Castles and fortresses where the echoes of legends resound, like glimpses into enchanted worlds cloaked in autumn mist. Love and war, power struggles and intrigue: we could never dream up all the things Emilia’s walls have witnessed.
Today defensive outposts and historic dwellings are the custodians of the stories of the ancient duchies of Piacenza, Parma, Guastalla, Modena and Reggio Emilia that went down in history. Earlier still, this land spoke the language of the Romans, who chose the area for their master road, the Via Aemilia, still celebrated by poets and songwriters.
Many faces and characters from Emilia altered the course of time and shaped the past:
Malatesta, Malaspina and Este, to name but a few. Matilda of Canossa still resonates today. She was the ‘glorious countess’, as the poet Ludovico Ariosto defined her. Matilda was a woman in a man’s world, and yet she seized power and won the respect of Popes, Princes and the people. Her habitual residence, Bianello Castle, is one of the many stately homes we are lucky enough to be able to visit and touch with our own hands. They have stood the test of time and they still watch over their lands, which are also our lands.