Vignola the city of Cherries
Updated: May 13, 2021
Vignola is a small town in the province of Modena which rises near the Panaro river, famous in Emilia Romagna for its fantastic Cherries and for its famous Vignola Fortress. The year of its construction cannot be known with certainty, but it can be reasonably estimated that it was built in the years following the end of the Carolingian dynasty to protect the area from Hungarian invasions, a time when many defense towers and fortified enclosures were constructed . Tradition attributes the erection of this first fortress to the Abbey of Nonantola. A document from 936 mentions that Vignola, in the same year, came under the control of the Bishop of Modena. Another document proves the existence of the Fortress from at least 1178. Until the early years of the 15th Century, the edifice functioned primarily as a military base. But later, when the Ferrara noble Uguccione dei Contrari received the fief of Vignola as a gift from Niccolò III d’Este, the Rocca di Vignola also became a noble residence.With the Contrari family, the Rocca thus became a Castle, enlarged, imposing and enriched with a frescoed noble floor. Around 1420, the Castle already showed most of the architectural and functional characteristics that can be found today. In 1575, after the death of the last descendant of the Contrari family, the property returned to the Este family who sold it two years later to Giacomo Boncompagni, to whom it remained until 1796, that is, until the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte.
After the fall of Napoleon, the Castle returned to the Boncompagni-Ludovisi family, while the city of Vignola was incorporated into the Duchy of Modena. In 1965 the Castello di Vignola was bought by the Cassa di Risparmio di Vignola which sold it in 1998 to the Vignola Foundation, the current owner.
Credit Photo Terre di Castelli