Visit to Bianello Castle
Quattro Castella has a name that has an ancient flavour, and it is named after four hills that have just as many castles: Monte Vetro, Monte Lucio, Monte Zane and, of course, Bianello.
The Castle of Bianello is the only castle of the town’s great historic defence system that has stood the test of time. It overlooks the Val d'Enza and it has been sculpted by the centuries. It has a place of honour in the Middle Ages of Europe. Today it is surrounded by the vegetation of the Emilian hills, and as you walk through it you can breathe in its history.
The castle’s strategic location, overlooking the great plains, made it the perfect place for a watchtower as early as the 10th century, but it was after 1044 that Bianello's name resonated throughout Europe, forever linked to the woman who is the symbol of the Middle Ages in Emilia.
On a stone at the entrance, we can still read the words: "Comitissae Matildis opus", the work of Countess Matilda, and it doesn’t really matter if its true origin dates back to the previous century, for it was when Matilda of Canossa chose the Castle of Bianello as her residence that the spotlight of History rested upon its walls. Those same walls witnessed the times the Countess hosted Henry IV, who was excommunicated by the Pope, and Henry V, the newly crowned Emperor.
The history of the castle does not end with the Canossa dynasty. It continued and became one of the possessions of the Casato d'Este, up to Carlo Bacigalupo, who many believe was last lord of Bianello.
The son of a Genoese shipowner, he was the one who was responsible for most of the modern details we can admire today at the castle: a defensive outpost and then a stately home, the many legends, its strong original structure and its perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape..
The centuries are like veils laid one on top of the other. At Bianello we have the opportunity of taking a journey through time. The medieval building, the 14th-century tower, the neo-Baroque staircase, the 17th- and 19th-century decorations of the rooms on the upper floors ... among all of the memories that are encapsulated in the furnishings, your eye cannot help but linger on the painting of Countess Matilda.
Animabuona will accompany you as you discover the legends and secrets of this castle, which is as unique as its compelling past.