The village of Grazzano Visconti pays homage to the figure of a nobleman from Milan at the beginning of the twentieth century, fundamental also in his own name. Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, who lived between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has given an indelible imprint to this village of Piacenza, which still maintains an ancient aura, the result of the twentieth century revisitation of Visconti. The village, which hosts historical parades and events in medieval costume, as well as important floricultural events, is a place to visit with family or friends for a special day: a walk through the points of interest of this area will allow you to travel virtually back in time to seven centuries.
What to see
Grazzano Visconti is a place that seems to have stopped in time denied. For several centuries connected to the destinies of the Anguissola family, the original character of this village is however found in the influence of Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, a duke of Milanese origins who at the beginning of the twentieth century designed a large part of this picturesque village. The aim was to draw inspiration from the Middle Ages in architectural terms: it is in fact a very rare Italian example of revivalist architecture, a widespread trend among the high lineage people of the European capitals towards the end of the nineteenth century.
Among the points of interest that cannot absolutely miss in a visit to Grazzano Visconti is the Castle, with its annexed historical park. This building, dating back to the end of the fourteenth century, was erected to meet a twofold need; on the one hand the residential one, on the other the defensive one. Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, a great personality linked to this area, took care of its restoration according to the tastes of the early twentieth century.
The Art Nouveau elements, with the eclectic typicality that characterize this style, are still well visible today. The castle, which today belongs to the Duke's heirs, can be visited from March to October, upon purchase of the ticket, with the possibility of booking a guided tour.
If you are traveling with a group of friends you can book your visit on the day and time slot that best suits your agenda, while for individual visits the castle is open only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The complete tour includes the courtyard, to continue to the richly furnished reception rooms, located on the ground floor, and finally go up to the second floor to explore the bedrooms. The outdoor park, built at the behest of Giuseppe Visconti, covers an area of fifteen hectares and is divided into a section of English garden and one more in line with the Italian style. This beautiful green space, dotted with statues, fountains, columns and many varieties of trees and shrubs, is also suitable for a visit with children.
Another building not to be missed is the Parish Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian: it is the oldest building in the country, although its current appearance reflects the reconstructions that took place in the seventeenth century. Particular is instead the Cortevecchia, a place where a very original museum of agricultural tools has been created, which testify the charm of a rural life and the various professions that characterized this area. Finally, the Wax Museum houses depictions of important figures in the history of Piacenza, whose life anecdotes are told during guided tours.
What to do
There is no lack of new activities and original itineraries in Grazzano Visconti, even if one of the most particular activities to do in the village is the Torture Museum, ideal for those who have a taste for the bizarre, perfectly in line with the medieval setting. This building has an adjacent escape room, whose theme is the Inquisition, where friends can challenge each other to see who can sharpen their wits to get out of the room.
Strolling through this beautiful village characterized by white alleys, frescoed facades, elegant arcades and statues inspired by medieval times is in itself a must. The houses are still inhabited and, although life in the village runs along with modernity, you can not miss the opportunity to visit the village during one of the events in costume or on Advent Sundays with the Christmas markets.
The seasons indicated to visit this beautiful village are therefore the spring but also the late autumn, when it is possible to relax walking and discovering a place where time seems to run slower and where the various eras are mixed for a unique experience. Finally, as far as gastronomic specialties are concerned, the land of Piacenza offers dishes capable of tempting gourmet palates and those in search of traditional flavors.
Grazzano Visconti is no exception: those who visit the village should definitely try the tortelli con la coda and the pisarei and fasö, which can be tasted in all the restaurants in the area. Obviously you cannot miss as an aperitif a chopping board of Piacenza's dop salami, including coppa and pancetta, strictly produced by local suppliers. For an authentic experience should be tasted with chisolino, a special bread dough cut in an irregular way and fried in lard, and accompanied by excellent Colli Piacentini wine, such as Gutturnio.
Village of Grazzano Visconti
Municipality of Vigolzone
Provincia di Piacenza
Inhabitants: 4.207 vigolzonesi
Center Altitude: 165 m s.l.m.
Piazza Serena, 18 - tel: 0523872711