THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT
The Marquise Bonifacio of Tuscany left the inheritance of the Savignano sul Panaro hamlet to his daughter Matilde di Canossa, on his death in 1115, it was disputed between the people of Bologna and Modena. Subsequently it passed under the dominion of the Estensi (a rich and powerful Italian dynasty), which in the year 1408 gifted it to Uguccione from the authority of the Contrari. This was an extremely important historical event, which still today is celebrated as a great festival. Between 1577 and 1796, Savignano was passed down to the Boncompagni family. In 1861 it became part of the municipalities of the Kingdom of Italy.
THE HAMLET AS IT IS TODAY
The antique hamlet of Savignano is today one of the most beautiful and significant hamlets in the province of Modena and of the entire Emilia Romagna region. The castle of Savignano was built as a fortress, a place in order to guard the land around the banks of the Panaro river, and for centuries that is exactly what it did. The entrance of the hamlet is from Via Crespellani. The defensive tower which dominates the archway once housed a drawbridge. Continuing it’s possible to find a large structure called “Casa del Capitano” (the captain’s house) (he who had to politically balance the strength of the noble families, representing the middle class of that era).
Nowadays it has been transformed into housing, it is not accessible to the public, there are still traces of frescoes and a crest of the authority of the Contrari. “La Torre” (the tower) of the second archway is a very antique construction as can be seen from the pebbles from the river with which it has been erected. The access tower to the safest part of the castle was also a guards tower. Continuing the tour you encounter a wide staircase of bricks which leads to the magnificent church dedicated to S. Maria Assunta. The church dates back to the year 1027. Recently the frescoes have been conservatively restored, hence bringing them back to their original beauty. The back open space and the parvis are surrounded by a strong wall which all remains in the original nucleus of the Fortress. From this point a beautiful panorama can be observed.
FOOD and WINE
Located between the hills and the high plains. Savignano Sul Panaro enjoys widespread local food which is both very rich and varied, because in part it takes its enlightenment from the traditions of both Modena and Bologna and in part from the mountainous areas, it is therefore possible to taste typical products from these areas, such as “Borlenghi” and “Tigelle” and other typical products from the area like “Crescentine fritte”, fresh handmade pasta, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Prosciutto di Modena PDO, Mortadella (local cold cuts), Parmigiano Reggiano and Nocino (a liqueur made from walnuts) . The hamlet of Savignano which is always suitable for agriculture, boasts 11 DOC wines, such as Pignoletto, Trebbiano, Montuni, Albana, Lambrusco Grasparossa and Barbera.
WINE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
An event which takes place in May “Magnalonga diurnal” and in July “Magnalonga notturna”. A walk of about 9 kilometres around the hills, through the vines and farming lands, discovering wineries. It is an itinerary with stops wherein you will be offered typical foods matched with local wines. All accompanied by live music. A beautiful day of gathering people together to rediscover the territory.
LOTTA PER LA SPADA DEI CONTRARI
A historical remembrance which takes place the third weekend of September. It’s like going back in time, right back to 1409. Travelling shows, challenges between rival quarters, and historical parades. There is also the possibility to taste the local food in the many inns and locals.
MEDIEVAL VILLAGE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Take place the last weekend of November: medieval costumes are worn and there are travelling shows, concerts and tastings.