The Castle of Palazzo di Assisi was founded in the last quarter of the 1300s. Cambio, feudal lord of Lombard origins, erected this fortified village by perimeter walls. His heirs (hence the name ‘Castle of the sons of Cambio’ – ‘Castello dei figli di Cambio‘) added the towers with massive walls later, those that today make up the four corners of the village: the castle was done! The fort was thus able to play a role of major importance in the continuous wars between Perugia and nearby Assisi, becoming the last defensive rampart opposite to Perugia before they could point to no more obstacles of Assisi.
The castle is set in a marshy area. Still today, the signs of the ancient drawbridge are intact. They are symbol of a rich history of businesses that came and went from Palazzo to Assisi. The Lord of the castle ‘changed’ goods and coins, for this reason the name ‘Change’ (Cambio).
Since the Middle Ages, it was the thriving milling business and the production of meat. In times of peace the inhabitants took advantage of the defensive moat of the castle by planting mulberry and blackberry trees. The leaves of these plants were then sold at public auction. Also in this period they also took advantage of the wicker plants that grew spontaneously on the banks of the river Chiascio, hence the age-old craft tradition of wickerwork.
Its strategic location for the security of the neighboring municipality led it to be one of the richest villages in the area and made sure that some of its rulers arrived in important positions within the city administration. This fidelity to Assisi is characterized by the official colors of Palazzo, the red and blue that stand on the flags and coats of arms of the Seraphic City.
La chiesa della Morte, a church inside the castle, displays frescoes by Matteo da Gualdo, that unfortunately, are – for the most part – no longer visible. Since 2000, the Cambio Festival, a major world music exhibition, takes place inside the castle.