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Through the streets of the old town centre

Piazza Matteo Maria Boiardo, Palazzo Muncipale, Piazza Libertà, Piazza Spallanzani. A full 360 degree view of the historic town.


42019 Scandiano

Route description

Starting the tour from Piazza Matteo Maria Boiardo, once known as Castle square, we reach the imposing Rocca dei Boiardo (fortress of the Boiardo family), a symbol of the town and its history, and the Church of the Natività della Beata Vergine Maria (Nativity of the Virgin Mary). Several different architectural elements in the fortress courtyard reveal the succession of artistic styles applied over the centuries. Inside the fortress, the Alcove Room, the Drapery Room and the Grand Staircase are of particular interest. The massive building of the current church, culminating in a chamber with mullioned windows with two lights, was built in the second half of the 18th century. The church interior has three naves and eight bays. Via Cesare Magati runs from Piazza Boiardo to the old castle entrance, now known as Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower), commissioned by Feltrino Boiardi in 1430. This is the street where the most aristocratic families of the time lived, of which the various houses still bear the marks. The porticos, which date back to the Middle Ages, run the length of the road on the southern side and used to be the premises of the town’s artisan workshops.
Casa Spallanzaniis situated at the beginning of Via Magati, a town court elevated to the status of a Palazzo. The current façade is characterised by harmonious late-Baroque 18th-century features. The small windows with elongated square mouldings, the balustrades, and the depressed arch with a coach gate entrance are of particular interest.
Continuing along Corso Vallisneri, originally traced out by Giovan Battista Boiardo and his son Giulio in the 16th century, we can see the Art Nouveau-style Palazzo Tonarelli. The high ornamental moulding of the first floor contains strikingly original and evocative decorations consisting of a succession of warlike male faces encircled by luxuriant elements of plant life which give the faces a lion-like look. The side windows on the first floor are framed by pilasters with Corinthian capitals embellished by bas-relief balustrades giving a scenic effect. The three central pedimental windows are in style with the projecting balcony. The lateral windows with modillions on the second floor have original pilasters on each side, embellished by garlanded female faces instead of capitals and set on rounded bases. Continuing along the street, we reach Piazza Libertà, linked with Piazza Duca D’Aosta by a striking stairway. Along Corso Vallisneri, just opposite Piazza D’Aosta, is also the Church of San Giuseppe, built in the first half of the 16th century, with the current façade dating to the end of the year 1700. Inside the church, the wooden tabernacle attributed to Ceccati is of particular interest.A little further is the Municipal Hall, and going down Corso Vallisneri on the right, we come across an elegant and intimate courtyard which gives a view of the city park through a charming vaulted corridor aligned with a further vault.
Proceeding further along Corso Vallisneri we reach Piazza Spallanzani, commissioned by Giulio Boiardo in 1548, where the Carrara marble statue of Lazzaro Spallanzani is located.
A full 360 degree view of the square highlights the diversity in the porticos and the buildings described below, in line with the different periods of construction. Casa Manzotti-Carandini is on the north-eastern corner of the square. This is where the legendary well of “citizenship” is located which, according to local tradition, confers the citizenship of Scandiano to those who walk around it three times. This porticoed house, whose original structure dates back to the 16th century, is one of the most interesting buildings in the old town centre of Scandiano. Inside the building, the 19th century staircase and the imposing wall decorations in Neoclassical style are particularly striking. On the open side of the square is the Pavaglione building, which combines four separate 17th- and 18th-century buildings. This is where the silkworm cocoon market used to be held in bygone times. Casa Bassi stands out prominently in the square and can be reached through a portico with depressed arch. Next to Casa Bassi is Casa Vallisneri, home of the renown biologist.

How to get there


By car
From A1 motorway Reggio Emilia exit, take SS467 ring-road towards Scandiano-Sassuolo;
From Modena, take SS486 "Passo delle Radici" road towards Sassuolo, then at Veggia take SS467 road towards Scandiano-Reggio Emilia.

By train
There are local trains for Reggio-Sassuolo which leave from Reggio Emilia Station

By bus
From Piazzale Europa bus n. 46 line Reggio E. - Baiso (Cerredolo) - Carpineti - C. Monti