The Castle is open from May to November from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with free entrance. For information and booking guided tours contact the Cultural Office 0536/833418
Telephone: +39 0536 833412
FAX: +39 0536 832728
INFOLINE: +39 0536 833412
The original fortification, traces of which can still be made out in the moat, the drawbridge and the battlemented walls, was transformed by the Pio Lords of Carpi into a noble palace surrounding an elegant porticoed Renaissance courtyard.
Nestling in the historic park, the splendid sixteenth-century residence suddenly reveals itself unexpectedly to visitors’ eyes in all its grandeur. The main stairway opens onto the piano nobile of the large Galleria delle Battaglie, whose walls are decorated with frescoes telling of the deeds of Duke Alfonso I d’Este: land and sea battles, portrayed in minute detail that describe clothes, weapons and provisions of lords, armies and servants. The piano nobile is home to the sixteenth-century Pio di Savoia apartment, where, on the architraves of the original doors, we can still read inscriptions in gold letters honouring Marco Pio.
A hidden gem is the Sala delle Vedute, a majestic ceremonial room facing onto the courtyard, which conserves a significant pictorial cycle consisting of 57 views showing local castles, villages and rural communities, designed to celebrate the might of the Pio di Savoia family. The frescoes, of the Farnese school, halfway between painting and mapmaking, make up an enchanting and unusual historical photograph of the territory at the end of the sixteenth century.
Still visitable and of great fascination are the prisons, displaced in the pentagonal tower, which conserve an ancient straw bed of wooden planks as well as hundreds of curious inscriptions left behind by the prisoners. A room on the ground floor of the castle, previously assembly chamber and a court of law, was to become a chapel only in the early twentieth century, enriched by an altar decorated with a stucco frontal from Carpi dated 1699. In the assembly chamber there is a rope connected to the bell situated on the castle turret, designed to gather together the population in the event of fires, natural calamities or homicide, or to make proclamations public. This seventeenth century bell was later substituted by another one in the nineteenth century, which is still there.
The Castle of Spezzano’s pentagonal tower is home to the Municipal Vinegar Works. Consisting of three batteries of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, it features original furnishing and equipment: flasks, test tubes, barrels, kegs and buckets. In the gatekeeper’s house is the restaurant where it is possible to enjoy local recipes. Between the massive ancient walls sprout wild caper plants, a base ingredient for salsa verde (literally, green sauce) for boiled meats, a mouthwatering accompaniment for many traditional local foods.
It takes a handful of caper buds preserved in salt, a sprig of parsley, two anchovy fillets, a chopped hard-boiled egg, a trickle of extra virgin olive oil and just a few drops of traditional balsamic vinegar to make a typical aromatic salsa verde
The first floor of the building is home to Fiorano’s Museo della Ceramica (Ceramics Museum), which documents the techniques and production methods used for ceramics from the Neolithic to modern-day floor tiles. The castle is surrounded and hidden to visitors’ eyes by a splendid historic park whose layout dates to the end of the nineteenth century. Most of the park features the typical characteristics of the plain’s woodland; oaks, maple, hornbeam, yew and cedar are scattered across the area, which is crisscrossed by avenues and paths edged by trimmed boxwood hedges. A pedestrian and cycle track crosses part of the historical park leading to the village of Fogliano, to link the Spezzano castle area with the Castles of Nirano and Montegibbio and the Salse di Nirano nature reserve.
Fonte: redazione locale Modena