All the wonders of
the Canossa Lands

The history of the Canossa Lands

In the 12th century, the lands of the feudal State of Countess Matilde of Canossa stretched from Brescia to Viterbo, including important cities such as Cremona, Mantova, Ferrara, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, La Spezia, Pisa, Lucca, Firenze, Arezzo, Siena, Grosseto and Perugia.

A mighty fortified system protected the feudal State of the Canossa Lands that Countess Matilde ruled between the 11th and the 12th century.

The origin of the castles goes back to the Attonidi family, from whom Matilde descended; this family strengthened the northern border of its territories, between the Taro and Reno rivers. These defensive structures were a safety guarantee and symbols of their authority.

It’s thought the Matildic castles were often built through reinforcing pre-existing structures.

The fortified lines (mostly in The Apennines near Reggio) ran from east to west at different heights. Canossa, for instance, is located on an intermediate defensive line, while Bianello faced the plains, to counteract enemies coming from the north. Matilde’s castles were destroyed firstly by the intolerant ‘Comuni’ and then during the ‘Signorie’ period.

Matilde’s territory was characterized not only by castles and villages, but also by churches (pieve). Those churches also assisted the population, and were built in strategic locations, often near the castles. They were fully fledged administrative centres of the Matildic territory and benefited from the support of the Countess herself. The churches were maintained thanks to the decime (tithes), the tax-like offers of the parishioners.

Casa Canossa,
our headquarter
in the Motor Valley

In Quattro Castella (Reggio Emilia), in the beating heart of the Matildic lands, we recently inaugurated our new home: Casa Canossa.

Nestled amid rolling green hills in Italy’s Motor Valley, the beautiful landscape and unique atmosphere enhances the happiness and creativity of our team.