La Rocca di Olgisio is an impressive fortified complex located in a striking position, perched on a high spur between the Chiarone and Tidone torrents. Among monuments of greater historical interest in the province of Piacenza, it hosts within its walls a B & B that offers guests a warm welcome and a suggestive view of the valleys where the Rocca is located.
Rocca d'Olgisio History
La Rocca d'Olgisio is one of the most ancient fortresses of the Piacentino, as well as an inestimable architectural jewel of incredible complexity. Tradition has it that the castle belonged to a nobleman named Giovannato at the beginning of the 5th century. The earliest certain information that we have received dates back to 1037 when Giovanni, a canon in the cathedral of Piacenza, ceded the property to the monks of San Savino, who maintained it until 1296. For a hundred years, the historically turbulent period was the subject of numerous disputes between nobles and knights, including the Visconti, the Malaspina and the counts Zileni Dal Verme.
During the Second World War it was the headquarters of the second division of the partisan of Piacenza and for this reason it was made the subject of artillery shots and attacks by the German troops in the area.
On the doorframe that allows entry from the third wall in the courtyard is carved the motto Arx fearless (fearless fortress or fortress that fears nothing), this access was equipped until the nineteenth century with a drawbridge and protected by a gate railing. Inside the courtyard there is a well, about fifty meters deep, on which legends of secret passages and escape routes from the castle persist. On the whole, which is very complex, we can see: the oratory, the bell tower, the donjon with frescoed halls and a sixteenth-century lookout gallery.
Outside, just beyond the walls, there are some caves that housed a prehistoric necropolis, are linked to legendary and sacred events: the cave of the saints (Faustina and Liberata), the conscripts and the cypress.
La Rocca, arranged on several levels, with an almost pyramidal development that converges in the central body of the building, the fortress has six orders of defensive walls, which descend down to the valley towards the rivers Tidone and Chiarone. Between the first and second walls, in a group of seventeenth-century rustic houses, there are rooms available as accommodation. Equipped with a kitchenette and a living room with fireplace, they feature ceilings with wooden beams, terracotta floors and period furniture, which give a cozy atmosphere, typical of a home.
The Bengalli family, which has permanently resides here since 1979, manages both the Bed & Breakfast activities and the other services available at the fortress. Receptions, private parties, wedding banquets and cultural events - always with the support of a catering service - find in these spaces a suggestive realization, which among ancient armors, frescoed vaults, objects and original furnishings recall the noble past of ladies and knights.
From March until October the fortress is open to the public simply for guided tours.