As you know, in Italy we have a good number of castles. One of the best preserved and interesting castles is the Italian castle of Torrechiara.
The Italian castle of Torrechiara stands on the top of a rocky hill in Val Parma. The construction was started by the Count Pier Maria II de’ Rossi in 1448 and was completed in 1460. De’ Rossi wanted to build a defensive castle that he could also use as a love nest for himself and his lover Bianca Pellegrini.
He personally designed part of the defensive structures. The original castle had three set of defensive walls, five towers, and two moats.
The Italian castle of Torrechiara has several rooms, each one of them decorated with frescos by famous artists of the time. Sala di Giove, for example was a room dedicated to the ladies. There, they could read and embroider. It’s decorated with some frescos by Cesare Baglioni and Innocenzo Martini. Salone degli Stemmi is decorated with frescoes by Giovanni Antonio Paganino and shows eight different coats of arms, the most beautiful ones are probably the coat of arm of the Sforza, and the coats of arms of four Popes.
In Sala della Sera there’s a big fresco that covers the entire ceiling. It depicts a blue sky, some clouds, and many birds. Moreover, on the walls there are frescos depicting landscapes and hunting scenes. It’s really beautiful to see.
However, the most important room of the entire castle is certainly Camera d’Oro. Camera d’Oro was the bedroom of De’ Rossi and Bianca Pellegrini. It’s famous for the frescos, painted by Girolamo Bembo and Francesco Tacconi, that cover the upper part of the room, and that depict the love between De’ Rossi and Pellegrini. These frescos are important because they’re the only example in Italy of medieval frescos showing courtly love between two people that have really existed.
Since 1912, the castle is owned by the Italian government and it can, of course, be visited. The castle is generally open for visits from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9 to 18:30 and on Sundays from 9:45 to 16:30. It’s important to book your tickets in advance. Tickets cost 5 euros for adults, 2 euros for people between 18 and 25 years old, and are free for people from 0 to 18 years old.
The ghost in the castle
Like many castles, also the Italian Castle of Torrechiara has its own legend about a ghost haunting it. It is said that, during the nights of full moon, the ghost of Pier Maria II de’ Rossi still roams the castle, searching for his beloved lover, Bianca, and repeating the motto “Nunc et Semper” – now and forever. The same motto can be found in the fresco in the Camera d’Oro, together with a heart and the initials of the two lovers.
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Original image by valtercirillo