Municipality of Fontanellato, 19 km from Parma

Opening period

All year round


The charming fortress, stands at the centre of the town, surrounded by a moat, full of water: it is home to one of the masterpieces of Italian Mannerism: the frescoed room by Parmigianino in 1524, portraiting the myth of Diana and Atteone. Sanvitale “appartamento nobile” is still open. The only working Optical Room in Italy can be visited.


The stronghold’s construction began around 1124, when a first defense tower was built by Pallavicino. The central guarding tower was built in the same period, that is now the entrance door too: today it has a stone bridge, originally a lift bridge. In 1386 the lands around Fontanellato with its stronghold, were given to Sanvitale.

In 1404, the fief became a county: in that period, the stronghold became an important noble residence. It has been property of Sanvitale family up to 1948, when Giovanni Sanvitale sold it to the Municipality of Fontanellato.

Source: Associazione dei Castelli del Ducato di Parma e Piacenza – Link
Images courtesy of the Castelli del Ducato di Parma e Piacenza Photo Archive

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