Castles of the Panaro

Castle of Guiglia

Castle of Guiglia

It was built in an unknown period and destroyed by a fire in the Fourteenth century. During the Seventeenth century, the Montecuccoli family transformed it in an elegant building incorporating the ancient medieval tower. They also built the convent and “Carmelitani Scalzi” church. It has a great impact on the surrounding environment and is placed in a dominating position. It belongs to the Municipality and can only be seen from the outside. It is open to the public during important cultural events.

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Villages of Castellaro and Rocca di Sopra di Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

Villages of Castellaro and Rocca di Sopra di Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

The Castellaro and Rocca di Sopra villages were part of the Malatigni family’s defensive system. The powerful Malatigni family dominated these places for centuries. These villages have been modified during the years and they still have some features that show how ancient they are. Near Castellaro there is, on a rocky hill, a recently renovated sighting tower. In Rocca di Sopra,  the ancient entrance doors and Madonna dei Sassi Oratory are really valuable. In the village there is the “Sassi di Roccamalatina” Regional Park’s Visitor Centre.

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House Pugnano of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

House Pugnano of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

This important village originated due to a Fourteenth century tower house that was enlarged during the Sixteenth century. From the ancient building it has the original walls and wonderful sandstone windows. The Sixteenth century side has a nice tower

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La Grilla di Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

La Grilla di Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

This important building has a Fourteenth century strong tower and was also enlarged many times by the powerful Grilla family, whose coat of arms is placed on top of the entrance door. It is quite big and so it has a great impact on the surrounding environment. It is in perfect condition and has really valuable features.

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Castellino delle Formiche (Guiglia)

Castellino delle Formiche (Guiglia)

It was part of the Malatigni family’s ancient properties, and during the Fourteenth century it was subjected to the Montecuccoli family. It still has some parts of the walls and the bell tower of the ancient castle. The church was reconstructed in 1792 and is dedicated to S. Stefano. There are two paintings and a baptismal font dating from the Seventeenth century. It can be visited from May to September (from 10 to 5 p.m.). 

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Village of Samone (Guiglia)

Village of Samone (Guiglia)

Longly contended between Modena and Bologna, it was subjected to Montecuccoli and Pio da Carpi. There are some valuable elements: the “Sala degli Stemmi” (“Coat of arms Room”) which is nowadays used as a “Tigella Museum” and some decorated windows and entrance doors. Inside the S. Nicola church, documented in the Twelfth century, there is an Eighteenth century painting representing the Saint and a golden table representing Saint Mary with the Child. It can be visited during religious celebrations.

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Village di Montalbano (Zocca)

Village di Montalbano (Zocca)

This little village was docmented for the first time in 1197. It has a little square that is characterized by a Sixteenth century open gallery sustained by sandstone columns. The other buildings have terracotta and tuff arches. The Santa Maria Assunta Church is a nice example of Eighteenth century architecture (it can be visited during religious celebrations). The attached parsonage, which was built on the ancient castle’s remains, dates from the Seventeenth century.

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Village of Dragodena di Montetortore (Zocca)

Village of Dragodena di Montetortore (Zocca)

This village is made of three Sixteenth century houses with towers and a Seventeenth century oratory with a semicircular apse. The main building has two ashlar entrance doors: one has the Menzani coat of arms: the family the famous gun man “Il Podetto” descends from.

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Castle of Montequestiolo (Zocca)

Castle of Montequestiolo (Zocca)

Some remains dating from the Bronze Age (13th century b.C.) have been found in Montequestiolo. Now they are in the Archaeological Civic Museum of Modena. This castle was contended between the Modenese and Bolognese people. It belonged to numerous families, among which the Montecuccoli and Rangoni. There is still a Fourteenth century tower, some parts of the fortress and of the ancient walls. It has recently been renovated and is inside a public park.

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Castle of Rosola (Zocca)

Castle of Rosola (Zocca)

The date of construction of this castle is unknown. It was involved in the struggles between Modena and Bologna: it belonged to the Montecuccoli family and, from 1454 until recent years, to the Rangoni family. At the centre of the village there is an ancient shortened tower dating from the Thirteenth century. It was part of the medieval castle and, in order to access it, people had to pass through a tall sandstone entrance door placed more or less on the first level. In the village there is a Parish Church dedicated to Saint Leonardo. It was reconstructed at the end of Nineteenth century and has a Sixteenth century baptismal font.

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House of the Semelano's Duke (Montese)

House of the Semelano's Duke (Montese)

It was built during the Thirteenth century and was probably part of the Ponte castle’s defensive structures. It is located in a dominating position and has been abandoned for decades. Some disputable renovation works have recently been made. The original building was one of the oldest in the area. There are still some remaining parts: external walls and a round-arched entrance door. The entrance door, some windows and brick decorations have recently been renovated

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La Casazza di Montalto (Montese)

La Casazza di Montalto (Montese)

It is immersed in the greenery of the Montalto hills and was built at the beginning of Seventeenth century. It is constructed of some buildings which form a closed courtyard, in the centre there is a strong dovecote tower with elegant brick decorations. To enter the courtyard you have to pass through a round-arched entrance door.

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Jussi Tower

Jussi Tower

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This Seventeenth century historical compound is placed in the village of Serra Sarzana. On the battle of April 14th 1945, it represented a strong fortress for the Germans. They fought there for a long time against American assaults.

In the wood hills it’s still possible to find some remains of the German fortifications. The highest hill is of particular interest, where there is a wonderful panorama of the areas ...


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Castle of Montese

Castle of Montese

It was documented for the first time in 1178. In 1212 Emperor Ottone IV gave it to the Montecuccoli family, and they kept it until 1697. After having belonged to important families, it was gradually abandoned. In 1850 renovation works were carried out. It was damaged during the Second World War. After the war it was reconstructed and now it’s the Montese Historical Museum’s seat. What remains from the ancient castle is: the Fourteenth century crenellated look-out tower and the double boundary walls with a round-arched entrance door. It can be visited on Sundays from April to October : tel. 059. 971122.

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Village of S. Giacomo Maggiore (Montese)

Village of S. Giacomo Maggiore (Montese)

The most important elements of this village are: a Renaissance entrance door, some parts of Fourteenth century windows and Eighteenth century entrance doors. Inside the church there is a painting representing San Francesco and a 1774 carved confessional. In the San Rocco oratory there are some elegant fresco paintings representing Saint Mary with the Child between the Saints Giacomo Maggiore and Antonio Abate.

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Village of S. Martino (Montese)

Village of S. Martino (Montese)

The Parish Church is the historical centre of this village, where there is a Seventeenth century painting representing “Madonna della Neve”, and a big building compound whose entrance door is made of big stone blocks. Inside the church there are seven sepulchres. In the chancel there is the sepulchre that belonged to the Montecuccoli family and nowadays it belongs to the priests. It has an interesting cupola, paintings and decorations

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Costa di Dente (Castel d’Aiano)

Costa di Dente (Castel d’Aiano)

This village is placed in a very nice environment and is constructed of a series of really interesting buildings. The oldest one is a dovecote tower with an adjacent big building. The oratory, dedicated to Sant’Antonino, is of great interest. The compound has recently been renovated and now is used as a hotel so it can be visited.

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Village of Ancient Zocchetta (Zocca)

Village of Ancient Zocchetta (Zocca)

The Sixteenth century village of Zocchetta Vecchia was documented for the first time in 1271 and is particularly interesting from the historical and environmental point of view. It is made of buildings with sandstone decorations and a Seventeenth century votive aedicule. The Seventeenth century Cà Barattini: a closed courtyard with a main building, oratory and rural house is particularly interesting. Not very far from the village is the “Natività della Vergine” oratory, built during the Seventeenth century and then enlarged with an elegant porch and a nice bell tower. It can be visited during religious celebrations.

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Village of Montecorone (Zocca)

Village of Montecorone (Zocca)

Its date of construction is unknown. It belonged to Uguccione Contrari and was added to the Vignola marquisate. After having lost its defensive function, the castle was replaced by the Santa Giustina church and by houses built on ancient walls, which still have sandstone entrance doors and round-arched windows. At the feet of the village is the Seventeenth century San Rocco oratory.

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Village of Montombraro (Zocca)

Village of Montombraro (Zocca)

Montombraro castle was documented for the first time in 1110 and was involved in the bloody battles between the Modenese and Bolognese people. In the castle’s ancient area is the Parish Church dedicated to S.S. Salvatore. It dominates the historical centre and keeps its original plan, which is characterized by valuable architectural elements. Inside there are some important decorations and paintings

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Fontanini di Sotto di Montombraro (Zocca)

Fontanini di Sotto di Montombraro (Zocca)

Fontanini di Sotto is one of the most elegant villages in the Modenese mountain area. It is located in a dominating position, surrounded by a wonderful natural environment. It is constructed of some buildings placed in a half circle and defended by a strong Sixteenth century tower. The main building has a wonderful façade with some loopholes and little sandstone windows. The other building with a dovecote tower is really valuable, too. After having been accurately renovated, now it is used as an agritourism and so it can be visited.

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House Fanano of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

House Fanano of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

It is located in a dominating but isolated position, in the Rio Grande stream valley. Some buildings have been added to the elegant house which has a Fifteenth century tower, and they have ruined the original aspect. It is in very bad condition and renovation works should be done. In fact, it has some valuable elements, for example a round-arched entrance door, some windows and loopholes and a monolithic mullioned window.

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House Il Monte of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

House Il Monte of Roccamalatina (Guiglia)

It is located in a dominating position, in the modern centre of Roccamalatina. It has been partially ruined by disputable renovation works and modern buildings, which have altered its original aspect. The village is placed on a Fourteenth century plan that forms a closed courtyard. At the centre of the courtyard there is a strong Fourteenth century tower with nice sandstone windows that have been damaged by the weather. There is also a very nice entrance door dating 1514.

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