History and culture routes

Art and history in Vignola

Vignola - MO

How to get there
By car: from the ring road follow the signs for Vignola, then turn on to state road 623 of the Brasa Pass, also known as the Vignolese, and carry on until you reach Vignola.
By train: from Modena station take city bus no.7 and get off at the coach station. Then take the out-of-town bus to Vignola.

Situated at the foot of the Apennines, the "city" of Vignola (a title conferred by the President of the Republic in 1994) has about twenty thousand inhabitants and rises on the left bank of the Panaro River.
Vignola retains important and attractive architectural features, such as the famous Rocca (Fortress), and has been the birthplace of illustrious historical figures, such as the architect Jacopo Barozzi (known as "il Vignola", 1507-1573), and the historian and man of letters Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750).
Vignola is famous for its agricultural production, especially its cherries and plums, as well as other local crops, such as apricots, apples and grapes and wine.
Outstanding among the typical products of Emilia cooking are "borlenghi", the traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, "Torta Barozzi", nut liqueur and cherries in spirits.

Historicak itinerary

  • Historic centre of Vignola

The city is dominated by the ancient and imposing fortress, which has angulated towers, a drawbridge, a large courtyard, numerous decorated rooms and a chapel with interesting late Gothic frescoes.
In the Dark Ages the castle first belonged to the Abbey of Nonantola, then to the Bishops of Modena.
In the 13th century it was the subject of a long dispute with Bologna, and then passed from the Lordship of the Grassoni to that of the Estensi.
In 1401, Nicolò III d'Este gave the castle to Uguccione of the Contrari Lordship, which dominated Vignola for almost two centuries.
The marquisate was sold in 1577 to Pope Gregory XIII of the Boncompagni family, which retained it until 1796.
With the Restoration Vignola was subjected to the despotic government of Francesco IV d'Este.
Next to the castle there is the small oratory of St. Mary, with traces of frescoes on the ceiling and a 15th century gilt plaster cast providing a beautiful representation of the Madonna con bambino (Madonna and Child).
Opposite the Fortress there is the sixteenth-century Barozzi Palace, consisting of a central element and two wings, with a masonry portal.
Inside there is the famous snail by Barozzi and nineteenth-century frescoes.
The house of Ludovico Muratori is frequently used for exhibitions.
Lastly, the Church of S. Nazario and S. Celso, built in 1416 and enlarged in 1685, has a nineteenth century facade and cornice decorations, and inside there are interesting paintings and a "pietà" (a sculpture of the Virgin Mary with the dead body of Christ) in gilded bronze.

  • Church of S. Maria Rotonda

First mentioned in 826 the church was completely rebuilt in 1491.
It consists of two overlapping round elements in red brick, internally supported by eight arches.
It is privately owned.

  • Sanctuary of the Madonna della neve

Constructed on the site of one of the oldest Romanic parish churches in the area, in the 11th century it assumed its present-day appearance.
In the seventeenth century an oratory was constructed, dedicated to the Madonna and Child.
It was enlarged in 1782 and restored in the 1960s.

  • Church of Campiglio

The church is dedicated to St. Michael and was built on the foundations of the old castle, of which two attractive towers remain. Today one of them is used as a bell tower and the other as a vestry.

  • Villa Martuzzi-Ripandelli

This is private property and was built on the site of the sixteenth-century home of the Rangoni family.

  • Villa Tosi-Bellucci

Used as the municipal council building since 1916, it has a neo-classical central element and two lateral wings of subsequent construction.
There are some interesting frescoed ceilings inside.