The impressive palace was built in 1586 by the bishop Tolomeo Gallio to represent the feudal power on the county of the Three Pievi (parishes of Dongo, Gravedona and Sorico) that the king of Spain Philip II had conferred to the Gallio's family in 1579.
Under the main loggia, a golden inscription remember that: "Tolomeo Gallio of the Saint Roman Church, Cardinal of Como, Count and Lord of the Three Parishes of Gravedona, Sorico and Dongo, pleased by the mild climate and the beauty of the piace, embellished and made more illustrious the noble town of Gravedona with this magnificent palace with its gardens, fountains and water pools in the year of 1586". Here, in the country which had seen the incursions of Gian Giacomo Medici, the palace was a safe piace from which the power of the Gallio was imposed over the whole occidental bank of the Lario up to the boarder with the Valtellina.
The sumptuous palace of the Gallio was built over the remains of Gravedona's ancient castle of which some traces can stili be seen along the northem wall that closed the gardens. Without any foundation the legend which says that in the palace took piace some of the Council of Trento early reunions', for the simple reason that the palace was built after the Council took piace.
In the richly decorated rooms, the Gallio's china and numerous ebony and ivory tables enriched with precious stones were making a sumptuous display.
Thanks to Sigismondi Boldoni, who described the palace as "regiae Galliorum aedes", the splendour of the house can be understood: "one can admire new paints unknown to us, which from the farthest provinces of India, atter long travelling overland and seas were brought to better educated people. But the most beautiful of them all is represented by the single painting of the Graces, Cerere and Venus."
In 1607, Tolomeo Gallio died and the palace went to his nephews, the Alvito duke's, who transported part of the fumiture to Naples. The following palace's history was not very fortunate: it was even used by the French and the Spanish as a hospital, up to when at the beginning of the 1800's it become the property of various private owners.
It now houses the Comunità Montana Valli del Lario e del Ceresio.
(taken from the website www.cmalpilepontine.it)