A jewel of history and culture in the province of Parma
A city where time seems to have stopped, best discovered enjoying a slow pace. Fontanellato is a delightful village a few kilometers from Parma, one of the most characterful places in all of Emilia Romagna.
The historic center revolves around the Rocca Sanvitale, dating back to 1100 but altered and enlarged several times over the centuries. The walls of the fortress surrounded by a large moat filled with water, stand out among the small pastel-colored houses. There are several rooms open to the public, such as the Saletta di Diana and Atteone, magnificently frescoed by Parmigianino, and a fifteenth-century tower.
Here, you have the opportunity to visit the only active optical chamber in Italy, dating back to the 19th century. It’s almost impossible not to be amazed by the optical effect generated by the prisms. They allow you to look down and see the inverted image of the square overlooked by the castle. That’s not all. According to legend the ghost of little Maria Costanza Sanvitale, granddaughter of Maria Luigia of Austria who died at the age of 5, roams the corridors of the Rocca. Keep your eyes open: you might see the silhouette of a long-haired girl in the Billiards or Reception Room.
Within the alleys of Fontanellato, stop to admire the washhouses dating back to the 19th century. The ancient municipal theater from the 17th century, and the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary. Don’t miss the Masone labyrinth in the countryside surrounding the village. A large park houses the largest bamboo labyrinth in the world, and also art collections, temporary exhibitions, conferences and concerts.