History and culture routes

Art and history at Castelvetro

Castelvetro di Modena - MO

URL: http://www.comune.castelvetro-di-modena.mo.it/

How to get there
By car: from Modena head for Montale/Montale, take the Abetone-Brennero state road 12, also known as the Nuova Estense. Then turn left into the Castelvetro road, S.P. (provincial road) 17.

The town stands in the foothills that rise towards the Apennines, beside the River Guerro.
In ancient times it was an Etruscan village, then became a Roman garrison base and from 776 it was under the Monastery of Nonantola.
The earliest records of the castle date from around the year one thousand. From the 11th century it was the property of Boniface of Tuscany, then of the daughter of Matilda of Canossa and was subsequently taken over by the Municipality of Modena.
It was a scene of the struggle between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. The castle was seized from the Guelphs in 1326 and given to Jacopino Rangone on a feudal basis.
The Rangone family kept it until 1796 with the arrival of Napoleon.
After the Restoration it was under the dominion of the d'Este family until the unification of Italy.


  • Historic centre of Castelvetro

Only part of the walls of the ancient castle, erected in the 9th. century can be seen, together with the clock tower and Rangoni Palace of the feudal era, with wooden ceilings, frescoed mouldings and interesting paintings.
The lovely old town square contains the Municipal Hall, restored in about the nineteen thirties, the ancient oratory of S. Antonio da Padova with Doric pillars, the nineteenth-century parish church dedicated to St. Senesio and St. Teopompo, in Gothic style.

  • Levizzano Rangone

The surviving parts of the imposing castle are the Matilda-era tower, a stretch of the walls and a fortified door with corridor.
In the hamlet there is the parish church of S. Antonio, constructed at the beginning of the twentieth century.

  • Oratory of San Giovanni Battista.

This stands on a hill and apparently dates back to the sixteenth century.
Its present appearance stems from its reconstruction in the nineteenth century.

  • Jesuits' Mount Convent

This is private property and apparently dates back to about the sixteenth century, when it was transferred to the Jesuit fathers.
At the beginning of the twentieth century it became an agricultural building.

  • Oratory of S. Polo

It was built on the right bank of the River Guerro to avoid flooding caused by the river overflowing.

  • Oratory of Casa Re

It was built in about the eighteenth century and is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception.

  • Oratory of S. Maria del Carmine

Built in the 17th century it was is situated along the road between Castelvetro and Levizzano.

  • Oratory of S. Giuseppe delle Olive

An interesting building with a picture depicting the Sacred Family in the vestry.

  • Oratorio of S. Michele

This dates back to the 8th or 9th century. The lower part of the decoration of the facade is original. The roof is decorated with cornice of bricks in a saw-tooth pattern.

  • Sanctuary of Puianello

This stands on a hill and looks out over the whole Modena plain.
It is in baroque style and is dedicated to the Madonna.
Constructed on the site of the ancient oratory of the Beata Vergine della Salute (Blessed Virgin of Health), it was restored by the Capuchin friars who have remained there since 1947.

Tourist area
A town of art, culture and business.

Castelvetro now has about nine thousand inhabitants who mainly work in the agricultural sector.
It is one of the Italian "wine towns". A famous wine is Lambrusco Grasparossa, pillar of the local economy.