CASTIGLIONE DELLE STIVIERE, A SAINT IN PARADISE

It is in Castiglione delle Stiviere that Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, was a guest at Villa Bondoni Pastorio where he arrived on the night of the 24th of June 1859, dressed in an elegant white suit. Worn out from his trip, he fell fast asleep, but he quickly was awakened by the cacophony coming from the square in front of Chiesa Maggiore. 

It was caused by the wagons and stretchers that were transporting those wounded in the battle of Solferino. Dunant ran into the street to tend to those who were in need of help and from that terrible experience, and from the generosity of the Italian rescuers, who without distinction between nationality, treated anyone who was in need, was born the idea of the Red Cross, which the man from Geneva founded and for which he received the Nobel Prize. But the importance of Castiglione, city of Etruscan origins, is connected also to another person, an “important name” who attracts people to this place from the entire world: Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591). Aloysius was the first of 8 children of Ferrante Gonzaga, an aristocratic family of Mantova, and he would have become a Marquis, but the vocation changed “his” destiny. His father, learning of the decision of his son to take vows, was infuriated because Aloysius was perfect for reigning: intelligent, generous, a good negotiator. But very soon, he too started to soften, and thanks to the intervention of Saint Charles Borromeo, he gave Aloysius permission to enter at the age of 18 in the Jesuit Order. But his religious life was destined to be brief. Aloysius was stricken at the age of 23 by the plague, caring for those afflicted with this terrible epidemic in Rome. Today Saint Aloysius is recognised and venerated the world over as the “patron saint of youth”

Castiglione delle Stiviere in 4 steps

At THE MUSEUM OF THE RED CROSS there is a great admonishment on the...

Palazzo Bondoni Pastorio has been the home of the same family for almost 600 years...

Upon Piazza San Luigi is the BASILICA OF THE SAINT which houses the skull relic. If you leave the...

Castiglione was a city embellished by many fountains and still...

Questions and Answers

Try the CAMELLIAE TEA ROOM. Tea is served in loose leaves, to smell its aroma...

In Castiglione you will find a hotel that tells the life story of Henry Dunant. It is the JHD DUNANT HOTEL, where 78 rooms...

In a corner of Piazza Ugo Dallò there is a large whale’s jaw...

The report of Castiglione delle Stiviere

Castiglione delle Stiviere is not a very flashy town, the squares are deserted, there are not too many people in the streets. In reality, it is a place that has a lot to offer.