EventGuided tour

Tour of the alchemical Rocca di Fontanellato and the Masone Labyrinth



Tour of the alchemical Rocca di Fontanellato and the Masone Labyrinth

The construction of the scenic Sanvitale fortress, which stands in the center of the village of the same name, surrounded by a water moat, dates back to the 12th century. The interiors were redesigned in the 16th century by Count Galeazzo, dedicated to alchemical practice.

Francesco Mazzola, known as Parmigianino, whose passion for alchemical science is well known, was commissioned by Galeazzo and his wife Paola Gonzaga to fresco a room of the fortress on the ground floor with no natural lighting. The room is called the Diana and Atteone room, containing a series of paintings that conceal mysterious symbols.

The tour of the Rocca, currently used as a museum, allows you to visit all the interesting rooms that preserve ancient furnishings, but our main focus will be on the so-called room of the equilibrist women which housed the alchemical laboratory of the Count, as well as on the Sala del Parmigianino, where we will discover the secret meaning of its frescoes. We will end the tour in the curious optical room overlooking the hanging garden.

The tour will then continue in Parma, where we will have lunch in a typical restaurant (optional, about 25 Euros each), and then we will leave to visit the great Masone Labyrinth created by Franco Maria Ricci.

The Labyrinth, made entirely of bamboo, is inspired by the famous initiatory text of the ‘Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published in Venice in 1499 by Aldus Manutius. An historical text that became an essential reference for the architecture of symbolic and alchemical gardens until the end of the 17th century.

We will then be able to visit the Museum which houses the works of contemporary art collected by Franco Maria Ricci, as well as the library that houses his publications.

Schedule :

7.30 AM: Departure from Florence

10.30 AM: arrival in Fontanellato, tour of the Rocca Sanvitale

11.30 AM: departure for Parma

City tour and lunch in a characteristic restaurant (optional)

4.30 PM: departure Parma

4.45 PM: Labyrinth of the Masone

Tour of the large labyrinth created by Franco Maria Ricci, Museum included

6 PM: departure for Florence

Approximately 9 PM: arrival in Florence


Tel. Number + 39.347-7068443 (from Monday to Saturday 9am-3pm)

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