Municipal Square and Rocca Viscontea

Take a walk through the centuries

With its rural streets winding among the hills towards the Apennine, Castell’Arquato rises through the trees and vineyards with its towers and crenellated walls. Visitors will be amazed by its medieval history: the entire village, the sandstone houses, the narrow streest built upon a terrace of fossilized shell…

A well preserved medieval village that can fascinate everyone with its art, nature and typical products.

 

Municipal Square – Piazza Municipio

Situated at the top of the hill, the Municipal Square has been the political , military and religious centre of Castell’Arquato since medieval times. Here you can find the most important buildings: the Rocca Viscontea, the Collegiate Church and the Podestà Palace.

Walking downhill along Via Sforza Caolzio towards the lower part of the town, one comes across churches and palaces from different epochs, but every visit should include “getting lost” in the small streets which still have the old-style simple houses and elegant courtyards which the burg is so famous for.

 

Rocca Viscontea

Built at the initiative of the City of Piacenza in 1342, the fortress was reinforced and finished by Luchino Visconti in 1347. It is an imposing construction made of brick with a specifically military-defensive function located in a strategic position for the control of the surrounding region.

The fortress, situated at the site of an old Roman military settlement (castrum), has an unusual shape.

Its structure is made up by two rectangular boundary walls: the lower and larger one, where the guards were housed and where population could also take refuge if danger arose, and  the smaller and higher one, which was reserved for the command garrison.

The high tower, other than being a very good observation point, was considered the most important part of the fortalice: erected with military aims, it was never resided in by the nobility.

In contrast with other buildings in Castell’Arquato, the Rocca was never involved in the 20th century restoration campaigns; only in 1916 were the swallowtail battlements completed and the moat and the drawbridge were renovated in the 1970s.