Fontanellato’s name derives from fontana lata, or large fountain, as the town lies between the Rivers Taro and Stirone.
The castle in the middle of the main square is Fontanellato’s hub, heart and signature image. This imposing fortress, surrounded by a broad water-filled moat, was built in the 14th century on the site of an existing 12th-century defensive tower erected in 1124 by the Pallavicino family. Down the ages, it was transformed from a fortress into a noble residence by the Counts of Sanvitale, who lived there for about six centuries and sold it to the local council only in 1948. It’s now the headquarters of the Association of the Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza.