Where could I start to narrate you about the majestic manor that stands proud and intact in the land of Matilda of Canossa?Matilda of Canossa, the most powerful woman in the Middle Ages, has left a deep groove in this Emilian territory, which extends from Reggio-Emilia to Parma.
The Matildic lands are shouldered by a mysterious charm where time seems to be suspended between past and present, which makes it a perfect getaway destination. The Bianello Castle was part of Matilda’s possessions, a place I remember visiting during Easter Day a few years a go. It was a beautiful Sunday morning of spring, the sky teased with turquoise blue kept me company for the whole day and accompanied me in the discovering of that fortress, that dominates on the landscape of Val D’Enza, situated at the entrance of the village Quattro Castella, about 20 kilometers far from Reggio-Emilia.
Matilda of Canossa, the great Countess and interlocutor of popes and sovereigns, truly loved this manor, which today appears to our eyes modified by the extensions ordered by the descendants of Matilda, who lived there until the eighteenth century, which made it a comfortable home, embellished by scenographic environments and fine paintings.
Once the car is parked at the food of the hill, the climb to the Castle begins. It is a white road that curls through the vegetation and in some spots opens like a curtain on the surrounding valley.
Once you reach the top, there is a small courtyard that leads to the internal part of the residence.
Some of the rooms are truly beautiful, some others, unfortunately, suffer from the neglecting state in which they had been left into, that’s because of the humidity that leaves no hope and that invades sumptuous frescoes walls and wooden inlays.
The tour around the Bianello Castle lasts for about 50 minutes and includes the visit to the large kitchens, the prison, the bedrooms, and sumptuous halls with marvelous paintings. On the top of that hill, that appears like a privilege observatory on the surrounding plains, a sighting tower existed since the first half of the tenth century, whose history is linked to the vicissitudes of the Countess Matilda of Canossa, who hosted emperors Henry IV and Henry V in that residence.
Matilda of Canossa left the scene in 1115, but went down in history. There are countless re-enactment initiatives that keep the name of the Great Duchess alive.