Location ufficiale segnalata da: Redazione Viaggiareinpuglia
The Castle of Gioia del Colle was built in the 12th century, during the time of Norman Count Riccardo Siniscalco d'Altavilla, the first tenant of the fief. Destroyed by William the Wicked of Sicily, the castle was rebuilt in 1230 by Emperor Frederick II after his return from the Crusades. It is speculated that Frederick would stay there during his hunting expeditions. The castle was then completed by the Angevins, who created windows in the curtain wall.
The later owners between 1600 and 1800 (the Acquavivas family of Aragon, the De Mari and Donna Maria Emanuela Caracciolo) changed the castle so that it no longer had the appearance of a fort. According to Bonaventura da Lama (who quoted the historian Pantaleo) Bianca Lancia was confined in this castle while pregnant with Manfred of Sicily, on suspicion of having been unfaithful to Frederick II. In fact, on the wall of a cell (which is likely to have been the princess') are carved shapes which according to a local legend are intended to represent her breasts, which she cut off in pain at being so humiliated. After giving birth, she sent the alleged illegitimate child to the emperor on a silver platter together with her breasts.
According to others, this is merely a legend: Bianca Lancia chose to legitimise the children she had borne during their relationship by undergoing a legal marriage shortly before she died. Still others hold that it was Frederick II who died after the wedding.