When we talk about the castle of Mussomeli, in the province of Caltanissetta, one can't help but remember the legend of the ghost of Laura Carini. Young and beautiful, the baroness was killed by her father and it seems that her ghost still haunts the rooms of the manor today in search of justice. Wanted by Manfredi III Chiaramonte, between 1364 and 1367, on remains dating back to the Swabian dynasty, the castle stands on a cliff, about 800 meters above sea level. Within its walls it holds more than one mystery and this makes it extremely fascinating.
Its rooms have witnessed important historical events and disturbing facts that have, over time, become legend. Laura's tragic death is just one of them. It is also told of three princesses (Clotilde, Margherita and Costanza, daughters of Prince Federico) who died here walled up in a room, and of the killing of a Spanish soldier.
The Mussomeli Castle was owned by various noble families: from the Chiaramonte to the Moncada, de Prades, Castellar, Perapertusa, Ventimiglia, Campo. He moved on to Cesare Lanza in 1549 and remained the property of his family for over four centuries. It was inhabited until the beginning of the 1600s, then used as a prison. The first recovery interventions date back to the end of the XNUMXth century. After then, it was restored other times, until a few years ago. It was also the set of a film inspired by the story of the Baroness of Carini.
The legend of Laura Lanza is linked to the castle of Mussomeli, perhaps more than any other. She was the daughter of Don Cesare Lanza, Baron of Trabia and Count of Mussomeli. At the will of her father she married the Baron of Carini at the age of just 14. Don Vincenzo la Grua Talamanca. The young woman soon found herself spending her days alone because her husband often went away on business. She started seeing other people, including the charming one Ludovico Vernagallo of Montelepre, cousin of Don Vincenzo. Their acquaintance soon gave rise to insinuations: it was said that the two were lovers.
The rumor did not take long to reach the ears of the girl's father who, to defend the honor of the house, went to the castle of Carini. It was the night of December 4, 1563. Here, the two lovers were caught together and shot with a harquebus. The room in which the double crime took place is located in the western wing of the Carini castle. Legend has it that on one wall of that room there remained the bloody imprint of Laura's hand who, having been shot to death, leaned on it before falling to the floor and expiring.
Repentant, Cesare Lanza took refuge in the castle of Mussomeli, but the ghost of his daughter followed him and still today wanders through the rooms of the manor in search of her father, to understand the reason for such cruelty.
A ghost with human features
Witnesses claim to have seen the ghost of the beautiful Baroness of Carini wandering around the rooms of the manor. Laura's ghost would have realistic human features and, if it weren't for her sixteenth-century clothes, she could be confused with a real woman. The young she would wear a wide silk skirt with a bodice and a finely embroidered shawl over it.
Some claim to have seen her praying in the castle chapel, others, however, wandering in the larger rooms. The fortress, also known as Manfredonico castle, is a grandiose architectural work. A true Sicilian jewel, also custodian of numerous archaeological treasures from the prehistoric, Roman, Muslim and Byzantine eras.
(Photo: Mussomeni Castle; Carini Castle, Facebook Pages)