D'Avalos Palace in Vasto
It was reconstructed by the "gastaldo" (=governor) Aymone of Dordona from whose name Guasto d'Aymone (Wast meant "gastaldo" in the original language), subsequently changed in Vasto. During the XI century it became an Aleramic feud (the Aleramici were descendents of Aleramo, ancestor of the marquises of Monferrato) of Tete or Teottone, son of Aleramo. Later on, after the Angevin period, Vasto was under the Spanish family D'Avalos, who received the title of marquises of Vasto and built the splendid D'Avalos palace.
In 1566 the palace was set fire by Turks, led by the famed Pialy Pascià; only the outer walls of the building were not destroyed, but that same year, the D'Avalos started its restoration, calling Dominican Valerius De Santis to direct the works.
The rebuilding involved many changes: the courtyard became more regular with the addition of an arcade (today three of the four sides are closed), while on the eastern side a spacious terrace for the apartments of the marquises was added; in the main apartment, facing the sea, it was possible to admire, until a short while ago, the marvelous canopy of the Lords of Vasto.
The sumptuous pallet witnessed, according to a popular legend, the exercise of the "jus noctis primae", by marquis Innico III, enjoying the favors of the attractive local brides: but deeper historical investigations have discredited this tradition.
And it was actually highly improbable that the inhabitants of Vasto could have accepted such an abuse of power, since for two years, from 1497 to 1499, they had opposed the entrance of the D'Avalos as feudal lords, finally accepting them only after the intercession of Frederic king of Aragona.
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