Official Tourist Information Site of Salsomaggiore Terme - Italy

Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Pontremoli


Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Pontremoli

Castles, fortresses, rocks and wonderful residences, relive the Medieval era and follow the stories of weapons, love, mysteries and legends!

1 Castle of Scipione
2 Castle of Contignaco
3 Castle of Tabiano
4 Medieval Village of Vigoleno
5 Medieval Village of Castell'Arquato
6 Fortress of Fontanellato
7 Masone Labyrinth
8 Fortress of Soragna
9 Magnani Rocca Foundation


The Duchy of Parma and Piacenza and Pontremoli is a bewitching land stretching from the Apennines to the great river Po, just waiting to be discovered through its castles, strongholds, fortresses, palaces and manors that recount the lives and loves of some of the most illustrious Italian dynasties, including the Bourbon, Farnese, Landi, Pallavicino, Sforza, Lupi Visconti, Malaspina, Rossi and Sanvitale families, not to mention Marie Louise and Napoleon.

Today these precious residences open their doors to visitors from all around the world, offering a magical journey back through the mysteries of time to explore the different eras, from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the Baroque period of the 1600s and the Age of Enlightenment, to the 19th century, the Belle Epoque and the 1900s.

The Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza Association has 25 castles and proposes various packages and tours for exploring art, culture, history and food & wine.

In the hills around Salsomaggiore, in medieval times, the powerful Pallavicini marquises built numerous castles on strategic sites to guard over their precious salt wells: Scipione, Tabiano, Contignaco, Bargone (the latter not open to the public) and Gallinella, now little more than a ruin.

“Masone Labyrinth” Fontanellato
This incredible cultural park, with an 8-point star plan spread over approximately 7 hectares, was designed by Franco Maria Ricci together with the architects Pier Carlo Bontempi and Davide Dutto. It is the world’s biggest maze and is made entirely with bamboo plants of many different species. The cultural spaces house the art collection of Franco Maria Ricci, comprising around 500 works dating from the 16th to the 20th century, plus a library dedicated to the most celebrated examples of typography and graphic design.
“Magnani Rocca Foundation” Traversetolo
The Magnani Rocca Foundation is a private collection of ancient and modern art. Situated in a vast, ancient park in Mamiano di Traversetolo, the villa has been a museum since 1990 and houses the prestigious art collection of Luigi Magnani, art critic and collector. The museum includes works by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Monet, De Chirico and Morandi, as well as important sculptures by Canova, Bartolini and Manz.. There are also interesting Empire-style pieces of furniture and other decorative pieces. From time to time, the Foundation stages temporary exhibitions of considerable artistic merit.

Crossed locations
  • 1  Castle of Scipione
  • 2  Castle of Contignaco
  • 3  Castle of Tabiano
  • 4  Medieval Village of Vigoleno
  • 5  Medieval Village of Castell'Arquato
  • 6  Fortress of Fontanellato
  • 7  Masone Labyrinth
  • 8  Fortress of Soragna
  • 9  Magnani Rocca Foundation
Itinerary highlights

Castle of Scipione

The Castle of Scipione of the Pallavicino Marquees is the most ancient castle of the region and the only one still inhabitated by the descendants of the Pallavicino family.

Castle of Contignaco, Aldighieri's Fortress

Adalberto Pallavicino built the fortress during the XI century and seems that its main tower 30 meters high was built in 1030.

Castle of Tabiano

The Castle was built during XII and XIII centuries and was completly renewed at the end of XIX century when it was reconverted in a private house.

Vigoleno (Vernasca) - The Medieval Borgo

A stroll in the Medieval Times.

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