(182 METRES ABOVE SEA LEVEL – 5 KM FROM CARPANETO)
The old urban map of the hamlet, planned around the year 1000 by the Castle and by the adjoining manorial rurality, hasn’t been subject of significant planimetric variations during the centuries.
The scarce and modern residences, including “VILLA GALLINI” that catches the eye, were built in the perimeter of the old Curtis that results quite decentralised in relation to the Provincial Street.
In the locality “LE CORTI” it is still possible to admire a vast and traditional rural block of flats that was inhabited until many years ago by numerous farmers of the feudal estate.
Rezzano’s castle results as one of the most antiques of the Province. Already in the year 1000 it belonged to Piacenza’s bishop SIGIFREDO. Many, during the years, were the feudatories that succeeded in its property.
The fortalice over thousands of years was subject of bloody and furious devastations.
In 1244 the Castle was conquered and set on fire by King Enzo, son of Federico II and grandnephew of Barbarossa, during one of the recurring armed raids in Piacenza’s area.
The fortalice suffered the same fate in 1314 by Galeazzo Visconti’s Ghibelline militias in order to get rid of the Guelph strongholds of the Val Chero that were personified by the Arcelli – Fontana that had found refuge there.
Another bloody event took place in 1636 during the War that raged between Odoardo Farnese, France’s allied, and the Spain.
When the Iberian population conquered Carpaneto, the garrison’s captain, so called GIL DE HAS, was informed that in Rezzano’s Castle had found refuge the nobles Riccardo Antoniozzi (Travazzano’s company lieutenant), Onorio Bracciforti (standard bearer), Alfonso Pallastrelli (Celleri’s consignor), Corrado Confalonieri from Cimafava, G.B. Pallastrelli and Ottavio Asinelli with 50 soldiers, all of them supporting the Farnese’s cause, so he gave the order to get rid of the rebellious.
While 200 hundred and more musketeers aimed to the conquer of the Castle, the inhabitants of Piacenza provided for the strengthening of the protections enlarging the surrounding moat and trying to repair a technical malfunction regarding the closing of the drawbridge. Any effort resulted useless, so they obstructed the fortalice’s entrance with a big farming cart and many durmast boards.
The siege protracted until late at night and it was continued the following morning with the support of new troops arrived from Carpaneto.
The besieged at the end had to surrender as they ran out of gunpowder ‘s provisions.
To recognise the demonstrated value, the defenders were left free with the Honours of war. The Spanish found 500 cattle, 1000 bushel of wheat and various furnishings that were taken in the military encampments of Carpaneto.
The castle is composed by a thick central body with a corner circular tower that had been lowered in the half of the XIX century. This is what endures of the antique complex.
The interior of the aristocratic residence keeps two big entertainment lounges with rib vaults and keystones embellished by Mancassola’s noble emblem.
ST. PIETRO’S CHURCH
An evocative boulevard of European nettle trees ascending on the low ridge leads to the Parish Church dedicated to St. Pietro the Apostle. The sixteenth-century temple, projected by Camillo Guidotti, was subjected to drastic structural interventions that dictated the inversion of the apse from east to west and the addition of a new arcade with the reconstruction of the façade in plain neoclassical style with a big mullioned window above the gate. The recovery of arches and wide embrasures in the foundations legitimately persuades to think that the building had been built over an antique defensive tower. The belfry is made of stone and it’s low, squared, thick, in neoclassical style and gives the exact temporal measure of the temple’s original nucleus.
(Translated by Laura Fugazzi)