The story of Valle Rosais really a little piece of history of Spoleto. Valle Rosa’s history is linked to the events of an ancient farmhouse with a tower situated in a hilly position respect to the Flaminia Road in Sustrico hamlet, about one and a half km from Spoleto coming from the Pass of the Somma (Terni). The earliest historical record of this area is a provision of Municipal Statutes of Spoleto in 1296 which says that the hamlet of Sustrico is qualified in the group of official villas of Spoleto town.
Valle Rosa or rather Valley Bosa name, as the latter is the true origin of the name still in use, dates back at least to the fourteenth century. From the land registry of 1345 of a man named Paletto di Giglietto Patricano (Patrico is a mountain village of Spoleto) coming from Vaita St. Benedict (the Vaite were the oldest subdivisions of Spoleto). We know that he had an arable land in the villa of Patrico precisely in Valle Bosa hamlet. It’s a rarity to find a written document statement dating back almost 700 years ago, where there is a place name still well known and used today.
Probably the name was born as the valley of such a boso, and to give the name to the genre of the word, valley has turned into bosa, but we find often also valle bose. Only in the cadastral map of 1939 the name is changed into Valle Rosa and just hence the current name of the country house. The new name would have originated from an error of transcription: since the land registers at the end of ‘800 are alternating “Valle Rosa” and “Valle Bosa” followed by the prevalence of the latter, actually historically incorrect. Hence then, strange as it was born the name of Valle Rosa now known and affirmed as associated to the country house activity.
The tower, the farmhouse and the fresco
In the oldest part of the house a remarkable fresco of ‘400 attracts the attention of visitors. It’s a typical devotional icon of refined Madonna with Child in her arms and is the work of an unknown but talented local painter of the Umbrian school. Fortunately there is its creation date but, lacking a roman number, the doubt is whether AD. 1433 or A.D. 1473! The tower is undoubtedly the distinctive architectural element, and certainly the fundamental element around which are subsequently arose the other portions of the building. It’s not excluded, given the amount and dominance on the major route of communication (Flaminia) at the gates of Spoleto, that it was born as a tower for military use of warning and control. Only later used as a dovecote. The dovecote is inspired in its architecture to the towers that rose in the various mansions of the town. These towers spread very much throughout the campaign because they were built by nobles and bourgeois families for the control and agricultural exploitation of their possessions.
The house was once divided into two buildings: a “casino” with function of rustic manor house and a real farmhouse symmetrically constructed to the tower: a farmhouse with agricultural remittance function, stable and upstairs residence for farmers. In what was once the casino, at the “front room” of Diana hall, there is an old window where you can see the signs of a railing of protection and, in the courtyard of the current Venus hall, there is a sixteenth-century door, now transformed into the kitchen window which was probably the main entrance of the house. The current large reception hall, the Diana hall, was instead built at about half ‘900 transforming spaces once used as stables in a cozy and large dining room.The two buildings, the tower with the house and the casino, were united by a portion of the building in the second half of ‘900, too, and that has made the complex take its present “U” shape with the characteristic small internal courtyard, once manor yard of the farmhouse.
Few hotel or country huouse can claim to have found in the documents who was the owner of more than 500 years ago! In fact in 1478 there is a cadastral record attributable to Mr. Anselmo Bernabeo of Sanpuccio, belonging to Vaita St. Benedict in Spoleto where we read that
… Terram habet aream cum domo in circuit civitatis et vocabulo Valley Bosa …
(… he holds a land, threshing floor with house in the circuit of the Spoleto town in Valle Bosa hamlet …).Probably as well as being one of the first owners of the tower and the farmhouse was he the patron of the fresco ?!
It was not possible to understand how and why but the property passed to the important Mauri family and the news comes from a 1545 land registry parchment which says that among his possessions Francesco Mauri:
… Terram habet cum palatio et domibus in Circuit Spoleti et vacabulo Valley Bosa iuxta viam in pede et aliis duobus lateribus, bonam heredum Francisci Cottalbrodi in duobus. Que est modioli triginta et unus staria octo and Pugilli tres. Extimata for modiolum florenos triginta; capit VCCCCLIIII pounds (954 pounds) solidos XVIII.
(… Has land with building and houses in Spoleto circuit, Valle Bosa hamlet, bordering on the way up and the other two sides, the property of the heirs of Francesco Cottalbrodi for two sides, surface 31 modioli, 8 bushels and 3 Pugilli, estimated 30 florins for modioli; the pound is equal to 954 pounds…)
From now on and until the end of 1700 the house has been owned by the Mauri, the original noble family of the Valnerina and settled in Spoleto. Among the most important members of this family was Andrea Mauri; it was he who in 1623, owner of Valle Rosa, was the financier of the construction of the new Chapel of the SS. Icons of the Cathedral. In addition to being a noble of Spoleto, he was the General Prefect of Posts and Customs under pontifical of Paul V and Urban VIII, fact which generated the fortunes of the family that soon would build the great Palazzo Mauri, now the town library of Spoleto.
After him, the estate passed to his sons for inheritance, they divided up the woods around the house and then to the grandchildren. Among these descendants there was also such a Domenico Prior of the Cathedral of Spoleto, heir of Ridolfi nobles so that the surname became Mauri-Ridolfi. It has also found news of an inventory of 1761 of the assets of the estate of Carlo Mauri where he meticulously describes the furniture present in the Valle Bosa casino and it was he who designated heir his nephew, who was daughter of his sister Didona Mauri and Giovanni Bonavisa.
Among successions and noble heritages
From the end of ‘700 to early 800 the estate passed to the Marquise Barbara Bonavisa, Mauri heiress and wife of Girolamo Guadagnoli, a Marquis native of Collescipoli near Terni. The couple designated as successor their daughter Colomba Guadagnoli, who got possession of Valle Rosa from 1805 to 1834. The 1835 Gregorian land registry shows the building in the particle 467 as “farmhouse with court” properties of Lady Marquise Colomba Guadagnoli, under the name “Valle Bosa hamlet” belonging to the land of Saint Anne. Just above Valle Rosa stood in fact the former convent of Saint Anne, the first Capuchin friars settlement in Spoleto of at least 1535.
By subsequent papers results that the estate passed to Count Alfonso Sermattei Della Genga, nephew of Pope Leone XII (the Pope Annibale della Genga was in fact his father’s brother and then Alfonso’s uncle). The Marquise Guadagnoli besides having inherited by her mother Marquise Bonavisa, many of the goods of the Mauri, was also heir of her husband Lorenzo De Domo Alberini, last descendant of another ancient and noble family of Spoleto. Precisely through the will of Colomba all came in Genga descent and among them also many rustic goods that were of Mauri as Valle Bosa farmhouse.
Instead the nearby Sustrico lands belonged from at least 1500 to the noble Leti and that after several changes of ownership were resold to Antonelli in 1851. Just by Antonelli was in fact built in 1892 the access bridge still in use to reach Valle Rosa: there is still a plaque on the bridge that reminds Antonelli and Della Genga who had made available part of Valle Rosa land for its construction. The estate was once crossed by the so-called “Road of Patricani” used by shepherds and farmers of the small village of Patrico who came down from the mountain to get to town and sell their products.
Count Alfonso Della Genga died in 1877 without direct male heirs, and so, as he had established in his will, the assets would go to the descendants of the daughters of his brother Cristoforo. In 1884, year of the birth of the designated heir, the property passed to Federico Della Genga De Domo Alberini son of Maria Della Genga and Rodolfo Pucci Boncambj. The young heir was born in Perugia, town of the noble paternal origin, and kept Valle Rosa property until 1951, when it was ceded by Count Federico to Mr. Pietro Pirotta, son of an important botanist who kept it for about twenty years.
It was the Second World War period, a long period of aristocratic owners of Valle Rosa was over, but it was also to end a farming world based on sharecropping farms and the farmhouses, where farm families divided in half the yeld with the noble landowners.
i frutti con i nobili possidenti.
A FAMILY HISTORY
In the second half of the ‘900 the cottage began to lose its function as a farmhouse, and since 1970 under the ownership of the Ferretti family, who had taken over from Pirotta, it was used as oil mill and restaurant. Finally in 1993 the estate was bought by Alberto Filippi and his family.
From this moment on, the story of Valle Rosa is also a bit the one of the people who currently run it. Alberto Filippi, father and grandfather of the current managers, was originally from Baiano di Spoleto and after a work life in Rome and then in Ardea, where he managed a salami-ham factory of Cecconi Paolo company, fell in love with this beautiful house that attracted his eyes each time he returned from Rome in his beloved Spoleto. As thoughtful and far-sighted person, he decided to invest the sacrifices of a life’s work in his hometown and finally, after and thanks to skilfull and careful restoration works in May 15, 1994 Valle Rosa Banqueting Centre was inaugurated!
The centre succeeded soon, thanks to the contribution of valid still present employees, as impressive and successful location for all types of banquets and weddings. Over time Valle Rosa has expanded, the pool and then new houses were made and, while maintaining the initial vocation of the restaurant for banquets, starting from the original centre has become a prestigious country hotel with family hospitality and a modern tourist reception attentive to the typical Umbrian cooking.
The business is now managed and handled, with the help of a reliable and professional staff, by Carlo Filippi, who moves with passion and love continuing with dedication and sacrifice the activity took over by his father Alberto. Alongside Carlo is his son Matteo, history as well as art and music lover, he also dedicated himself to the research of historical documents on the ancient Valle Bosa farmhouse… rather Valle Rosa!