Rocchetta Mattei, located slightly north of Riola in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi, is certainly one of the most interesting and original buildings around Bologna.
Its construction began in 1850 at the behest of Count Cesare Mattei, an important figure on the Bolognese scene, whose political and private disappointments prompted him to retire from city life around that time. He devoted himself entirely to the construction of the Rocchetta, a real castle with a unique and eclectic style, and to the study of 'electrohomoeopathy', a paramedical practice that combines notions of naturopathy with the study of electrical charges. The count's multifarious and distinctive personality is perfectly reflected in the building, where Moorish-style rooms and towers alternate with medieval-like structures, sometimes connected by Art Nouveau staircases.
Surely the most memorable features are the "Courtyard of the Lions", a small-scale reproduction of the courtyard of the Alhambra in Granada, and the "Chapel", whose elegant alternation of black and white is inspired by the architecture of the Mezquita (mosque) of Cordoba. The Rocchetta, after the death of Cesare Mattei, passed first to his adopted son and then to a local merchant, who took advantage of the building's popularity to open a hotel with an adjoining restaurant. This "commercial" management persisted until the 1980s, when the entire complex was abandoned. Today, a large part of Rocchetta Mattei can be visited thanks to the restoration work carried out by the Carisbo Foundation of Bologna since 2005 with the aim of opening even more parts of the castle to the public.
Telephone: + 39 051 6730335
- Art & Culture
- Nature & Landscape
Wheelchair accessible: you can visit all the rooms of the castle thanks to the presence of lifts
For the blind, the audio guide service is available in Italian, English and French
Reserved parking for disabled people
Activities: conferences, conferences, educational workshops for schools
The visit is possible are in the presence of a guide who leads groups of 20 people. Reservation is always mandatory. To book: https://www.rocchetta-mattei.it/visite/