Surrounded by a water filled moat, the massive Rocca dominates the ancient village of Fontanellato, deriving its name from the abundance of underground water which used to spout from the ground of nearby marshlands. The present building dates back to the beginning of 17th century, when the Parmesan architect Smeraldo Smeraldi transformed the original square structure of the 15th century.
A small bridge connects the keep by the entrance to the square courtyard with an arcade and an open gallery. In the rooms, are noteworthy pieces of furniture of 16th, 17th and 18th century, armours, chinas, paintings by Schedoni, Boselli, Nuvoloni, Baldrighi. A small room frescoed by young Parmigianino for Paola Gonzaga and Galeazzo Sanvitale is the real masterpiece inside the castle: it depicts Acteon’s metamorphosis, when he is turned into a deer after spying Diana and her maids during a bath. Parmigianino, clearly influenced by Correggio’s room in the convent of St. Paul in Parma, anticipates Mannerism. The room is rich of esoteric allusions and of stylistic innovations, making it one of the most interesting works of Italian Renaissance.
The castle is accessible for disabled people. Animals can enter only if small, kept in the arms or in a carrier.
Activities and events at the castle:
the Rocca Sanvitale proposes many didactic activities and cultural entertainment for groups of kids and schools of every age.
Among these there are guided animated tours, workshops, themed visits and magical Sundays.
The castle is available also for meetings, conferences, but also to celebrate civil marriages and unions, the spaces are available to rent for receptions and private parties.
On the third Sunday of each month a huge antiques market, one of the biggest in Italy, takes place in the streets and squares around the castle.