In the heart of Italy, a little-known medieval castle was passed down through generations — that is, little-known until one Sannazzaro descendant got a TikTok account.
TikToker Ludovica Sannazzaro lives in a 10,000-square-foot, 12th-century Italian castle inherited by her father Giuseppe, and the 19-year-old has taken to the app to show what it’s really like to live there.
“I like to fantasize about the past or pretend I am someone in a television series and movies,” Ludovica, who one day hopes to be a performer on Broadway, told The Post.
In her most popular video, Ludovica reveals some of the downsides of living in an old castle: poor Wi-Fi, cold temperatures — and lots of cleaning.
“It is a big challenge to run a castle in Italy. There is no help from the state, and there is a lot of property management [to do],” Giuseppe explained to The Post. “It’s a big commitment.”
But a draft isn’t dissuading fans from fantasizing about their own “Bridgerton” castle life.
“It amazes me that so many people are interested in something so personal to me,” Ludovica said.
Ludovica started the TikTok account when the coronavirus pandemic forced her to continue her studies at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy from home in Italy. Today, her account has accrued nearly 5 million likes from around the world — something she found surprising.
“I’m understanding what it is to live in such a historical and cultural place,” she said. “But I don’t remember what it felt like to move here because I was 4 [when her father took over the house from the previous generation]. It was just my house.”
Today, she keeps Los Angeles time to continue classes from her Italian home — and, during the day, she helps advertise the castle for when it reopens for tours, overnight stays and events for musical groups and LARPers (Live Action Role Play).
“I wanted to help the family with our tourist activity since we had to close because of the pandemic. I tried to merge my performing arts work with the family,” she said.
The 45-room castle is a square, brick fortress with towers in each corner and an open central courtyard.
Behind a green wooden door carved with the family crest, the light pink foyer has high ceilings with ornate moldings, decorative tiled floors and fresco portraits of the four knights Guido, Burgundio, Assalito and Raineri de Santo Nazario, who funded the castle under emperor Friedrich the First in 1137.
Up the main stairway is a red, white and gold checkered window. Red and gold are the family colors, she said.
A hallway filled with velvet furniture and gold-framed portraits leads into a ballroom with a fresco ceiling painting added to the castle in the 1850s by a painter called Grosso, who fell from his ladder and died while frescoing, according to the property website, which also claims Grosso haunts the castle.
Ludovica likes to perform in the ballroom against the backdrop of its ornately molded walls, gold-framed portraits. She recently reenacted “Once Upon a December” from “Anastasia,” as well as a “Bridgerton” dance.
The main dining room has detailed wallpaper with florals inset in tile-like frames. It also features a gas fireplace and an 18th-century Ca‘ Foscari Venetian chandelier.
If that’s not enough, there is a music room with a painted ceiling, historical garb on display, glass-enclosed bookshelves and, of course, a piano. A recent video showed Ludovica playing chess on a unique, hand-carved chessboard in the music room.
Another cute feature of the home is a plush reading alcove against a clover-shaped window, which she shows off in a video.
The house is filled with original artifacts that haven’t even been uncovered. Recently, she found old puzzles, a chess set, dominos and an 18th-century game called “The Wonderful Oracle.”
She helps her dad go through the archives, and they even recently found three invitations for the baptism of Vittorio Emanuele, prince of Naples.
“It is interesting to know you live in a place where you can discover something every day. I like to share what I discover with TikTok, and I’m covering a lot of things I didn’t even know about this place,” she said.
There also are stone passages under the castle, where Ludovica has made a few creepy videos by candlelight. Parts of the underground passages were used as a wine cellar, chariot storage and even a prison until 1796.
“The family had the management of the local tax, and if someone did not pay their tax or made a theft, they would be put in the prison inside the tower,” said Giuseppe, who is the unofficial family historian.
The underground passage is said to be connected to a nearby castle, but they haven’t found the alleged passageways.
“We really need to look for that,” Ludovica told her father during the interview with The Post.
The bed and breakfast: Inside the historic bedrooms up for rent
The 18-bedroom, nine-bathroom home is a full-time bed and breakfast with four rooms available for rent.
The first is the “flower room” with 1850s green floral wallpaper, where Ludovica and Giuseppe video-chatted The Post. The room has a four-post curtained bed, a sitting area, a fireplace, old wooden furniture and a private bathroom, videos show.
There also is a small apartment in the home, which has a living and dining area, two bedrooms with iron frames, a private bathroom and iron windows. One of the beds has a ghostly mosquito net featured in her TikTok.
The other two two-bedroom suites in the servant’s wing have beautiful arched windows and ceilings, historic-looking bed frames and perhaps a few ghosts, according to Ludovica’s videos.
There is the blue room, also called the lace room, which has blue lace wallpaper, hand-painted ceilings and a carved wooden queen size headboard with heavy curtains, a video shows.
The pink room, which has had historic visitors according to Ludovica’s TikTok, has two wooden, twin bed frames, pink and green wallpaper and a fireplace.
The grounds with a church
The gated, 6-acre grounds are covered in horse-chestnut trees, plane trees, Ginkgo trees, yew trees and walnut trees.
The castle has its own full-size church with vaulted cathedral ceilings, religious paintings and pews, a video shows. It began as a family chapel, but for five centuries it was used as the town church before returning to the family when a new church was built in town. The family had their own priest until 1975, Giuseppe said.
“We did? I didn’t know!” exclaimed Ludovica in response during their joint interview.
In the church is a statue of the Virgin of the Rosary, which has been carried around the town in a “very dedicated” family ceremony on the first Sunday of every October since 1571, according to the website.
“Even with COVID, we still did it,” said Ludovica. “It’s that important.”
Ludovica hopes that the castle can reopen “very shortly” so her fans can come to see the castle in person.
“A lot of people even in Italy don’t know things like this exist — families that live in a castle — so we want to promote the tourist activity,” she said. “I have already heard from a lot of followers saying they’re booking as soon as they can, they’re going to be there.”