What to see in Scandiano? Here is a fascinating itinerary among churches and castles in the Scandanian hamlets.

The first stop is the Castle of Arceto, located in the historic center of the hamlet of the same name. It is one of the few remaining examples in the area of a lowland fortress built on an embankment made with earth coming from the excavation of an elliptical-shaped ditch. It was built in the second half of the 10th century by the bishops of Reggio although what we can admire today is the result of various restoration interventions. Of great interest is the monumental staircase, once adorned with five terracotta statues of which only two have survived. The castle can only be visited by reservation. The second stop is the Church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, also located in the Arceto area. The first information regarding the church dates back to the 11th century but the current building dates back to the 15th century. Numerous paintings are preserved inside, among which the one depicting the Assumption (by Prof. Minghetti) stands out, and an organ by Traeri, restored and modified several times over time.

From Arceto we move to the Chiozza hamlet, where the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore is absolutely worth a visit, whose original nucleus dates back to the first half of the 17th century. It has a tripartite façade while the interior has a single nave in Doric order with four side chapels, decorated with valuable works of art, among which are: a painting with images of Saint James, Saint Anne and the Blessed Virgin , a painting with the image of Sant’Andrea, one of Santa Caterina and one of the Madonna della Ghiara.

The next stop is the Torricella Castle, which stands on the hills above the hamlet of Ventoso. Also called the Torricella or Castel Cugini (after its current owners), it was built in the 14th century by the Da Fogliano family and in the following century transformed into a summer residence by the Boiardo family. According to what is said, here the famous author Matteo Maria Boiardo composed much of Orlando Innamorato, his most important work. The body of the castle is spread over three levels and is completed by the tower built with Ghibelline battlements. Privately owned, it can only be visited by appointment. In the immediate vicinity of the castle is the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, whose current appearance dates back to the first half of the 17th century. It has a tripartite façade topped by a stone rose window. The interior consists of a single nave with three altars. Also in the Ventoso hamlet we recommend visiting the nineteenth-century complex of the gypsum and lime kiln. Although the systems have been dismantled, the chimney remains as an interesting example of industrial archaeology.

Finally, the last stop on the itinerary is the Church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin in the Iano hamlet, which stands on a high Paleolithic terrace on the left bank of the Tresinaro stream. Of ancient origin, it has a slender gabled façade, with corner pilasters and an upper frontispiece. Along the road that leads to the church there is a nineteenth-century plate majesty.

Photo © Menozzi Cristina – Wikipedia

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