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Scandiano

Description

In the province of Reggio Emilia, Scandiano is one of the most populous centers, second only to the provincial main center and is a thriving industrial and handicraft center. The discovery of archaeological remains dating to the Neolithic Ages such as the famous Venus of Chiozza, now exposed to the Civic Museum of Reggio Emilia, evidence that the area was inhabited since ancient times. The present settlement arose in 1262 when Gilberto Fogliani built here a castle, around which, piece by piece, the first houses were built to shelter the families from Castellazzo of Pratissolo and of the Guelphs defeated at Montaperti (1260) by the troops of Farinata Uberti.
Between the XVI and XVIII centuries, Scandiano registered its period of greatest splendor, thanks to a strong government of the various local Lords, which followed one another, such as: the Boiardo, the Thiene, the Bentivoglio and the Este, that helped the city to develop not only on economic and cultural basis, but also in the urban and architectural layout.

Sites of Interest:
- The Rocca of the Boiardo, which is one of the most important historical monuments of the city. Its construction dates back to the XII century and dominates the old town center, built by the noble family Da Fogliano and named after the family Boiardo, that lived here from 1423 for 147 years. Originally built with defensive purposes with boundary walls, a moat, a drawbridge and watching towers. Later it was transformed into a residence in Renaissance style, when the domain of Scandiano passed into the hands of Boiardo family. At this time the interiors were frescoed by Nicolò dell' Abbate of the Camerino school with subjects and scenes of the Aeneid, which at the end of 1700, were transferred to the Galleria Estense in Modena. Subsequently it became residence of the Thiene, that lived here from 1565 for 58 years and who brought very significant renovations to the building into its present form, entrusting the project to Giovan Battista Aleotti. He was responsible for the elegant staircase that leads into the main floor, the imposing south façade and the completion of the tower on the western side. In the XVII and XVIII centuries, the Bentivoglio, first and the Marquis d'Este later, introduced the Baroque decorations;
- the Castle of Arceto a medieval structure around which are still visible traces of the moat, fortified walls and the drawbridge. Built by the Bishops of Reggio in the X century, it was one of the bulwarks of the local defense system, inside which the village was developed, with a Fortress (Rocca) and an Oratory of San Rocco. A grand staircase leads to rooms on the first floor;
- the Church of Santa Maria, with a façade on three levels. It was built in the first half of the XV century by Feltrino Boiardo, first Earl of Scandiano. Inside it is possible to admire paintings by Bartolomeo Passarotti, Orazio Talami and Jean Baptiste Le Bell, and the cenotaph in which is preserved the heart of Lazzaro Spallanzani;
- the Church of St. Joseph, built in the second half of the XVI century, with an XVIII century façade and flanked by a bell tower. Inside are preserved exquisite carvings and valuable paintings;
- The Civic Tower (or of the Clock), originally the main gateway access of the old village, built in the first half of the XV century;
- Casa Spallanzani, home and birthplace of Lazzaro Spallanzani, with remarkable decorative elements in Baroque style.

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