During the seventeenth century, the property of Capiate became the
subject of legal cases which lasted for about fifty years.
Ottavio Mornico married Violante, Francesco Spiniís daughter.
Francesco had promised a considerable dowry but, after several age from
the marriage, it had not been paid yet. So the argument began.
The dispute lasted more or less from 1625 to 1670, and involved even the
heirs of the former claimants and many other persons. At a certain point
also the Royal Treasury claimed the payment of duties that the Spini had
no paid. Eventually, the property passed to
wealthy landowners and officials of the Spanish government of the Duchy
of Milan. They owned, among other properties, the
in Varenna, at that time already
famous for its architectural and natural beauties.
The Mornico kept the property for nearly three centuries, until 1901.
They developed the agricultural cultivations in order to get plentiful
harvests. The castle became an efficient farmhouse with a manor called
"Villa la Torre".
In the eighteenth century, the brothers Giovanbattista and Lelio Mornico,
Milanese priests, restored the residual part of the ancient Basilica of
St. Nazaro, realizing the St. Joseph church, architecturally different
in comparison with both the former and the current one.