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Rocchetta Mattei

A fantastic architectural masterpiece in Emilia, near Bologna

Rocchetta Mattei is a fantastic architectural masterpiece in Emilia, at Grizzana Morandi, near Bologna!

A stone marvel commissioned by Count Cesare Mattei in 19th century, with a style that included a mix of everything: Norman, Etruscan, Arabian, Turkish and even Asian!

But who was Count Cesare Mattei? Discover something more about him and his fortress…

Video Full Text: Mattei Fortress

I’m not bad going uphill, don’t you think?I’m heading for Rocchetta Mattei.
Why do I want to go and visit this small fortress?
Because it’s a fantastic architectural masterpiece,
a stone marvel commissioned by Count Cesare Mattei,
that stands on some ruins that probably date from the time of Matilde of Canossa.
Mattei’s plans for the Rocchetta were somewhat eclectic,
with a style that included a mix of everything: Norman, Etruscan,
Arabian, Turkish and even Asian!
He built it in 1850 and inside there are spaces that remind us of other places around the world.
And its courtyard is reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada.
He resided there until his death, living the lifestyle of a feudal lord
with his own court and jester.
But who was Count Cesare Mattei? He lived in the 19th century and
was a globally renowned physician and alchemist
who also invented his own branch of medicine: electro-homeopathy.
The Rocchetta was also home to the new medicine that he disseminated around the world,
as well as a pharmaceutical industry that distributed his famous preparations.
Clients from all around the world would come here.
Names such a Ludwig III of Bavaria and the Prince of Piedmont.
Even Dostoyevsky, in his work The Brothers Karamazov, mentions him as a healer.
The Rocchetta’s location is also renowned for its natural energy power
and for its unique landscape.


Visit Bologna: helpful hints


Bologna has an international and transcontinental airport: Marconi BLQ. A shuttle bus called Aerobus connects easily the airport to the city centre and to the Central Station (rides every 15 minutes, it takes 30 minutes and costs 6€).

Bologna is just in the middle of the Italian system of high speed train lines, so that you can reach Florence in 30 minutes, Milan in 1 hour and Rome in 2 hours by train (check tickets and fares on the two main companies Trenitalia and Italo).  The Central Railway Station is in the city centre, 15 minutes walking from the main square.


The best way to visit Bologna is on foot! The single ticket costs 1,2 € (1,5 if you buy it on the bus) and it last 75 minutes. You can choose different types of ticket – daily etc. – for more information visit Tper website. There is also the option of bike sharing (provided by mobike), that’s 0,30 cent every 30 minutes ride. Find more tips about cycling services in town at the Dynamo – aka Velostazione. Car sharing is provided by two companies: Enjoy – for regular cars and Corrente – for electric cars.

What to do

Bologna is the capital city of Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy. It is really famous for its food (tortellini, mortadella, ragù alla bolognese, tagliatelle, lasagne, anyone?). Here you can find advices for some places where you can eat local food. Don’t miss a tour at FICO, the biggest Italian Food theme park! For more information check on FICO website.

Bologna is the city of arches (i.e. portici), there are 38km of them just in the centre of the city! Here you can find the University of Bologna that is the oldest University in the occidental world. The main monuments in the city centre are the Two Towers, the St Petronio’s church, the Neptune’s fountain and – on the hills – St Lucas sanctuary. Italia Slow Tour users have a special discount on City Red Bus & San Luca Express toursDiscover more about this amazing city.

Special tips: if you consider to take some tours nearby, we recommend the fortress Rocchetta Mattei and the Dozza village with its amazing street art.

Where to sleep

The best place to sleep in Bologna is the city centre or the areas near nearby, to visit all the city easily. In Bologna frequently take place some events and fairs, check the calendar just to be sure to book in advance since the city gets crowded!

Italia Slow Tour

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