The Municipality of Gazzola is no doubt one of the smaller towns of Italy with the highest concentration of castles. Aside from the famous Castle of Rivalta, there are three more: the Castle of Rezzanello, Castle of Momeliano and the Castle of Lisignano.
Lisignano, formerly known as Licinianus, is mentioned in the Tabula Alimantaria Traianea, a bronze Roman inscription found near Velleia containing numerous data regarding the agricultural organizationof the Piacenza territory in the second century with indications of names and locations.
Lisignano was a main parish during the medieval ages.
The Castle of Lisignano is square shaped with four cylindrical towers surrounded by a moat in which water from the Luretta stream still runs today.
The Castle of Lisignano is first mentioned in official documents in 1244 when Marquise Hohenburg, Vicar of Emperor Federico II, sojourned. The castle is however much older.
Like many other fortifications of the area, the castle passed from one noble family to another through the centuries. The Pagani, from 1387 the Figliagaddi, the Grande Hospital of Piacenza, and from 1632 to the 20th Century it belonged to the Rizzalotti.
Today it is private property and is not open to the public.
A draw-bridge with wooden rams and chains leads to the castle. In the 18th Century modifications were made according to the style of the period: an internal courtyard faces two baroque galleries with a staircase leading to the upper floor. Traces of frescos attributed to Fernando Bibiena can be seen. The rooms are large and luminous.
The prisons were located in the lower level of one of the towers. The condemned were lowered by means of ropes through a trap-door in the ceiling. Some claim that there is a secret passage under the Luretta stream which leads to the Castle of Agazzano.
“Piacenza e la sua provincia” di Leonardo Cafferini, Nuova Litoeffe, Castelvetro Piacentino; 2005
Picture: Comune di Gazzola