Of Lombard origins, in the 12th century there was a first fortification by the Pallavicino family, but the development of Fontanellato was due to the Sanvitale family, invested with the fief in 1404, who commissioned the reconstruction of the fortress and fortified the village.
The Rocca dei Sanvitale, which has remained intact to this day, dominates the center of the town and has around it the other monuments of civil and religious life: the parish church, built in 1447 by Giberto, overlooks the ring-shaped square that surrounds the fortress. Sanvitale, and the eighteenth-century oratory of Santa Maria Assunta.
Protected by a moat, it has a square plan and is made up of four buildings around a square courtyard; on three corners it has round towers, two of which in the shape of a truncated cone, and on the fourth corner a square tower.
IL LABIRINTO DELLA MASONE
It is a cultural park designed by Franco Maria Ricci with the architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto. It houses cultural spaces for more than 5, 000 square meters, intended for the art collection of Franco Maria Ricci (about 500 works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century) and a library dedicated to the most illustrious examples of typography and graphics, including many works by Giambattista Bodoni (on which Ricci recently edited a splendid monographic volume) and the entire production of Alberto Tallone. All the books edited by Franco Maria Ricci in fifty years of activity will complete this historical collection. The Labirinto della Masone with a star plant covers 7 hectares of land and is made entirely with bamboo plants of different species.
At the center of the Labirinto della Masone you will find a square of two thousand square meters surrounded by arcades and large halls: it will host concerts, parties, exhibitions and other cultural events. Facing the square, a pyramid-shaped chapel will recall the labyrinth as a symbol of faith. There will be, for visitors, a café, a restaurant, a Parmesan gastronomic space and a bookshop where you can also find many now rare editions of Franco Maria Ricci.
A first Fortress of Colorno was built around the thirteenth century to defend the Oltrepo. It belonged to noble families, such as the da Correggio and the Terzi. From an ancient fortress to a stately home, it reached great splendor with the cultured and lovable Barbara Sanseverino who, between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, made the palace the seat of a refined court life, collecting paintings by Titian, Giulio Romano, Correggio, Mantegna and Raphael.
With the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the Palace was declared "Imperial" (ie the eventual residence of the French emperor), and assigned to Napoleon's wife Maria Luigia of Habsburg, Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla from 1816 to 1847. In the Thirty years of her excellent government she paid various attentions both to the garden, transformed into English, and to the Palace, restored in 1817 and then in 1839. Currently the Palace is home to exhibitions and exhibitions and the gardens are open to the public.
Built between 1448 and 1460 by Pier Maria Rossi (1413-1482), it is one of the most significant and best preserved examples of castle architecture in Italy. It is defended by three circles of walls and four corner towers, the Lion, the Giglio, the San Nicomede and the south-east one (one of which has a mighty elevation that gives it almost the prerogative of a keep) which attest to its defensive function, while the residential destination is proven by the richness of the "grotesque" frescoes by Cesare Baglione and by a series of splendid, richly frescoed rooms.
Giusepe Verdi was born in Roncole Verdi, a small fraction of the city of Busseto in 1813 and lived his childhood and adolescence between Roncole and Busseto. Later at a mature age, famous and sought after in the best salons of the time, he wanted to build his house in the same places, a few kilometers from Busseto and his native Roncole. His little "kingdom", where he found inspiration for his compositions, where he could cultivate his passion for the land and for manual work, where he could "withdraw" from the world without losing contact.
The Cathedral of Parma is the work of central-Lombard masters and was completed after a series of reconstructions and renovations in the 12th century. The perspective illusionism given by the whirling motion that seems to aspire upwards the ranks of figures around the Virgin, to whom the cathedral is dedicated, represented for the Emilian artist the achievement of the highest expressive levels.
The Baptistery was designed by the architect and sculptor Benedetto Antelami, in the form of an octagon in pink Verona marble, with an alternation of three portals with respective architraves and lunettes, rich in theological references and symbolic representations typical of medieval iconography.
Piazza Garibaldi is the main square of Parma where, in addition to finding out about the time when the sun will set in Rio de Janeiro or the islands of the South Seas, you can observe the shadows that the sun casts on the two sundials on the facade of the tower of the Governor's Palace, located on the northern side of Piazza Garibaldi joins two buildings of thirteenth-century origins, seat of the Capitano del Popolo at the end of the twelfth century.
In Piazza Garibaldi there is also the Town Hall, the seat of representation of the municipal administration of Parma. The construction begun in 1281 was completed in 1282 and was immediately used as the seat of the government and housed both the authority and the captain.
The Ducal Garden was designed by Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza around 1560, who made it the park of a villa in turn obtained from an ancient pusterla, with rosemary and myrtle hedges, oaks, plane trees and alpine firs, trees from fruit and vegetables, as well as many potted citrus fruits, sheltered in winter in heated huts, fish ponds and groves.
The Trianon Fountain (1712-1719) on the islet in the center of the fishpond, the small lake in the center of the park, was originally built for the garden of the Reggia di Colorno by Giuliano Mozzani, and only in 1920 was it placed in its current position, supporting the scenographic taste of French parks. It represents the rivers Parma and Taro, and the name is just a reference to the fountain in the gardens of Versailles, which inspired the one by Mozzani.