Quattro Castella in Emilia Romagna for a hint of the Middle Ages and unspoilt nature
Considering a trip to Quattro Castella, just a few kilometers from Reggio Emilia? Excellent idea, especially for those who love medieval villages full of charm and history.
Surrounded by four hills, Montevecchio, Bianello, Montelucio and Montezane, and just as many castles. In Bianello one still remains intact to this day. This small town is a place of great charm. Located on the first hills of the Reggio Apennines, it offers a truly breathtaking view of the surrounding plain.
Historical re-enactments and festivals
Plan a visit to Quattro Castella on the last Sunday of May, when the famous Matildic Historical Parade takes place, a re-enactment of the "re-infeudation" of Matilda di Canossa at the hands of Henry V which took place at the foot of the Bianello Castle in May 1111.
The final parade with hundreds of extras in period costumes is a real spectacle; pay attention to the protagonists: Matilda and Enrico V are usually played by personalities from the world of entertainment, culture or sports.
June also has great offerings, particularly during the second weekend. Montecavolo hosts the Sagra of Scarpasoun, a gastronomic event entirely dedicated to Erbazzone Reggiano, the traditional rustic pie of vegetables, onions and cheese. Mouth-watering.
In autumn, on the third Sunday of October the municipality hosts the October Fair. Amidst food and wine markets, hobbyist stalls, amusement parks, exhibitions and shows, fun is guaranteed for the whole family.
Inside the Bianello Castle
Castle, watchtower, aristocratic residence, interesting architectural structure, the Bianello Castle is a testament to its architectural evolution.
The visit goes from the kitchens to the baroque hall, up to the medieval tower where the vinegar cellar is located, via an impressive spiral staircase hidden in the depth of the wall. The painting depicting Matilda holding a pomegranate flower, a symbol of the Church, hangs on display.
Matilda di Canossa lived in the castle. The castle hosted Henry IV penitent, before the meeting of 1077, and various popes and princes stayed there. In 1111 Matilda received Henry V, fresh from the coronation in Rome, and was proclaimed imperial vicar in Italy by him. After Matilda's death, the castle remained in the Canossa family, and then passed to the Estensi, dukes of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in 1814, and in 2002 it was purchased by the Municipality of Quattro Castella.
The castle is accessible by guided tour only, departing every hour from the bookshop.
The ticket price is 6 euros (3 euros for a reduced price ticket) and free for children up to 12 years old.
Beyond the castle yet more
Behind Quattro Castella is the Bianello Oasis, a protected area of flora and fauna that extends over all four hills.
The Oasis can only be visited by following two paths: the first allows you to reach the Bianello Castle through the oak forest. The second, starting from the visitors center in the town of Monticelli, leads to Colle Zagno and Colle Lucio.
Those who want to discover the lands of Matilda di Canossa, can visit what remains of the Castle of Canossa, where the historic " humiliation of Henry IV" took place, and then continue towards the Rossena Castle.