Via Giuseppe Garibaldi 12c


Rocca Isolani is a historical building located in the city of Minerbio, in a large park of secular trees. Built at the beginning of the 14th century, it has a history of destruction and remakes burned by the captain Niccolò Piccinino, it was rebuilt in 1438 as a fortified castle. In 1527, during the ascent of the Lanzichenecchi, there was another serious burning, that ended up in the Sack of Rome. In the middle of the 14th century, with the last rebuilding, the stronghold became a country house, with the characteristic brick frizies depicting the Renaissance courts of the 14th century.

Between 1538 and 1542, the three main rooms of the building, the Mars room, the Astronomy’s room and the Hercules’ room, were decorated with frescoes by Amico Aspertini, the eccentric and eclectic painter from Bologna, anticipator of the Mannerism and for so, badly seen by the Vasari: a disdain that will last for centuries upon his reputation, recently rehabilitated. Many frescoes are preserved inside the castle, from the representation of the God Mars in the homonymous room, to that of the Muses and the Liberal Arts on the alcoves, and the mythological figures of Apollo and Diane on the painted balcony of the Astronomy room’s vault. In Hercules’ room different frescoes have been deteriorated by time, but the ones which are still visible, depict the Greek hero. In the back side of the castle there’s a wonderful octagonal dovecote dated 1536. The exterior of the dovecote presents an alternance of three overlapping artistic orders of Tuscan pilasters, while the interior is embellished with a wooden spiral staircase. The dovecote is, for its style, probably the work of Jacopo Barozzi known as “the Vignola”, the artist who also made the adjacent Villa Isolani, built for Charles 5th, in the process of being crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1530 in Bologna.

Nowadays the castle hosts conferences, concerts, private receptions and events in a context of rare preservation of the ancient Renaissance splendour.

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