The History of the Castle of Lurano
The history of the ‘Castle’ of Lurano is intertwined with that of the locality of the same name, located in the middle of the Bergamo plains, a territory rich in water and favorable to the cultivation and breeding of livestock. Archaeological finds attest to the settlement since Roman times.
Probably the first defensive structures in Lurano were built in the early Middle Ages, as a fortified enclosure within which the inhabitants of the houses scattered in the countryside took refuge in case of danger. The ‘Castle’, as such, is mentioned for the first time in a document of the year 1216.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the history of Lurano and the Castle are marked by conflicts between the dominant families and related violence and military clashes for domination.
In February 1407, the castle was besieged and then set on fire by the militias of Jacopo dal Verme.
From the 1428 the territory of Bergamo is annexed to the Most Serene Republic of Venice. Lurano is thus located in a strategic position on the border between the State of Milan and the Venetian Republic and becomes a defensive outpost.
The Secco Suardo Family
In the fifteenth century it became the property of the Secco family, lords of Caravaggio. In the 1483 Socino II Secco instructs the military architect Venturino Moroni to carry out important works.
In the 1517 Socino II Secco, following the marriage of his daughter Maria with Ludovico Suardo, gives to the nephew Marco Antonio Suardo all the property of Lurano with the clause of combining the two surnames Secco and Suardo.
The Castle became one of the main residences of the Secco Suardo family where, through the generations, it continued to live and to leave historical, professional and personal testimonies.
In the first part of the seventeenth century the Castle is the theater of the struggles between Galeazzo Secco Suardo and Bernardino Visconti which inspired Alessandro Manzoni for the character of the “Unnamed”.
In the eighteenth century, by work of Girolamo Secco Suardo, realized the first Botanical Garden of the province of Bergamo with over two thousand plant species.
In the nineteenth century it was the residence and laboratory of Giovanni Secco Suardo, historical reference figure of Italian restoration.
From the 1991 in the Castle of Lurano there is the Center for Studies and Research on the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage, named after Giovanni Secco Suardo, and the National Historical Archives of Italian Restorers.
It is still today residence of the Secco Suardo family.