The Borromeo Castle of Peschiera (Peschiera Borromeo – Milan) is the oldest possession in Lombardy of the Borromeo family, originally from San Miniato in Tuscany. The Borromeo, who were merchants and bankers, moving to Lombardy had developed their commercial and financial activities abroad, and in 1435, the Banco Filippo Borromeo & Compagni set up a branch in London to increase traffic with United Kingdom too. In 1432, Vitaliano Borromeo obtains from the Duke Filippo Maria Visconti, who had for him high esteem, the right to fortify Peschiera which, born as a rural building (farmhouse), takes on the appearance of a castle. San Carlo Borromeo (1538 – 1584) was the owner of Peschiera from 1562 to 1567, when he renounced it in favor of his uncle Julius Caesar. In the last twenty years of the sixteenth century, the castle of Peschiera was entirely restored by Renato, son of Julius Caesar and brother of that Federico who, having become cardinal, is remembered by Manzoni in “I promessi sposi”. It was Renato who gave the building its present residential character to the detriment of every previous military aspect. The castle Borromeo is one of the few still surrounded by a moat full of water, as it had been excavated more than five centuries ago.
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