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A day in Castell'Arquato, the village that conjures up the Middle Ages

On the Piacenza hills lies the charming village of Castell'Arquato. This ancient stone stands out against the luminous green of the Val d'Arda: an age-old historical centre, in which it is not difficult to imagine assaults and battles.

As you stroll through the imposing walls of the Rocca Viscontea, the experience plunges you into the past, softened by that intimate and poised grace that only villages can convey. Here are some ideas for spending a day in Castell'Arquato.

The Rocca was the set of Ladyhawke

The Rocca Viscontea is a monument within a monumental village. Built in 1342, with its rigorous brick architecture, it conveys a sense of respect and almost awe, also evoked by the defensive and controlling role it has always played.  

The tower rises above Castell'Arquato's main square and the battlements and double order of walls evoke scenes of military life. Just like in a film: in fact, the building was also the set of the film 'Ladyhawke'!

3 reasons to visit the Collegiate Church

It only takes a few steps to reach the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta. There are three reasons to visit it: to admire the Chapel of St Catherine of Alexandria, entirely frescoed, and that of St Joseph, rich in stuccos that leave you speechless; the 14th-century cloister, a quiet, intact corner, from which the modern era seems cut off; and finally, the Collegiate Museum, with the treasures of Santa Maria Assunta and the churches in the area. A visual tour among sacred vestments that are sure to enrich your eyes.

From geology to music: all the museums you may not expect

Castell'Arquato is part of the circuit of the Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, and includes a series of museums that make the visit even richer and more interesting, both for adults and children.

For a special touch, visit the Luigi Illica Museum and the Geological Museum.

If you love music, the journey through the life and career of the librettist Illica will be truly melodious: the exhibition houses texts, opera librettos, scores, letters, and photographs, as well as the piano and typewriter belonging to the playwright who worked with Puccini, Mascagni and Catalani.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to trace an itinerary through prehistory, the Geological Museum is the place for you. The exhibits allow you to retrace the evolution of the territory and examine the fossils of molluscs, dolphins, even baleen whales and cetaceans, rhinoceroses and bears, found in the surroundings of Castell'Arquato.

For those who are not yet tired: workshops and experiences in the village

It is impossible to fully experience the remote charm of Castell'Arquato without undertaking at least one organised activity in the village. An example? The fascinating guided tours of the Rocca Viscontea and the historical centre, to discover the techniques and strategies used during battles. At the end, the little ones are also involved in mediaeval games and tournaments.

For children who love puzzles, there is the route organised at the Rocca, to investigate the mystery of the Visconti family.

Also at the Geological Museum there is no shortage of experiences that combine interest in fossils with that of the environment, such as the guided tour of the exhibition that continues with the nature excursion in the Piacenziano Park.

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29014 Castell'Arquato PC, Italia

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