Complex of the fourteenth century stronghold, home of the Museum of medieval life, is open to visitors and available as a location for meetings, ceremonies and weddings.
Rocca Viscontea di Castell'Arquato History
In Castell'Arquato, one of the most evocative and hamlets of Italy, the Middle Ages was an era of elegance and class in which buildings and landscape come together in a magnificent setting. It is here that still today stands the Rocca Viscontea which with its towers dominates from its strategic position the village and the Val d'Arda.
The first historical data on the Rocca can be found in the Registrum Magnum of Piacenza, which places its construction in the year 1342, in full Visconti domination. La Rocca rises on the foundations of a Roman castrum of the II century a.C. rebuilt and re-adapted several times since the times of the Gallic invasions. The complex was completed in 1349, but the client Luchino Visconti, never saw the end of the work dying in that year.
The tallest tower had the important function of an observation tower between the Po Valley and the Apennines and in the fourteenth century there was no way to escape the gaze of those who were looking towards the valley below from the top of the Rocca.
The building has two parts connected to each other: a lower wall placed on two rectangular-shaped steps where soldiers usually lived and where in case of danger the citizens could be sheltered and a minor one, placed higher up, once reserved to the command of the garrison.
It is accessed by crossing a bridge, once a drawbridge, which passes the deep moat at the base of the keep. This houses overlapping rooms, connected by a wooden and stone stairs leading to the tower from where the visitor, today as six hundred years ago, can enjoy the incomparable 360 degree panorama; the same attraction of the visitors must have been the director Richar Donner when, in 1985, he decided to set his famous "Ladyhawke" with Michel Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer, among the stones of Castell'Arquato
Today it can be visited and it also allows you to visit the Museum of Medieval Life set up inside and is often home to medieval culture and historical re-enactments.