The History

The once Gaiche was an abandoned and ruined castle now it is completely restored and it lies at the top of a hill, at 437 meters on the sea level, not far from the small village of Castiglion Fosco.
People know nothing about Gaiches origin even if one may suppose that it rose like a human agricultural settlement before the year 1000. It might have been a small and quiet agricultural centre, thought safe because of its location and distance from the main roads. At the beginning of the 13th century it became an independent republic that survived for two centuries. The oldest document about the place goes back until 1245 and it is in the banishment register containing the witchcrafts made under the reign of Giovanni Aldebrandi. Then it appears like a castrum in a judicial register of 1258, then in another catalogue of 1260 regarding an impositio bladi and finally in that of 1282, where also its population, 86 families, is shown. In 1817, with the restoration of the rural districts, the community ceased to be an autonomous one and became a village of Piegaro.
Since many decades, that is at the end of the XVIII century, Gaiche and its district were interested by a process of population recession that became greater and greater until, after second world war it appeared like a relentless one. In fact at the and of the 60s both the castle and the land around it were completely depopulated. With regard to the castle it remains a big part of the boundary wall that is interrupted by a door in the south-east side and the four perimetric towers. One of these was recently restored and is now a civic tower. This has got six bells that were brought in Italy by the Franciscans, that, at the end of the second world war, were forced to leave the isle of Rodi, where they managed several churches. Inside of the wall there's a big cistern and in front of it an isolated building with an ogival door while outside the wall there's the parish church that is dedicated to S.Lorenzo. It has an original gothic structure and it was consecrated according to the tradition of the 20 February 1391, at the time of the abbey of S.Benedetto from Pietrafitta to whose jurisdiction it was submitted until 1550 to move then under that of the bishop of Perugia. In the 1565 the church had a baptismal font whose date of fulfilment is not known. It has three altars: the greater one dedicated to S.Lorenzo, The one in the left to S.Antonio and above the greater altar hangs a big painting of the year 1629, that shows the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus and the Saints Lorenzo and Macario and in the space between the two figures there's a view of Gaiche castle. Also the state of preservation of the painting is good.

Gaiche is worth being remembered not only for its historical events but also for its statute of the year 1318, that is the oldest of Umbria and for being the birth-place of Beato Leopoldo. The so important codex, well kept in the town library of Perugia, is made of 26 membranaceus papers written in Latin by the notary public Francesco Giovannelli from Castiglion Fosco.