Situated on a reddish volcanic rock – from which the stronghold takes its name -, Rossena’s castle is maybe the most beautiful and best preserved one in the Matilda of Canossa area.
Rossena’s role was to protect the Castle of Canossa on the west side, it was – and still has the appearance of – a fortress, surrounded by three city walls and bulwarks.
The stronghold belonged to Boniface in the 11th century and was confiscated by the Da Correggio in the 13th century, who kept it until 1612, when it passed to the Duchy of Parma.
During the Da Correggio rule, the poet Petrarca was a guest at the castle several times and he also completed some of his works in the area; a small, beautiful XIX century temple dedicated to Petrarca is located in Selvapiana, featuring a marble sculpture by Bandini and ceiling paintings by Scaramuzza.
With the passing of time, this castle was extended and modified, but the tower of Rossenella – standing on a different peak, in front of the castle – still conserve the original XII century appearance!
Rossena Castle is today property of the diocese of Reggio Emilia and, as a stop of the “Sentiero Matildico” (“Matilda Path”) – a variation of the more famous Via Francigena which is a pilgrimage way to Rome -, it is now the beautiful location of a youth hostel, opened for groups.