The best Castles near Piacenza + a wine tasting

If you find yourself near Piacenza (Emilia Romagna), the Castles of the Duchy are definitely a must-visit destination.

In this article, we have put together a tailored itinerary for you to visit the best Castles near Piacenza, by ending with a wine tasting at Cantina Il Poggio.

The itinerary is structured as follows:

  • Malaspina Castle of Verme in Bobbio
  • Rivalta Castle
  • Gropparello Castle
  • Castell’Arquato
  • and, finally, a visit to the winery – Cantina Il Poggio


Malaspina Castle of Verme in Bobbio

Castello Malaspina dal Verme di Bobbio


Among the most beautiful attractions in the enchanting town of Bobbio, we propose a visit to the Malaspina del Verme Castle. Built in 1304 by Corradino Malaspina, ithe structure is entirely surrounded by majestic rock walls.

Subsequently, it was entrusted to the Visconti family, who granted it as a fiefdom to the Del Verme family, whose descendants renovated the entire building over the centuries, transforming it from a fortress into a luxurious and prestigious residence.

During the guided tour (which you can book by calling +39 349 8088159 or +39 0523962815), you can admire the main rooms, all richly decorated with paintings and frescoes, such as the Liberty-style Lounge or the Octagonal Table room.

However, the main attraction of the castle is the Tower, from where you can admire the panoramic view of the Trebbia Valley. Since the beginning of 2020, the management has been transferred to the Municipality of Bobbio, with the aim of revitalizing events, exhibitions, and shows within this magnificent medieval structure.

The ticket price is €2.50, and for more information on opening hours and visits, here is the link to the official website


Rivalta Castle

Castello di Rivalta

Part of the Association of Castles of the Duchy of Parma, Piacenza, and Pontremoli, in a small locality called Gazzola, stands the impressive and majestic Rivalta Castle.

Located just a few kilometers from the city center, the castle was envisioned and built to serve a different purpose than the typical fortified stronghold. The structure is situated at the entrance of a road that connected the Val Trebbia with Genoa, an important commercial hub.

Legend has it that in 218 BC, there was already a lookout tower used during the invasion of the Carthaginians led by Hannibal.

Jumping to the 12th century, Malaspina family acquired the propery and, Oberto Pallavicino, the podestà of Piacenza, the worst enemy of the Malaspina did not appreciate it at all.

Two centuries later, the property was sold to Obizzo Landi, and the castle was ultimately razed to the ground, all because of a love affair: Galeazzo I Visconti was deeply in love with Bianchina, Obizzo’s wife. It was Galeazzo who ordered the attack on the fortress.

Today it is inhabited by the Zanardi Landi Counts, who own the entire castle and it represents a welcome residence for some members of the English Royal Family.

The ticket price for the visit depends on the type of tour you wish to undertake. For more information on opening hours and visits, here is the link to the official website page.

Gropparello Castle

Castello di Gropparello


Of Celtic origin, as indicated by its name, “Grop“, in the Celtic language, means “natural barrier,” due to its elevated position, already used by the ancient Romans to defend themselves against enemy attacks.

In 1300, the Fulgosio family took possession of the castle. The Fulgosio family belonged to the Guelphs and thus often suffered attacks from the Ghibellines.

When the last heir of the Fulgosio family died in 1848, the castle was purchased by Count Ludovico Marazzani Visconti Terzi, who undertook its renovation.

Since 1947, the castle has been owned by the Gibelli family and continues to serve as their permanent residence. However, the fortress remains open to the public for visits and private events.

Legend has it that the ghost of Rosania Fulgosio silently wanders the castle. She betrayed her husband with Lancelot, and upon discovering the betrayal, he drugged her with wine and, when completely unconscious, walled her up alive in one of the most secret rooms.

If you are brave enough 😉, a guided night tour of the castle costs €15.00, and to discover all the other offerings, including the Fairy Park, here is the link to the official website.




In my opinion, the most beautiful Borgo in Colli Piacentini, listed among the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy, the main attraction of Castell’Arquato is the Viscontea Fortress, an impressive stronghold located on the highest part of the town.

Its tower dominates the entire surrounding area: from the top, you can admire a wide panorama of the entire Po Valley and the Apennine mountain range.

The fortress changed hands several times: from the Visconti family in the mid-1300s to the Sforza family in the early 1700s.

Just like in the Castle of Torrechiara, some scenes of the movie Ladyhawke have been filmed here; inside the fortress, there is the Museum of Medieval Life with models of war machines and an armory.


Wine Tasting at Cantina Il Poggio

Wine tasting at Cantina Il Poggio


Now is the perfect time for chilling out and a taste of the delightful food and wine traditions of our beautiful territory. That’s why we’d like to introduce ourselves. Welcome to Cantina Il Poggio, located at the highest point of the hills in Salsomaggiore Terme.

We like to define our wines as ‘beyond contemporary,’ immune to any passing trends. Despite some of our vine varieties being native to the area, the final product is an atypical product that continues to surprise and impress tourists and wine experts from around the world.

In addition to selling bottles, our guided tours with tastings and the numerous events we organize provide the best opportunity to share our vineyards and craftsmanship with you.

What sets us apart? A young team of professionals and enthusiasts who hold every moment in the cellar dear, committed to conveying the true wine culture. 

Have we piqued your curiosity? Come and visit us!