La Rocchetta Mattei: Italy's most bizarre castle?

Apr 28, 2022 252

BY: Paula Reynolds

Ensconced on a rocky base at the foothills of the Apennines, a strikingly peculiar castle rises over the Emilia-Romagna countryside. You won’t find the usual architectural suspects adorning this eclectic castle, but instead an array of gilded onion domes, spindly rows of minarets, and an assemblage of European, Eastern, Moorish, and medieval styles that converge to create one of Italy’s most unusual buildings.

This strange castle, christened La Rocchetta Mattei, was begun in 1850 atop the remains of what had been an important ancient Tuscan stronghold. Its unconventional creator, Count Cesare Mattei, envisioned a commanding castle that would serve not only as his personal home but also as the perfect location for manufacturing and dispensing of his controversial medicinal cures.

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