One of the most important cities of the province of Reggio Emilia, and the third by population after Reggio Emilia and Correggio, Scandiano is an Emilian town full of charm, culture and tradition. Nestled in the valley of Secchia, its territory extends from the plain surrounding hills reaching 450 meters above sea level. The municipality of Scandiano includes important fractions, each with particular characteristics that make them unique, such as San Ruffino, Fellegara, Albinea, where you can discover the superb villas built in the last century from the inhabitants who went there on vacation.
Scandiano is rich in history and culture, as evidenced even today not only from its historical monuments, but also by the fact that folklore has always lived in the spirit of the inhabitants. The tourist who comes to Scandiano is admired by its castle, located in the center of the city. It was built in the twelfth century by Gilberto Fogliani for defensive purposes. Then the village was formed just by the castle and it expanded into a more consistent center; two centuries later the Boyars made the castle their noble residence. Since then, and for centuries to come, it became the focus of the story of Scandiano. Here was born the poet Matteo Maria Boiardo, and the famous naturalist and physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani (who was also born in Scandiano) used to make his experiments in its basement. Later it became the residence of the Marquis Thiene and after of the Este Family.
The castle was home to various members of the Italian literary culture, such as the poet Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Calvino and Pope Paul III. It was also the site of decisive events in our history, just think that in its rooms took place the plebiscite that sanctioned the annexation of Scandiano to the Kingdom of Sardinia.
The Rocca dei Boiardo houses valuable paintings and works of art; its structures reveal various architectural styles: medieval, renaissance, baroque, in line with the historical period in which they were made. It is open to the public and can be accessed even in groups of 25 people, upon payment of the ticket. The areas of the castle which are open to visitors are the courtyard and the interior rooms: Sala del Giglio, the Cloth Hall, Room dell’Alcova, Hall of Eagles, which preserve precious paintings and frescoes.
In the town of Scandiano stands the Clock Tower. Commissioned by Feltre Boiardo, it was built as a city gate; around the middle of 1500 a clock was places inside it and then the bell was added and blessed by Pope Paul III. Other buildings of cultural and historical interest are:
- The birthplace of Lazzaro Spallanzani, declared a national monument in 1939;
- The Church of St. Joseph, Piazza Fiume;
- TheAstronomical Observatory “Lazzaro Spallanzani”.
Among the traditional festivals of Scandiano one that involves more fellow citizens is the “Palio of Angelica”, a full immersion in the Middle Ages in honor of the work of Boiardo. The last weekend of September, the Rocca and the village streets are the scene of parades, battles, medieval rites with the ladies and knights sung by the poet in his “Orlando Innamorato”. In the two days dedicated to the initiative you will be able to participare to guided tours or traditional games, such as stroke of the barrels, medieval shows, including the assault of the fortress, parades of historical groups in traditional costumes, flag-wavers, musicians and archers. The highlight is the one dedicated to the election of Angelica, from which the exhibition takes its name, which takes place in the castle courtyard. The two-day festival are enlivened by the market set up for the occasion and the many places open to invite you to taste the typical products.
Another eagerly awaited by the people is the Centenary “St. Joseph’s Fair”, an exhibition by the Agricultural Commercial Industrial Artisan, which takes place in March, from the middle of the month for about ten days. At this fair, organized annually by the municipality of Scandiano, participate exhibitors from all over Italy and that’s why it attracts many visitors. In the several days that comprise are scheduled cultural events with plays, exhibitions, games, are set up different markets and shops stay open beyond closing time.