In Grizzana Morandi discover an esoteric castle and the life of a famous painter
Occupying a splendid position high up in the Bologna Apennines, Grizzana Morandi boasts magnificent views of the Setta and Reno valleys. The town is located on a ridge overlooking the surrounding area and offers visitors true immersion into the green countryside around Bologna.
It is the ideal place if you love to combine the peace of the countryside with cultural sights – from mysterious castles rich in symbolism to the discovery of a Bolognese painter considered one of the best of the 20th century.
Home of painter Giorgio Morandi
Giorgio Morandi spent so much time in Grizzana that in 1985 in homage to the painter from Bologna, the town decided to add his surname to the town’s name. This makes it an essential destination for anyone wishing to follow in the artist’s footsteps and discover the works of one of the undisputed stars of 20th-century art – famous not just for his paintings but also as an printmaker.
Giorgio Morandi used to spend his summers in a house at the entrance to the village, which is now accessible by booking a guided tour. A short walk away are the Campiaro barns, an example of rural architecture and now home to the Giorgio Morandi documentation centre. They also hold the archive of Count Cesare Mattei.
La Rocchetta Mattei
Count Cesare Mattei was responsible for the construction of the castle known as Rocchetta Mattei.
It was built in the 19th century on the ruins of an earlier fort on the same site – the Rocca di Savignano. Over time it has undergone several transformations and today is considered a rare example of esoteric architecture.
Traversing its labyrinth of staircases, towers, rooms and private chambers is a fascinating journey through mystery and wonder. Styles range from neo-medieval to neo-Renaissance to Art Nouveau with traces of Moorish.
Around Grizzana Morandi
When exploring the surroundings of Grizzana Morandi, the church of Santa Maria Assunta in Riola, designed in 1966 by Finnish architect Alvar Alto, is worth a stop. It is located very close to the Reno River.
Vimignano is home to the medieval village of La Scola, one of the best-preserved in the Bologna Apennines. It comes alive especially in summer thanks to a rich calendar of cultural events.
A stroll in Tudiano
A few miles away, on the left bank of the Setta River, lies Tudiano. Here you cannot miss a trip to a fortified house dating back to 1400 that is decorated with the symbols of the mastri comacini: the guild of masons and plasterers.
The Oratory of San Lorenzo, which dates back to the 12th century, is also well worth visiting. This is a small rural church nestled in the green countryside – a place of profound peace.