Entire territory Home / Discover the area / Tourist locations in Gualtieri


Town of the Po valley near the Po river, it was born at the time of the Lords. There are land drainage and huge buildings built by the Bentivoglio family.


Altitude: 22 m
Inhabitants: 6.576 (updated to January 1, 2015)
Postal code: 42044
Weekly market day: Friday
Patron Saint: Madonna della Neve (August 5)
Hamlets: Pieve Saliceto, Santa Vittoria


Phone 0039 0522 221811 - Municipality
sito web Comune Gualtieri (Gualtieri Municipality)
Sito web - Website Borghi Viaggio Italiano

How to get there


By car
Distance from the Reggio Emilia exit of the A1 motorway: 20 km. Distance from the Reggiolo-Rolo exit of the A22 motorway: 16 km. National Road SS63, which runs from Mantua to Reggio Emilia. National Road SS62, which runs from Parma to Mantua and Verona.

By train
Station in Gualtieri, trains from Parma along Parma-Suzzara route.

By bus
From Reggio Emilia, Piazzale Europa: suburban transport service bus No. 87.


Gualtieri is situated north of the province of Reggio Emilia, at a distance of 26 km from the administrative centre.

Historical notes

Historians narrate that the name "Gualtieri" appeared for the first time during the Lombard domination as "Castrum Vultureno" which later became "Castrum Walterii", or residence of the Lombard Gualtiero who lived in the 7th century.
But it is from the second half of the 1400s that the story of Gualtieri begins as we can still see it today; belonged to the Sforza family in fact, in 1476, the feud passes under the dominions of the Este family of Ferrara, to which it will belong continuously until 1860.

From 1560 to 1635 it was marquisate of the rich Bentivoglio family, who built the "new city", according to the schemes of a refined late mannerism and under strict control of the laws of perspective, thus creating a gigantic theatrical scene in order to magnify the power of the Marquis .
Ippolito began the construction of the castle of which the current "palace" is only a part; he had G.B. draw it. Aleotti known as l'Argenta the beautiful square still intact, and gave his hand to the construction of the "Collegiata".
It then suffered the disastrous consequences of the war of succession, the floods of the Po and the abandonment of the new Lords.
Furthermore, Cornelio and his son Ippolito began the grandiose reclamation work that redeemed the Reggio plain from the marsh and whose essential structures are still valid and efficient.
And Gualtieri still retains clear memories of this past.
In 1635 Enzo Bentivoglio, at the request of Duke Francesco I d'Este, exchanged Gualtieri for Scandiano.
From then until the unification of Italy, Gualtieri was a direct possession of the Este family.
Gualtieri is also sadly known for two great floods that occurred here, one in 1765, which exceeded 3.50 meters in the square, while the other, in 1951, reached 3.80 meters and of which the monuments in the square still bear memory.

Reasons to visit

The town was established in the centre of the Po Valley, on the banks of the Po River, at the time of the Lords.
Key historical dates are 1479, the year in which the town definitively came under the possession of the Este family from Ferrara and 24 July 1567, when Alfonso D’Este granted investiture to the faithful Cornelio Bentivoglio, lieutenant general of the Ferrara State.
Thanks to Bentivoglio, large-scale reclamation works began, the principle structures of which are still valid and efficient today.

In Piazza Bentivoglio is the Palace of the same name, as well as the Santa Maria della Neve Parish Church and the Civic Tower.
The square is a perfect square measuring one hundred metres on each side, crowned on three sides by airy porticoes with 69 arches.
It has both Renaissance and Baroque elements.

Palazzo Bentivoglio was built between 1594 and 1600 by Ippolito, who incorporated the “Casa Vecchia” (Old Home) of his father Cornelio.
The building originally had four 90-m-long brickwork façades, the same as those visible today. On the top floor is the magnificent Salone dei Giganti, frescoed with scenes taken from “Jerusalem Delivered” by Torquato Tasso, the Sala dell'Eneide, the Sala di Icaro, the Sala di Giove and the Cappella Gentilizia.
The Palace hosts the Antonio Ligabue Museum Foundation and the Collection of the tailor Umberto Tirelli.

Gualtieri is the birthplace of one of the most important “Naïve Art” painters of the XX century: Antonio Ligabue.

Not to be missed

The Antonio Ligabue Museum Foundation, the permanent museum based in the Palazzo Bentivoglio in Gualtieri.
The Antonio Ligabue Museum, a house in Gualtieri where the painter Antonio Ligabue lived and worked.


The XVIII-century theatre of Palazzo Bentivoglio is now the Social Theatre: it promotes theatre and musical performances, also contemporary. It is also known as the inverted theatre as the stalls and the stage are inverted. It is a physical and conceptual inversion at the same time.

Keeping fit

The Gualtieri floodplain is divided into “closed” and “open” parts, separated by an embankment called a “golenale” of about 1 m lower than the main embankment.
The closed part between the two embankments is characterized by crop farming, with a number of farmhouses and a XVIII-century hamlet, once inhabited by the “Sabiaroli”.
In this area is a protected natural area in what was once an old clay quarry called “I Caldarèn”.
The open part, towards the river, is occupied by large extensions of poplar forests often interrupted by patches of scrubland composed of native plants, lakes formed in abandoned quarries, skeps and oxbow lakes in which various animal and vegetable species live and reproduce.
It is possible to see wonderful natural landscapes following the cycle path that links Gualtieri to Boretto and Guastalla, such as the Isola degli Internati, the Lago azzurro (Blue Lake), the Caldarèn, Via Alzaia, the Piattello quarry and, in the floodplain, the beautiful profile of the towers of Gualtieri rising above the main embankment: it is a charming landscape where nature and architecture are in harmony.
The long Viale Po flanked by cypress poplars links directly to the centre of Gualtieri on the right bank of the Po River.


Festa del Pozzo (Festival of the Well) - Third weekend of June
Dances, musical performances, gastronomic events.

Journey to Gualtieri - September
Culture, landscape, food and wine. Performances, concerts, extraordinary openings, guided tours, dinners and nature trails to discover and rediscover the hidden places and stories of one of the most beautiful villages of Italy.

October Festival - Third Sunday of October
Tastings and sale of local food and wine products, funfair, market and cooking of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

In the vicinity

A few kilometres from Gualtieri it is possible to find Santa Vittoria, a village known for its traditional watermelons, where the majestic Palazzo Greppi is worth a tour.

Renowned people

  • Antonio Ligabue, among the most important figures of Italian painting.
  • Umberto Tirelli, stylist and owner of the tailor's shop of the same name, famous for having made clothes for the greatest national and international film successes.

Useful links



- "Jupiter's Hall", with the Antonio Ligabue Museum and Study Centre, which renders homage to the painter and illustrates his artistic development through the collections of bibliographic and iconographic material. The collections include a valuable original self-portrait by Ligabue.
- "Icarus's Hall", with a collection donated by Umberto Tirelli, the famous costume designer who worked with the most important Italian film directors. The collection includes more than 50 excellent works of art (drawings, oil paintings, ink drawings, and tempera paintings) by artists such as Casorati, De Chirico, Guttuso, Balthus, Manzù, Clerici, and Mazzacurati, as well as two costumes designed for Pirandello's "Henry IV" and for "Ludwing" by L. Visconti.
On the south side of the square stands the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria della Neve. Gualtieri's oldest church is Sant’Andrea (St. Andrew's), located along the road to Parma. It has been restored and expanded, and has a fine bell tower that was completely rebuilt in 1713. The Church of the Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception) is of particular interest; it was decorated in 1650 with a splendid carved wooden ceiling with a large central oval depicting "The Assumption of the Virgin Mary", which has been attributed to the Battistelli school. Finally, not far from Gualtieri, is Villa Malaspina, which once belonged to the counts Torello. The villa has a large lawn with a pond, and a chapel with a painting by A. Chierici. Five kilometres away in the village of Santa Vittoria looms 18th-century Palazzo Greppi, which has recently been partially restored.