From an architectural point of view Vigoleno castle constitutes a fortified complex of great interest which has maintained almost intact its original character. The castle and hamlet are to be considered as a whole defensive system and from the point of view of architectural defense, represent one of the most precious and interesting monuments that you can encounter.
The castle was constructed in the tenth century, and many times destroyed (in medieval terms “destroyed” means “made unsuitable for defense”), and was reconstructed in its present form on preceding boundaries in 1389. The formidable “rivellino”, with it powerful entrance tower on quadrangular plan remains a rare example of a fortified access point.
With mixed fortunes, it was conquered on subsequent periods by the Pallavicino, the Visconti, the Farnese and (at the time of Duca Ottavio) by the Scotti.
Between the two world wars, Vigoleno welcomed famous people and reached international fame due to the duchess Maria di Grammont, born princess Ruspoli, who restored the castle and welcomed in it actors, poets, writers and the “bel mondo” of those roaring years. Amongst the people which were welcomed here were, the painter and master of surrealism Max Ernst, the multiform genius Jean Cocteau, the ‘prima donna’ of the cinema Mary Pikford, the writer Elsa Maxwell, D’Annunzio and the pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
Today the Castle includes an historic hotel.
Church of St. George
The time in which Vigoleno had its magnificent church made, could be narrowed down to between 1150 and 1200: a small roman basilica with three naves which through the years has undergone two important restorations which can be attributed to the ‘Rinascimento’ and ‘Barocco’ styles.
Recently (in 1963) it has been restored returning the roman style to its original state established by history. Precious sculptures are present in the front door with pillars, little columns and leafed capitals culminating into a relief of the antelamic school showing St.George.
On the inside you can find four copies of the majestic pillars crowned by the sculptured capitals with figures of roman symbols. Still in part visible are some “affreschi” late-gothic style; amongst others, a picture of San Benedetto, painted in the third column on the left on entering, il bears the date 19th July 1427.
In the central apse, an important “affresco” of the XV century shows St.George to whom the church is dedicated.
Restaurant- Tavern “Al Castello”
Typical Emiliana home cooking, specialties:
peas and beans, nettle pasta, stewed meat of ass, wild boar with “polenta”, mushroom delicacies, fried Porcini mushrooms, wines and cured pork meats of the area.
Run directly by the owners, the Tavern is situated in the courtyard of the Vigoleno Castle.
Rooms are available for banquets and ceremonies.
The following celebrities have appreciated the cooking of the Taverna “Al Castello”:
Vittorio Gassmann, Paolo Villaggio, Carlo Verdone, Heather Parisi, Luca Barbareschi…
The wine from France is good
the one from Reno is exquisite
but Vigoleno’s wine
is the best nectar!!
Courtesy of vigolenoitaly.com