Vigoleno Castle

A Stay At Vigoleno Castle

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Vigoleno Castle

You Will Be Enchanted

If you love fairytales, you are sure to be enchanted by the Castello di Vigoleno. In the north of Italy this real life original medieval castle is part of the charming historic Vigoleno village, located in Vernasca. It dates back to Roman times and sits high up on top of a hill in the picturesque Emilia Romagna Region near Parma

old castle, tower and front gate of Vigoleno
Entrance to Vigoleno Castle

The Castle

A fortified castle, Vigoleno was built for defensive purposes to protect the area in the past. It has a tower of course, which is very impressive and was obviously well constructed as a keep, to guard its inhabitants during times of battle.

Up until the early 1900’s it belonged to the Scotti family of Piacenza, a wealthy aristocratic clan who owned it for centuries, which is quite unusual apparently, for a castle to have remained in the same family for so long. Interestingly, they originally came from Scotland.

Vigoleno
Entrance

The whole castle has been meticulously restored and maintained over the years, in keeping with its heritage. It is very authentic, unlike other castles you may visit. I love the ghibelline merlons everywhere, which are the fancy parts at the top of the walls that the archers used to hide behind to shoot arrows. There is a church here of course, because every Italian village has a church or three, which is the Romanesque Church of San Giorgio. Saint George is the legend who slayed, or more correctly, slew, the dragon.

I visited in Winter and it wasn’t very busy, which suited me just fine. If you like to visit places that aren’t tourist hotspots, then I thoroughly recommend coming here, especially in January. I loved the peacefulness of the place, far away from hustle and bustle.

It’s also a great location for events and functions, such as weddings. What a charming setting for such an occasion. The Italian landscape lends itself beautifully to romantic moments.

Interesting fact: The movie “Ladyhawke” starring Michelle Pfeiffer was partly filmed here.

The Hotel

Now-a-days the castle is a charming hotel, with rooms fashioned in elegance of a bye-gone era. The furniture is antique and in excellent condition. I was very excited to stay overnight in one of the suites. It had a beautiful four-poster bed, with curtains draped around it. I really felt like royalty. It was simply magical. 

The rooms are quite small, but they do have everything you need for a pleasant stay, with attention to detail.  I always appreciate the little touches provided by a hotel, such as, water bottles, toiletries, free wi-fi, a room with a view, etc. It really makes you enjoy your stay a whole lot more, don’t you agree?

Speaking of small, my bathroom had the tiniest shower cubicle I have ever seen in all my travels! Once I hopped inside it, I could barely move. It was quite hilarious.   

Suite
Suite

Dining at Vigoleno Castle

That evening I dined in luxury! The main restaurant here, called Ristorante San Giorgio, is a stunning dining room, with beautiful decor and an enormous fireplace. Staff were so attentive, almost to a fault, and the food was delicious. A couple of other tables were occupied, but it was relatively quiet.

Dining room

They also provided a lovely continental buffet breakfast for free, which is always a nice way to start the next day of travelling.

I recommend staying here for a totally different type of hotel experience that you won’t ever forget. You can even stay in the tower, if you really want to feel like a prince or princess.

I’m thrilled to now be able to say that I have stayed in a real Castle.

The Village

We arrived by hire car from Parma to Vigoleno, about 45 minutes. A long winding uphill road leads to this historical village of Vigoleno; a very narrow two-way road, I might add. It was a little hair-raising, driving up here, but we arrived in one piece. By the way, you won’t be able to get here any other way, as public transport is scarce, and taxis probably won’t be keen to drive way out here either. So you really need to get a car. There is plenty of parking here and is very safe.

The little piazza is the central point of this charming little village, with a centuries-old fountain in the middle. There are shops, a church, a bar, a museum, a theatre and more. It’s a proper town with private residences here as well.

I enjoyed exploring the village, admiring the fabulous old buildings and taking in the history of the place; its ruins, architecture and artwork are fascinating. You actually feel like you have gone back in time to the medieval ages. Lots of interesting nooks and passageways to check out.

Cobblestone roads around the village
Fortified walls around the outside of the village

The Town of Vernasca

The Italian countryside is stunning, and Vernasca is no exception. The views surrounding Vigoleno are picture-perfect, with the valley and rolling hills. Vineyards and orchards grace the landscape. Magnificent! It’s quite a remote area though and not on the typical tourist’s map, but well worth the visit. 

The area is known for winemaking, in particular the Vin Santo, which is made from dried grapes to make it sweet. This is their famous drop here, but it’s in limited production.

There are other castles nearby which I would have liked to visit if I had more time, such as Castell’Arquato. If you do have time, there is plenty of things to explore in the region, including the popular Spa town of Salsomaggiore Terme.

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 I hope you’ve enjoyed Italy’s historic Vigoleno Castle.

Nearby tours of Italy you may enjoy

Ciao.

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Vigoleno Castle

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14 thoughts on “A Stay At Vigoleno Castle

  1. I love it when beautiful old buildings are repurposed. Europe has so many amazingly beautiful castles. A hotel is the perfect way to preserve them in a usable way. Very cool! ~ Sage Scott, the Everyday Wanderer

  2. The history of the castle is quite interesting, being owned by one family from Scotland until quite recently (by historical standards, anyways). It’s really cool that you got to visit during the off season and see it without huge tourist crowds. Your hotel room there looks surprisingly cozy (I think I was expecting high ceilings and lots of stone), but that’s too bad that the shower was almost comically too small. The area looks beautiful and I’ve never heard of Vigoleno Castle before despite having been to northern Italy (Milan) twice, so thanks for sharing!

  3. A stay in the castle? So cool. It’s like experiencing royalty for a day. I like the fact that it is not very expensive, unlike in India where it costs a bomb!

  4. Of course the shower was tiny … everyone was a lot smaller back in those days. Oh, wait, that’s right, they didn’t have showers back then. 😉 Looks like a magical castle. Love restored ones like this. Reminds me a bit of St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, sans hotel of course.

  5. I would love to stay in Vigoleno Castle. I like the idea that that it’s off the regular tourist track in such a peaceful winemaking region. I’ll bet that dinner and a glass of Italian wine by that fireplace would be so lovely and cozy.

  6. OMG, you can actually stay inside a castle? This will be like a dream-come-true for me if I get to stay in Vigoleno Castle. The rooms look so elegant and well preserved. I would love to get around the cobbled streets, pass by the old buildings, and take a lot of Instagrammable pictures during my stay there.

  7. I think the decision to go there in the winter was just right. I think it seems overslept and just beautiful. In the summer it would have been just so full of tourists and the whole wonderful atmosphere would have been broken.

  8. I love hitting up these sort of castles in Italy. I go to Italy often and always try and do one or two castle visits in the region but have to admit, I never heard of Vigoleno. Now I know where it is, I would love to hit this one up 🙂

  9. Thanks for all the detailed information. Who doesn’t love a good Italian castle?! Will look for it the next time I am in the area!

  10. I’ve always wanted to be a princess and this looks like the perfect place to make those dreams come true!

    Would 100% consider doing this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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