Palazzo Paradisi – Chiesa di S. Pietro e Belvedere

The majestic structure that rises above the central square is the ancient Castle of the Rocca, consisting of the historic Porta Marina, the main building and the church of S. Pietro. The book Il Libro d’Oro della Città di Montalto (The Golden Book of Montalto) identifies Gianfrancesco Paradisi as the forefather of the family, as part of the aristocracy of Montalto and is listed in the Municipal Statutes of 1586. Actually, the Paradisi family has lived in Montalto from time immemorial. In 1461, Menicuccio (Domenico) Paradisi is mentioned in the municipal accounts. The adjoining church of S. Pietro, originally the palace chapel, restored in 1606 to house the remains of the first bishop of Montalto, Monsignor Paolo Emilio Giovannini, overlooks one of the panoramic terraces of Montalto: the Belvedere. The complex included the ancient theatre of the Rocca or Teatro de’ Nobili, which was unfortunately demolished in the 1960s. This was the centre of cultural, recreational and theatrical activities, patronised especially in more recent times by the Countess Fanny who many still remember. Fanny was the last of the family line and the whole building, totally abandoned, was bought by the Municipality in 1990 and largely restored with subsequent funding.It is now used currently for events and exhibitions.