The Legends

As many other castles even the Lagopesole one has its legends. The donkey ears The first is related to Frederick I Barbarossa, whose face stands out from the great tower of the castle. On either side of the entrance, placed 4 meters high, there are two shelves with human heads: the one on the right is the face of Beatrice, the second wife of Frederick Barbarossa, while on the left side it is represented the Emperor himself, including his crown, long hair and “donkey ears”. Symbolically these exaggerated ears should represent his power to hear everything and everyone, but the popular tradition tells of a malformation the emperor suffered from birth which forced him at old age to move to the fortress of Lagopesole to hide his very long and pointed ears hidden under long bushy hair. The barber trap Legend has it that, as Frederick Barbarossa was very ashamed of his ears, he devised a way to prevent the barbers who shaved him from revealing his secret. These were addressed in a long corridor at the end of which they inevitably fell into a trap and couldn’t go out. All the barbers were pushed to fall in the trap despite they, terrified, had sworn to keep the discovery for themselves. The secret in the wind But one day, by some fatality, a young barber managed to escape. Fredrick, impressed by the event, saved his life, but only on condition that he would not tell anything outside the castle walls. The boy, scared, kept his word, but the temptation was so strong that one day he ran away from Lagopesole reaching a secluded spot where he dug a deep hole and I shouted at the top of his voice: “Frederick Barbarossa has donkey ears “and came home with one less worry. But after a while, in the same place some reeds germinated which, moved by the wind, seemed to be uttering words revealing the secret. Even today these lands people use to sing a refrain with these verses. We do not know the final end of the barber. The ghost of the fortress Related to Frederick’s castle there is a story, even more typically legendary, about a ghost and a full moon night, when it seems to hear, near the castle, the screams and sobs of a desperate woman. Apparently this is Elena degli Angeli, the wife of Manfred of Swabia, who dressed in white and with a lamp in her hand, comes back to a place that saw her happy to search her beloved and her children lost forever. The eternal search Elena had spent her honeymoon in the fortress, and with her husband and children had lived the best moments of her short life. Then came the Angevins and her life was shocked: Manfredi was killed, the children imprisoned in Castel del Monte and Elena, imprisoned by order of Carlo d’Angiò in the same fortress, was left to die of starvation. While the ghost of Elena wanders the castle, the ghost of Manfredi wanders in the countryside below riding his white horse, with a nice green mantle, also in search of his wife and children. But the search of the couple is eternal and they seem to be destined to never meet. Source: