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"Torrechiara tells a love story" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Things to Do Tip by Trekki

Italy Things to Do: 1,468 reviews and 2,255 photos

  Torrechiara, entrance to the inner castle
by Trekki
  • Torrechiara, entrance to the inner castle - Italy
      Torrechiara, entrance to the inner castle
    by Trekki
  • Torrechiara, one of the balconies - Italy
      Torrechiara, one of the balconies
    by Trekki
  • Torrechiara, view over Parma river valley - Italy
      Torrechiara, view over Parma river valley
    by Trekki
  • Torrechiara, old wood inlay work - Italy
      Torrechiara, old wood inlay work
    by Trekki
  • Torrechiara, terracotta tile in Camera d'Oro - Italy
      Torrechiara, terracotta tile in Camera d'Oro
    by Trekki

The location of Torrechiara castle is splendid. It sits high above the wide Parma river valley and with its four massive towers it gives the impression of power. It belongs to the many castles and fortresses of provinces Parma and Piacenza which together form the Castelli del Ducato

The castle was built in 15th century on the remains of a former castle by Pier Maria II Rossi, count of San Secondo. It was built as both a military and residential castle but was also meant to be a castle for his lover Bianca Pellegrini. The Camera d’Oro (golden chamber) is a magnificent tribute to her. The walls are covered with terracotta tiles showing four symbols: the coat of arms, the castle, hearts and the initials of the lovers. Once they were painted in gold and blue, but all is faded by now. Only on some tiles remains of the paint can be seen. The vault is painted with frescoes of the woman walking through the lands of her lover, searching for him. The whole room is splendid, several reliefs like arches and pillars create an almost three dimensional view. This is best seen from the door which leads out onto the terrace.
But the other rooms are also interesting. All covered with frescoes of specific themes, thus the rooms are named according to the themes: Sala di Giove (Jupiter), Sala dei Paesaggi (landscapes), Sala della Vittoria (victory) etc. The most interesting frescoes, apart from the one in Camera d’Oro, were the ones in the Salone dei Acrobati: acrobats, indeed an unusual theme. An excellent description of the rooms is given on the website of Festival di Torrechiara which takes place in July and August and which is dedicated to Renata Tebaldi, a famous soprano (1922 – 2004). That’s why there is an exhibition dedicated to many of the operas she sang and the dresses she and her partner singers were wearing. I think it is a permanent exhibition, although it wasn’t mentioned anywhere. In this exhibition the most fascinating exhibits to me were the miniatures of stages, displayed in showcases. I loved the way they were made, giving the feeling of perspective when looked at them from the front and how this was achieved when looked at from the sides. Silly me forgot to take photos. Oh, photos: it is forbidden to take photos inside, but.... well.... more photos on my Torrechiara page :-)
And to get an idea of the many castles in this region, watch the short video on Discover Italy website.

Opening hours:
November – February: Tue – Fri: 9:00 – 16:30, Sat & holidays: 10:00 – 17:00
March – October: Wed – Sat: 8:30 – 19:30, Tue & holidays: 10:30 – 19:30.
Entrance fees: 5 Euro for adults, 3 Euro for kids below 18.

Torrechiara is located south of Parma, on road SP665R, between Pilastro and Langhirano (the village of Parma ham).

Location of Torrechiara on Google Maps.

Region: Emilia Romagna;
nearest airport: Bologna

© Ingrid D., April 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

Address: Borgo del Castello - 43010 Torrechiara (Parma)
Phone: +39 - 0521 - 355255

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 13, 2013
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