are called Castles of Cannero (in verbanese dialect, Castei de Caner) despite being located in the territory of Cannobio, three rocky islets located in Lake Maggiore in front of Cannero Riviera on two of which are of the ruins of ancient fortifications.
Toward the end of the XIV century there lived the brothers Mazzardi, said "Mazzarditi", originating in Ronco (fraction of Cannobio). At the time of Cannobio there was a bitter dispute between Guelphs and Ghibellines: between the end of 1403 and the beginning of 1404 the Mazzardi took possession of the Palazzo del Pretorio in Cannobio, invaded Cannero, they possessed of Malpaga from which for several years accomplished incursions along the entire Verbano without disdaining the use of violent methods, in order to create a sort of small "Private Status". In 1412 became duke of Milan Filippo Maria Visconti. In 1414, following on from the supplications of the inhabitants of the coast, Filippo Maria sent an army of 500 men, led by John Lonati to defeat the Mazzarditi. The Malpaga, after a brief siege, was razed to the ground and the Mazzarditi took the path of exile, to equal the Castellani Valtravaglia, Franchignoni, which similarly had taken advantage of the weakness of the State Central to create a domain similar to that mazzardo.
The feud cannobiese was granted (1441) to Vitaliano Borromeo past as inheritance to his son Filippo, then to Giovanni III (said "Right"), then to the children of these, Giberto, Camillo, Ludovico, Francesco, possession including also the small archipelago in which had arisen the fortified garrison of five Mazzardi. In 1519 Lodovico Borromeo made build a fortress called "Vitaliana", in honor of the family padovana progenitor of the Borromeo. After the death of Lodovico The fortress was progressively abandoned to itself, the proximity with the Riva made it hardly tenable . In the course of the following centuries it became a refuge for smugglers, it was used by fishermen and was even the seat of a band of counterfeiters. Currently there remain only the ruins of the ancient fortifications.
The ruins are one glimpses of the most picturesque lake, colonized by various species of aquatic birds as Royal swan, real seagull, Goosander, that nest repaired in the ravines inaccessible.
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