Why visit these places

In this delightful landscape, which shifts between rugged terrain and broad, bright headlands, the glorious past of the area is almost palpable. This is the land of memorable characters of supreme importance, such as the Countess Matilda of Canossa, who played a leading role in mediaeval history and was crowned Vice-Queen of Italy, during a period in which Canossa played a central role in Europe.

This area offers travellers seeking to explore new horizons the chance to discover a splendid blend of images, flavours, sounds, aromas, lights, colours and a cascade of emotions that will remain in their hearts forever. Right from ancient times, this is a place that has tugged at the heartstrings and awakened the sensitivity of famous writers and poets:

Atop a verdant hillock, a woodland stretches out, flat in shape despite the height, thick with splendid beech trees that block out the sun and an array of soft herbs that bring variety to the soil in the summer.”

Selvapiana was thus described by Francesco Petrarca, who spent the summer here in 1341. It was destined to remain one of the places dearest to the poet, providing him with the serenity and inspiration to resume writing one of his greatest works, “Africa”.

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What to see in the municipality of Canossa

This is a landscape that shifts between rugged terrain and broad, bright headlands, in which you can almost breathe in the area’s glorious past, illuminated by memorable historical characters such as Matilda of Canossa, and the gracious sentiments of famous writers and poets such as Francesco Petrarca.

What to see along the way towards Selvapiana

Montecchio Emilia, with its castle, in a strategic position on the border between Reggio and Parma, and Quattro Castella, home to Bianello Castle, the prestigious dwelling of Matilda of Canossa.


On along the “Via dei Castelli”

Sarzano Castle, one of the best-preserved strongholds in the Emilian Apennines, and Carpineti Castle, the centre of the Christian world for almost half a century.

Walking and trips

The Canossa hills mark the beginning of the Reggio Apennines. There are numerous paths to explore along Monte Cusna and Alpe di Succiso until you reach the Pietra di Bismantova rock formation.