4 Steps in the Middle Ages
4 Passi nel Medioevo
Castello dei Ronchi, Crevalcore
(Bologna, Emilia Romagna region)
a weekend in the Middle Ages with craftspeople and traders, knights and peasants bringing back to life between 1380 and 1410 AD, a vast living history camp set in a unique cultural and natural landscape of the Bolognese plain…
Geographical, cultural and historical context
The event takes place in Crevalcore, a town located in the Po Valley, about 30 km from Bologna, in the Emilia Romagna region. The first historical mention of Crevalcore is to be found in a document dating to the year 1130 AD about the building of another castle. The today Crevalcore was founded by the nearby municipality of Bologna between 1226 and 1231 AD after the complete destruction of the previous settlement in year 1219 by the hands of the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250 AD). The town still maintains its original medieval squared layout with right-angled streets forming 32 blocks of almost identical dimensions. The buildings facing the main street, "via Matteotti", feature enchanting inner courtyards and typical arcades, while the central square host a 1897 bronze sculpture commemorating Crevalcore’s most famous son, the scientist Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694 AD), an Italian biologist and physician, who is referred to as the father of microscopical anatomy, histology, physiology and embryology. For his international fame, the Royal Society in London made him an honorary member in 1669.
Over centuries the territory of Crevalcore had long been disputed by the lords of Milan (the House of Visconti) and the papal legates of Bologna. In 1389 the castle of Crevalcore, which was the most exposed of the Bolognese castles, got further reinforced in the fear of an imminent attack by the Visconti troops. An in fact a year later, Crevalcore became the scene of important battles between the army of Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1351-1402 AD), the Duke of Milan, and Alberico da Barbiano (c. 1344-1409 AD), an Italian condottiero, who was then the commander of the Bolognese troops, and had previously been a "trainee" of the famous English mercenary John Hawkwood (c. 1323-1394 AD, also known in Italy as "Giovanni Acuto").
The surroundings are characterized by several beautiful country manor-houses or villas, often called "castles", built by the Bolognese nobility starting from the 15th century. These ancient residences, which often boast works of art by renowned artists, include "Castello di Palata Pepoli" with its notable porticoed courtyard and beautiful doors in Rococo style, "Castello di Galeazza Pepoli", constructed around an imposing 16th century tower, "Palazzo Bevilacqua Ariosti", a typical Bologna senatorial residence, and the architectural complex of "Villa Ronchi" or "Castello dei Ronchi", that consists of a 16th-century noble house and an elegant 18th-century church, built in the same-name area of Ronchi near Crevalcore. Villa Ronchi is embellished with frescos by Agostino Carracci (1557-1602 AD), an Italian painter and printmaker brother of the more famous Annibale (1560-1609), one of the progenitors of the Baroque style. The complex belongs today to the local council and used as an exhibition hall and cultural centre, hosting also a yearly multi-period living history event: "Le Vie del Tempo".
Event description and programme
Every second week-end in May, Crevalcore brings back to life its medieval history and the times between 1380 and 1410 AD. The event takes place in the beautiful setting of Villa Ronchi and is organized by "I Sempar in Baraca", a local association involved in promoting the history and traditions of Crevalcore and its surroundings. In the park of the castle the visitors have the chance to meet many historical characters of the period, such as knights and men-at-arms, noblemen and ladies, peasants, musicians, artisans and merchants, artists and falconers, while rediscovering the many sides of the Medieval daily life: war and art, food and clothing, leisure and labour, beliefs and customs. The historical tented camp is open to the visitors and animated by reenactors coming from all over Italy, while the artisans in the colourful craft-market show their skills and products.
The rich programme includes knightly tournaments and jousts, battle reenactments, but also several leisure and educational activities for adults and children, including craft workshops, interactive laboratories, themed exhibitions and classes about medieval warfare and cuisine, theatre and music shows, fencing and birds of prey demonstrations. The food stalls serve both medieval-inspired menu and traditional Bolognese dishes. The event culminates with the re-enactment of the battle that took place in Crevalcore in 1390, between the Bolognese army, led by the duke Alberico da Barbiano, and the Milanese Visconti army.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Location: via Argini nord 3277/b 40014 Crevalcore (Bologna), Italy
4 Passi nel Medioevo event official website
Associazione Culturale "I Sempar in Baraca"
Address: Via Argini Nord 4540 - 40014 Crevalcore (Bologna), Italy
Mob.: +39 3460955395 | Fax: +39 051983314
Crevalcore Town Council / Comune di Crevalcore
Address: via G. Matteotti 191 - 40014 Crevalcore (Bologna), Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)51 988311 | Fax: +39 (0)51 980938
Associazione Culturale Compagnia d'arme delle 13 porte
Address: via Cleto Tomba 16 - 40127 Bologna, Italy
Mob.: +39 320 6982349
Emilia-Romagna Region Tourist Authority
Turismo in Pianura - Official Tourist Site of the Pianura Bolognese
Image: 4 Passi nel Medioevo
Text: 4 Passi nel Medioevo, Associazione Culturale “I Sempar in Baraca”, Wikipedia, Emilia-Romagna Region Tourist Authority, Crevalcore Town Council
Crevalcore and Villa Ronchi on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event:
Exploring Crevalcore and Villa Ronchi: