The Ancient Village of Castelvetro di Modena


The Ancient Village of Castelvetro di Modena

Il Borgo Antico e  Piazza Roma, cuore del paese  

Piazza Roma, called ‘della Dama’ for its characteristic black and white slabs, is considered to be the true heart of the village. All the buildings located in the northern area apart from the towers were, in relatively recent times, demolished to create an open space overlooking the valley below. To replace the buildings, black and white paving slabs that form a draughts board where placed at the centre of the square. 

Piazza Roma is overlooked by the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower), Torre delle Prigioni (Prison Tower), Palazzo Rinaldi and the Town Hall.   

The square-planned Torre dell’Orologio is what remains of the ancient fortified structure on the east side of the Castle, whose last remains were demolished in 1934-35, when the construction of Piazza Roma was carried out. Its construction dates to the thirteenth century but has undergone various changes over the centuries.

The tower, isolated as an architectural structure, had well-protected, difficult and safe access; it dominated the village walls, the entrance to the Castle and the entire surrounding area. Subsequently reduced to a bell tower, the construction was somewhat modified: a bell cell was obtained, one on each of its sides, where clocks were added, which were added to the ancient sundial.

The Torre delle Prigioni, located on the west side of Piazza Roma, has a quadrangular plan, with a scarp wall structure, giving it greater stability and curved belt course; it is built entirely of bricks and reaches about 22 m in height. It is believed that its construction is to be placed around the 14th-15th century. The final 3.50 m high part supported by stone corbels, has the characteristic signature to protrude and it has a four-pitched roof. It can be entered by the ground floor, from where a tunnel led out of the Castle, by means of a trapdoor and through another basement room,

Palazzo Rinaldi

In neogothic-medieval style, the façade of Palazzo Rinaldi was built in unison with the Town Hall, following the reconstruction of the square of Castelvetro.
Palazzo Rinaldi has an ancient origin. The remains of the apse of the old Parish Church of Saints Senesius and Theopompus can still be seen.

During a restoration, remains of human bones belonging to the old cemetery that once surrounded the apse of the Church were found, as was customary.

This cemetery was closed following the Napoleonic laws that foresaw the construction of cemeteries at least 100 metres from inhabited centres (Campo San Rocco in Levizzano is precious and rare proof).

From Piazza Roma, in Via Torquato Tasso towards the Church of Saints Senesius and Theopompus.

The Parish Church

The first stone of the church was placed on 14 April 1897, as can be read on the plaque preserved in the church itself, which was consecrated in 1097 and dedicated to Saint Martyrs Senesius and Theopompus. In the centre of the ancient village, it presents the typical characteristics of the neo-gothic style.

Palazzo Rangoni

Facing the Church, as other buildings of the ancient village, it suffered extensive damage during the earthquake of 1501. It was soon renovated, as in 1564 it hosted the poet Torquato Tasso, who was a student fleeing from Bologna. In fact, inside the church is the Sala del Tasso (a room dedicated to him) and other significant rooms that are currently not open, due to the last earthquake that hit Emilia in 2012. 

useful information


Per tutti coloro che desiderano visitare il Borgo Storico di Castelvetro di Modena in totale libertà, guidati da commenti audio di guide locali, c’è una nuova occasione facile, divertente ed interattiva! Una visita guidata in totale autonomia con il supporto di un’audiopenna e di una mappa interattiva.

L’Audiopen consente ai visitatori di scoprire la storia dei luoghi di maggior interesse storico-culturale di Castelvetro di Modena, semplicemente puntandola a propria scelta verso uno dei punti strategici individuati con apposite icone su una mappa cartacea interattiva, per attivare il commento audio associato. Ogni visitatore potrà in modo autonomo costruire il proprio percorso di visita preferito senza stress e sprechi di tempo.

Passeggiando per il centro storico si potranno quindi incontrare opere architettoniche come “Palazzo Rangoni”, la “Torre dell’orologio”, la “Piazza della Dama” solo per citare i principali.


The Ancient Village and Piazza Roma, heart of the village