[Emilia Romagna Villages] Modigliana: the fortress of Conti Guidi family
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Overlooking the border with Tuscany, in the middle of Tramazzo valley, rises the medieval hamlet of Modigliana, the house of the powerful Conti Guidi family.
Modigliana territory was inhabited since the Neolithic era, although the earliest historical evidence of the town resides in latin writer Titus Livius, which tells of an ambush where Caio Oppio prefect fell in Castrum Mutilum in 200 AD, during the military campaign conducted by the Romans Army against the Gauls Boii, at the time of the conquest of the Aemilia Region.
After the barbarian invasions and the destruction of the Castrum Romani of Mutilum, the village of Modigliana was reconstructed in medieval times and, according with historians, there should be a noble court under the guidance of Countess Engelarda II. The noble woman, around 923 AD, married the young Tuscan Tegrimo I from Pistoia, thus giving birth to the dynasty of the Conti Guidi, who would reign over the Romagna and Tuscany territories for over 400 years to come.
It is reported by the chronicles that in 1377 the people of Modigliana rebelled against the tyranny of Count Guidi family obtaining the Signoria of Florence protection; It was the time when Modigliana became the “City of Walls“, thanks to the construction of the new walled wall (finished in 1534) and to the transformation of the Count Guidi Castle into a Florentine fortress that we can still admire today. The decline of the fortress began in the second half of the 1500s, when was built the city of Terra del Sole, a new strategic military spot and specially designed to withstand the new firearms.
Being a country rich in history and traditions, Modigliana offers to visitors a wealth of monuments and works not to be missed.
It starts from the ruins of the Conti Guidi Fortress, also known as Roccaccia and now visible in its vertical section due to a earthquake that caused its partial collapse, passing then to the Grand Tribuna, a bastion in defense of the city belonging to the third wall of the city.
It also deserves a visit to the Ponte della Signora, a classic medieval bridge placed at the northern entrance of the village, as well as the Pretorio Palace, by Florentine origin and that nowadays hosts the local Pinacoteca. Not to be missed is the many noble palaces in the historic center of the country, which we suggest to see, as well as the Capuchin Convent, which was builded where was the ancient Castrum Romano.
We also recommend at least a stop at the Duomo, the ancient Pieve of S. Stefano, inside which it is preserved a valuable table with an Annunciation by Francesco delle Querce. Finally we must mention the Museum Don Giovanni Verità, which contains the testimonies of the republican passion of the patriot who saved Giuseppe Garibaldi, giving him asylum in his own home, today Museum.
Winter: During the winter season Modigliana is traditionally celebrating the “Zoc and Nadel”, that is, the tradtional ignition of a Christmas fire that remains alive until the January 6th.
Spring: Spring is the ideal season for an excursion to the Tramazzo Valley, discovering the countries of Marzeno, Modigliana and Tredozio offering to travellers through the most striking aspects of the hilly landscape.
Summer: Like all the hilly places of Emilia Romagna Region, Modigliana can be a cool retreat from the hot of the lowland towns. Its woods, walks and greenery also characterize it as one of the most beautiful naturalistic destinations of Romagna.
Autumn: Do not to miss the Tortello Feast, which usually takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.
January “Zoc Ed Nadel” – The event begins with the ignition of a Christmas fire that remains alive throughout the end of festivities. Each evening we find ourselves in the company of friends to eat what is offered by the various associations and companies that run the evenings each time. Free assortment of sausage, bacon, chestnut, polenta, beans with cotiche, chickpeas, sweet and vinegar.
April “Sangiovese in Festa” – The protagonist of the festival is the Sangiovese Wine with the contest “the best wine” involving local producers. On this day you can enjoy typical dishes at the stands, taste the sangiovese produced in the area and have fun with the sights of the festiva.
Food & Wine
Located on the border between Romagna and Tuscany, Modigliana’s gastronomy interprets the delicacies of both gastronomic cultures with the making of Cappelletti, Tortelli, Passatelli and other types of pasta typical of these areas. It is impossible not to mention the cellars of Sangiovese, as well as grilled meat and typical cakes such as Chocolate Almond.
How to reach
by Train: Ferrovie dello Stato – Stop in Faenza (20 km)
by Bus: Urban & extra-urban line Cooperativa Trasporti Riolo Terme From Faenza train station, linea 23/Fo