While travelling the Manzonian route on the Zucco promontory, a villa can clearly be glimpsed from the Acquate district that is identified as Don Rodrigo’s Palazzotto. This is the residence of the squire who, in Alessandro Manzoni’s novel, imposed his rule on Lecco, where the two betrothed lived. 

The Palazzotto was built at the end of the seventeenth century by the Arrigoni, a rival family of the Manzoni. It then passed to the Salazar Counts and was demolished in 1937, the year when the current Villa Guzzi was built, designed by the rationalist architect Mario Cereghini.

Don Rodrigo’s residence is described in chapter V of Alessandro Manzoni’s novel, when Brother Cristoforo goes there in the vain attempt to convince the nobleman to abandon his intentions towards Lucia. 

“The palace of Don Rodrigo stood by itself, like a small castle, on the summit of one of the promontories scattered along the coast. To this indication, the unknown writer adds that the place (he would have done better to write its name down carefully) was further up from the village of the betrothed, perhaps three miles away, and four from the monastery. At the foot of the hillock, from the part that looks south towards the lake, lay a cluster of decayed cottages, inhabited by the peasantry belonging to Don Rodrigo, the little capital of his little kingdom. It was enough to pass by there to be clear about the condition and customs of the place. Casting an eye over the ground-floor rooms, where some doors were open, guns, spades, hoes, rakes, straw hats, mattocks and powder flasks could be seen attached, higgledy-piggledy, to the wall. (…) Brother Cristoforo passed through the village, climbing a winding path to the small esplanade in front of the castle. The door was closed, a sign that the master was dining and did not want to be disturbed. The few small windows that overlooked the road, closed with shutters hanging off that had been worn down over the years, were protected by large gratings while those of the ground floor were so high that a man on the shoulders of another would barely reach them. A great silence reigned here, and a traveller might believe that it had been abandoned had not four creatures, two alive and two dead, placed symmetrically outside, given a clue to the inhabitants. Two large vultures with their wings spread and the skulls hanging down, one bald and half-weathered by time, the other still sturdy and feathered, were nailed, each on one wing of the main gate; and two good ones, stretched out, each on one of the benches placed to the right and left, were keeping guard, waiting to be called to enjoy the scraps from the lord’s table […].”
A. Manzoni, The Betrothed

Today, it is the headquarters of CONI and the interior cannot be visited. 

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