Palazzo del Drago (originally Palazzo Crispo) is a large and articulated architectural building that unfolds in the historic center of Bolsena for about half a hectare. It was built by order of Tiberio Crispo (1498 – 1566), Cardinal Deacon of Sant’Agata in 1544 and governor of Bolsena from 1540 to 1543 and from 1553 to 1562. He was the son of Silvia Rufini from Volsini and was deeply attached to the Farnese family. He enjoyed great benefits thanks to his proximity to Pope Paul III ever since he ascended the papal throne. Thanks to this important link, he hired the best artists and architects of the time for the construction of his home in Bolsena, such as Raffaelo Da Montelupo, Simone Mosca, Prospero Fontana, Tommaso da Bevilacqua and Giulio Merisi.
The palace was built in two distinct phases: the first concerned the nucleus of the area around via delle Piagge (1533 – 1544) by joining and expanding various buildings already existing since 1467, the second was the construction of the Torrazzo (1554 – 1561), or rather the imposing facade that dominates the palace park. In the 17th century the building was bought by the Spada family who owned it for more than two centuries. After the marriage of Ferdinando del Drago with Angelica Spada Veralli in 1894, the ownership of the palace passed to the princes of the Drago, who still own it today.
For further details on the history of the building, consult the “Timeline” window.