Village of Vigoleno
Municipality of Vernasca
Province of Piacenza
Region Emilia Romagna
Inhabitants: 2.131 (20 in the village)
Altitude center: 420 m a.s.l.
The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Orange Flag - Italian Touring Club
Association for the Castles in the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza
Protected Natural Areas:
Stirone Regional River Park
Nature Reserve Geology of Piacenzano
Municipality of Vernasca
Via G. Sidoli 3 - 29010 Vernasca (PC)
The fortified village of Vigoleno is one of the most important historical monuments of the territory of Piacenza, both for the elegance of its forms that for exceptional integrity of the entire plant Castrense. Membership for five centuries, almost uninterrupted, to the noble family Scotti, has allowed the village to be among those best preserved. It is a combination of history and art but also of the gastronomic culture, where you can enjoy: salami DOP, tortelli, anolini, game, cheeses accompanied by DOC wines of the Colli piacentini. A real rarity DOC is represented by Vin Santo of Vigoleno, a Passito Wine of limited production kept in small wooden barrels for at least five years.
Given the strategic importance of the territory on the border with Parma, were assumed to defensive structures since the roman age. The existence of the fortifications of Vigoleno, however, is testified for the first time in the XII century, when the village churches protection to the commune of Piacenza. Further defensive additions were ordered in 1306 by Alberto Scotti, the merchant family Scotti of Piacenza. The town of Piacenza occupied following the site by destroying their defenses ricostruendole and after a short time. In the second half of the XIV century, the milanese family of the Visconti got the castle and then lose it and riottenerlo, thanks to a deception, during the war between the Duchy of Milan and Amedeo VI of Savoy. For order of Galeazzo Visconti castle was destroyed almost completely. The the Scotti family obtained the license to rebuild the castle in 1385 and lived in it for almost its entire history, until early 1900, when for economic reasons it was forced to sell it.
In the twenties and thirties of 1900, the castle became the property of Princess Mary Ruspoli-Gramont which invited in his residence extraordinary characters of the elite and the culture of the time such as Gabriele D Annunzio, Riccardo Bacchelli, the pianist Arthur Rubinstein and painters Max Ernst and Alexandre Jacovleff (which is responsible for the decoration of the theater of the castle). In the castle of private property and is currently used as a hotel, you can visit the noble floor, with the ancient halls and the Piccolo Teatro just 12 places.
The village, still today it is accessed for the same port that over the centuries has seen soldiers, ladies and knights. Passed the entrance, you enter the piazza with its center at the sixteenth-century fountain. Next to it rises the Donjon, mighty quadrangular tower which dominates the surrounding landscape. Located in front of the entrance of the castle there is the Oratory of the Madonna delle Grazie, elegant seventeenth century building, built on the ruins of an ancient hospitable for the faithful traveling along the Via Francigena. Going eastwards, you reach the Parish Church of San Giorgio. The Church, among the most suggestive examples of Paduan Romanesque, preserves in the facade the valuable lunette of Saint George killing the dragon. The stones with golden hues of the houses in the village, show sometimes remains of fossil shells that recall a time very far in which the whole area was covered by the waters of the sea.
Vigoleno is also included in the Regional Park of the Stirone and Piacenziano, a protected area that has significant elements of geological and naturalistic interest.
NOTE: distances are set as the crow flies.