Parma 2020+21 | 33 Collections

Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato

The Castle, called Rocca for express will of the Sanvitale Counts, was founded by the Pallavicino in the 12th Century and became property of the Sanvitale family in the 15th Century, who turned it from a military fortification to a residential castle. The Rocca, with a square plan and four corner towers, is still surrounded by a large moat, full of water, that makes it unmistakable in the varied and rich panorama of castles dotting the territory of Parma. The whole history of the fortress and the town is linked to the Sanvitale who were its feudatories, a continuous and secular link with Fontanellato, which was interrupted only in 1948, when the last Count Giovanni sold the manor to the Municipality and with him the local branch of the family became extinct. The fortress then became the seat of the Town Hall and the Museum, a noble house that has been preserved intact over time, and that allows the visitor to immerse himself in furnished environments with paintings, furniture, furnishings, frescoes that have maintained their charm for more than 500 years. The most precious jewel of the Rocca of Fontanellato is the "Room of Diana and Acteon", frescoed by Francesco Mazzola called Parmigianino (Parma 1503-Casalmaggiore 1540), one of the greatest masters of Italian Mannerism. A unique and original feature is represented by the Camera Ottica, wanted by the Sanvitale at the end of the 19th Century: a system of mirrors captures the direct image of the square outside and projects it on a table.

Reggia di Colorno

On the area now occupied by the palace stood a fortified fortress erected by Azzo da Correggio in 1337 that became an important political and cultural center in the middle of the next century with the Sanseverino family; in particular Barbara, beautiful woman with a great culture, founded and animates a literary cenacle, in competition with other great Italian courts. Towards the middle of 1600, the palace became the summer residence of the Farnese Dukes of Parma and Piacenza, and important works were undertaken to restructure the palace and the garden by the architect Ferdinando Galli Bibiena. With the extinction of the Farnese family, the duchy passed to Charles of Bourbon, son of the King of Spain and Elizabeth Farnese, who, after conquered the Kingdom of Naples, left the duchy in favour of his brother Philip. In 1749, Philip of Bourbon and his wife Louise Elizabeth, daughter of the King of France Louis XV, took possession of the duchy starting a golden period for the palace so as to deserve the title of "Versailles of the Dukes of Parma". In 1807, the palace was declared “Imperial” by the Napoleonic government and, following the Congress of Vienna, Marie Louise of Austria, Napoleon’s wife, was awarded the title of Duchess of Parma and for the occasion, she restored the palace and the garden too. At her death, as provided for in the treaty, the palace and the duchy returned to the Bourbons until the annexation of the Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, it was bought by the Province of Parma, which for almost 100 years assigned it to host families in difficulty and service personnel of the adjacent psychiatric hospital located in the nearby convent.

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