Castles of the Duchy is a circuit of 23 castles, 13 Lodgings Charming Manor, many Museums in Emilia Romagna, in the heart of the Food Valley, between Parma and Piacenza. Visit them all, still furnished: are considered in Italy some of the most beautiful and well preserved in the country. A whole land to discover, taste and love. A unique lifestyle: between the Castles of Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, history, art, culture and gastronomy are the emblem of a land that extends from the Appennine to Po river.
Castles, strongholds, fortresses and palaces are modern story-tellers, that can give you a wonderful journey, back to ancient times: from Middle Age to Renaissance, through Baroque and Enlightment, Romanticism and Belle Epoque, up to Twentieth Century.
You will learn the story and deeds of the most important italian noble families: Borbone, Farnese, Landi, Pallavicino, Sforza, Lupi, Visconti, Malaspina, Rossi, Sanvitale up to Maria Luigia and Napoleon. Within their eminent manors, you will also admire several works of art, such as frescoes by Parmigianino. Our heart beats together with Maestro Verdi and Puccini’s music: Puccini’s librettist Luigi Illica is a brilliant son of this land. Don’t miss our “Dinners in the Castles” with Michelin starred Chefs from Emilia Romagna: an exhibition and tasting of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padano, Prosciutto di Parma, Culatello di Zibello, Coppa, Pancetta and Salame from Piacenza, the special salt from Salsomaggiore Terme, D.O.C. red and white wines from Parma and Piacenza’s hills. Every castle offers night and day thematic guided tours. For outdoor activities lovers, gardens and parks of our Castles are open and can be visited.
We welcome both italian and foreign tourists: FIT, families, schools and groups. Since 1999, all our castles and manors can be visited, thanks to the commitment of several patrons philantropists and public administrations.
The headquarters of the big circuit is Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato (Parma), a charming fortress: stands at the centre of the town, surrounded by a moat, full of water: it is home to one of the masterpieces of Italian Mannerism: the frescoed room by Parmigianino in 1524, portraiting the myth of Diana and Atteone. Sanvitale' appartamento nobile is still open. The only working Optical Room in Italy can be visited.
The 23 Castles: Fortezza di Bardi, Reggia di Colorno, Castello di Compiano, Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato, Castello di Montechiarugolo, Antica Corte Pallavicina di Polesine Parmense, Castello di Roccabianca, Rocca Sanvitale di Sala Baganza, Rocca dei Rossi di San Secondo, Castello di Scipione dei Marchesi Pallavicino, Rocca Meli Lupi di Soragna, Castello di Torrechiara, Castello Pallavicino di Varano De' Melegari. Rocca e Castello di Agazzano, Castello Malaspina Dal Verme di Bobbio, Rocca Viscontea di Castell’Arquato, Castello di Gropparello, Rocca d’Olgisio, Castello di Paderna, Castello di Rivalta, Castello di San Pietro in Cerro, Castello di Sarmato, Mastio e Borgo di Vigoleno. You can visit all of them with a special Card.