If you are looking for an original and suggestive tourist destination, that makes you immerse yourself in an atmosphere of other times, then you have to visit Grazzano Visconti, a medieval village located in the province of Piacenza, in Emilia Romagna.
Grazzano Visconti is a unique place of its kind, the result of the vision of a noble Italian, the Duke Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, who in 1903 decided to transform his fiefdom into an ideal city, inspired by the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Today Grazzano Visconti is a very popular destination for tourists, who can admire its architectural and natural beauties, participate in its cultural and historical events, and taste its typical products.
The Castle of Grazzano
The heart of the village is the Castle of Grazzano, a majestic noble residence that dates back to the 12th century. The castle was built by the Pallavicino marquises, lords of the area, and then passed to the Visconti of Milan in the 14th century. The castle underwent several transformations over the centuries, until it reached its current appearance in 1903, when Duke Giuseppe Visconti completely renovated it, equipping it with battlemented towers, drawbridges, moats and Italian gardens.
The castle is still inhabited by the descendants of the Duke, but it is possible to visit it on some special occasions, such as guided tours organized by the Pro Loco or thematic events dedicated to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Inside the castle you can admire the original furnishings, artworks, weapons and armor, and the rich library that contains over 10,000 ancient volumes.
The Medieval Village
Around the castle develops the medieval village, which faithfully reproduces the architectural and urban style of the era. The village consists of a series of stone and brick buildings, decorated with coats of arms, frescoes and sculptures.
Among these stand out the Church of San Giorgio, the Chapel of Our Lady of Carmine, the Town Hall Palace, the Post Office Palace and the Social Theater.
The village is surrounded by a wall with four access gates: Porta Piacenza, Porta Vigoleno, Porta Castell’Arquato and Porta Bobbio.
Along the streets of the village you can find numerous shops and craft shops, which offer typical local products such as cheeses, salami, wines, honey, jams and sweets. You can also buy artistic handicrafts such as ceramics, glassware, carved wood and jewelry.
The Natural Park
Grazzano Visconti is not only art and history, but also nature and relaxation. The castle can boast an eclectic garden where an Italian garden and wooded areas coexist. On an area of about 15 hectares live in absolute freedom various animal species including: owls, owls green and red woodpeckers, foxes, badgers etc.
Not by chance the park has been included in the circuit of the Great Italian Gardens.
The Cultural and Historical Events
Grazzano Visconti is a lively and dynamic village that offers throughout the year a series of cultural and historical events that involve visitors in a journey into the past. Among these stand out:
- The Night of Knights: a night walk through the countryside of Grazzano under the moonlight;
- The Palio dei Castelli: a challenge between the four gates of the village that compete in skill and courage games;
- The Medieval Festival: a historical re-enactment that brings to life the medieval period with parades, tournaments, shows and banquets;
- The Antiques Market: an exhibition-market that offers objects from ancient times and collectibles;
- The Christmas of Grazzano: a magical Christmas atmosphere that illuminates the village with lights, decorations and nativity scenes.
Grazzano Visconti and Harry Potter
Grazzano Visconti has also been nicknamed “the village of Harry Potter” for its resemblance to Hogwarts Castle, the school of magic and witchcraft where the adventures of the famous wizard take place.
In this village, in fact, you can find several shops dedicated to the world of Harry Potter, where you can buy souvenirs, magical objects, wands and wizard clothes. In addition, during the year, some themed events are organized that will make you experience the magic of Harry Potter.
One of these events is “Harry and the magic of Grazzano”, which takes place every year on April 30. It is a day of animation for children and families, in which you can participate in games, quizzes, workshops and shows inspired by the Harry Potter saga. You can also meet the characters from the books and movies, such as Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore and Voldemort. You can also visit the Great Hall, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Library and the Chamber of Secrets. Admission to the village is free, while admission to the shows is paid.
Another themed event is “Grazzano VisComics”, which takes place every year on August 26 and 27. It is a day dedicated to fantasy and comics, where you can find stands of publishers, authors, artists and collectors. You can also attend conferences, workshops, exhibitions and contests. Among the various genres present, there is also that of Harry Potter, with gadgets, books and cosplay. Admission to the village is free, while admission to the exhibitions is paid.
How to Get to Grazzano Visconti
Grazzano Visconti is easily reachable by car, train or bus. By car you can take the A1 Milan-Bologna motorway and exit at Piacenza Sud, then follow the signs for Grazzano Visconti. By train you can arrive at Piacenza station and then take a SETA bus that leads directly to the village. By bus you can use the services offered by various transport companies that connect Grazzano Visconti with the main Italian cities.
Grazzano Visconti is a must-see destination for those who love the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but also for those looking for a quiet and suggestive place, where to spend a day full of culture, nature and fun. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this unique village of its kind, which will make you live an unforgettable experience.
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