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Castell’Arquato. Medieval splendor close to Milan 

By Wednesday, 26 October 2022 09:29

Step back into an era of Medieval splendor close to Milan at Castell'Arquato in the Piacenziano Geological Reserve which is half an hour from the northern Emilia-Romagna town of Piacenza, and just over an hour by road, south-east of Milan. 

A medieval town of rare beauty

This very well-preserved medieval town of rare beauty and great scenic impact repays the visitors who takes time to wander around its old centre with its medieval stone alleyways and restored houses. Its most striking feature is the Rocca di Castell'Arquato fortress that stands on a rocky promontory overhanging the Arda torrent. 

Castell'Arquato

A massive brick fortress

Built by the city of Piacenza in 1342, the fortress was reinforced and completed by Luchino Visconti in 1347. It is an imposing brick building, purely defensive in character, in a position strategically dominating the surrounding valley. The tall tower dominating the village square performed the dual function of defense against external enemies and control over Castell’Arquato’s inhabitants.

The G. Cortesi Geological Museum

The 16th-century Ospitale Santo Spirito, in medieval days a resting place for pilgrims travelling to Rome, today houses the G. Cortesi Geological Museum. This internationally renowned museum has various collections that allow us to follow the evolutionary history of the Po Valley basin.

The Luigi Illica Museum

Luigi Illica, born in Castell'Arquato in 1857 was a journalist and playwright and was one of the exponents of the Milanese Scapigliatura literary movement. He gained fame as a librettist for famous opera composers including Giacomo Puccini, Umberto Giordano and Pietro Mascagni.

Tying the knot in Castell'Arquato 

For those wishing to celebrate their special day with a civil ceremony, the Municipality of Castell'Arquato offers two venues inside the 14th-century Palazzo del Podestà. The ceremony can take place either in the monumental Council Chamber, which has a 15th-century coffered ceiling, or in the Quadreria, which is more intimate and cozy.  

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