Bianello Castle

The Bianello Castle is one of the four Matilda fortresses, built on four successive hills of equal height and dominating the plain below.

Address and contacts

Strada Provinciale, 23 - 42020 Quattro Castella
Telefono -  Phone 0522 247824 - Municipality; 0039 333 2319133; 0039 339 2313875 - Gruppo Storico Il Melograno
Sito web - WebsiteCastello di Bianello; Gruppo Storico Il Melograno.

It is possible to visit the castle only with a guided tour. The tours start every hour from the castle bookshop. In compliance with the current regulations for the Covid-19 health emergency, groups of maximum 20 people will be organized giving priority to those who have booked the tour in advance. Face mask required. The last tour group starts one hour before the closing time.

Icona markerTo keep fit... Four steps into the Bianello Oasis! Download the map.

Opening times

April 16 - June 30, 2022
Saturday 3.00 - 7.00 p.m.; Sunday and holidays 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 - 7.00 p.m.

July 1 - September 30, 2022
Thursday 8.00 - 11.00 p.m.; Saturday 3.00 - 7.00 p.m.; Sunday and holidays 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 - 8.00 p.m.; holidays 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 - 7.00 p.m.

October 1 - December 31, 2022
Saturday-Sunday and holidays 2.00 - 6.00 p.m.

Information or reservation

Gruppo Storico Il Melograno
Mobile0039 339 2313875 Mariagrazia
Mobile0039 333 2319133 Rita

Entrance fee

Euros 6.00
Reduced: Euros 3.00 (residents in the municipality of Quattro Castella, young people under 18, students under 26 and schools of the municipal area).
Free for children under 12.

How to get there

Located in the hills of the Province of Reggio Emilia, Quattro Castella is about 17 km from the town of Reggio Emilia. Provincial Road 21, running through the entire territory and passing through the village of Puianello on the way to San Polo d'Enza, divides the hill region from the plain. bus SETA extraurbano No. 48. Access to the monumental area and the naturalistic oasis is forbidden to all motor vehicles.

Historical notes

The castles were defensive outposts in a first line of defence for Canossa against attack coming from the direction of Lombardy or the alpine passes. Over the centuries Bianello was both stronghold and home to the Canossa family until the mid-18th century when it became a noble residence. The castle is a compact building, its outer walls built to a polygonal plan. A stone tablet at the entrance to the castle walls bears the inscription: "Comitissae Matildis opus", but the castle, and the other three, are in fact of earlier construction. The origins of the castle as a lookout tower can be traced back to the 10th century. Matilda herself resided almost habitually at Bianello and it was here that she hosted a penitent Henry V before the historic meeting of 1077. Popes and princes were guests at Bianello and in 1111 Matilda received Henry V after his coronation in Rome and was herself proclaimed by him Imperial Vicar in Italy. These were the beginnings of the peace established at the Concorde of Worms ten years later. After the death of Matilda the castle remained in the Canossa family. The castle then underwent numerous transformations which changed it into a noble residence, but it still conserves some interesting elements of the original stronghold and in one of the rooms a painting of the 14th century depicting Matilda holding a pomegranate flower and the words "tuetur et unit". From the castle there is an exceptional panorama of one of the most fertile valleys in the world.

Matilda's residence and Henry V's visits are commemorated in a celebration of the events which has been repeated annually for the last twenty years, and which has seen the creation of the "Matilda Prize".  At the foot of the hill is a church, restored several times over the years, which conserves an interesting carved lunette, an architrave decorated with floral patterns and a hand raised in blessing, and several stone fragments decorated with the simple, refined art typical of buildings, especially religious buildings, of that time.

© photographer IBC Emilia Romagna_AndreaScardova