Discover Pizzighettone

Taking advantage of a Easter Monday, although not exceptional, we took the opportunity to visit the small village of Pizzighettone located in the Cremona plain on the banks of the Adda River. A small village that embodies a parenthesis of rich and extensive history, completely to be discovered.

The origins of Pizzighettone

Its origin dates back to the Etruscan era with the name of Acerra, a small village that stood on the right bank of the river about a kilometer from the current town. The same was subsequently conquered first by the Gauls and then by the Romans, but with the end of the Roman Empire it decays and the traces are lost.
The population therefore moves to a peninsula that enters the river and makes it easy to look at the same: Pizzighettone is born.
The origin of the name can be traced back, probably, to Germanic-Celtic words such as: Pizz (peninsula) and Ghe Ton (road and/or fenced place). This is due to the fact that the continuous passage of goods and men, due to the ford next to which the city rises, raises the need to control these flows with the birth of a castle on its banks in 1133 by the Cremonese who built first a circle of walls of wooden palisades which is subsequently transformed into a more solid in dairy.
At the beginning, as already mentioned, the river was waded, but later the ferries were set up which will remain in operation even when the Austrians build bridges.
Pizzighettone is one of the few fortified villages both on the right bank of the river and on the left as normally similar villages have fortifications only on one side, also due to a question of costs, but the need to protect the village from attacks by both sides forced the Visconti into such an investment one from which they absolutely had to return. For this reason, the al Rivellino institute was set up to protect the front door of the city, a checkpoint where it was necessary to pay for the passage of goods and people.
The Visconti immediately understand the importance of Pizzighettone and confirm the town as a free village, already declared as such by Barbarossa, proclaiming it a land separated from the Cremona area by responding directly to the Dukes of Milan.

Pizzighettone and history

In 1524 Pizzighettone saw his “guest” the French King Francesco I taken prisoner following his army’s defeat in Pavia and therefore forced to stay under surveillance in the Torre del Guado. Far from being a prisoner dictated by barbarous tortures, the monarch maintained a certain standard of living having, for example, free access to the fortress and the fact that it was treated with all the regards that his class and position deserved.
The detention of the King ended in May 1525 and once back in France he donated some gifts to the small village to thank him for the hospitality and respect towards him.
Among the other historical figures of which Pizzighettone was the protagonist there were Napoleon Bonaparte, who conquered the fortress of the city, and the Habsburg King Joseph II of Habsburg-Lorraine who transformed the walls into life sentences. This was due to the surplus of prisoners that Milan found itself facing due to the decadence of Venice to which it sold them to embark them on the galleys.
Pizzighettone preserves one of the most beautiful city walls in Europe with its 2 kilometers long, 12 high and 15 wide. But it’s not just its size that makes it so unique if not all of its complex internal structure articulated in environments with barrel vaults, casemates, shooting positions and stores for a total of 93 rooms. 800 meters inside the curtain wall that represent a unique experience of its kind. A real total immersion in history.

Guided tours

The guided tour, lasting about 1 hour and a half, takes place in Italian only by the volunteers of the walls at a cost of € 5.
For information on initiatives, schedules and dates, you can visit THIS site.

25 thoughts on “Discover Pizzighettone

  1. Ohh how lovely! It looks like a stunning place to visit, I would love to go! Your photos are gorgeous too, you’ve really captured it!

  2. Now i look forward to your posts, the places you visit are gorgeous. I’ve never been to Pizzighettone and i can’t wait to go there, so beautiful.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful post. I love visiting such places. This sounds so amazing. Definitely going to include it in my travel list.

  4. This looks like a really great spot for a weekend away or as part of a longer trip to the continent. It would be great to know what are the best places for breakfast and lunch nearby as well as any other scenic spots.

    1. In Pizzighettone city there is not much in this sense, being a very small village. I would point to the surroundings with some typical local taverns!

  5. I can feel an ancient rustic vibe at Pizzighettone; and the place is just full of history as I love it. I find it so good learning about the origins of places…it makes you see the place in a more special way.

  6. What a cool place to visit. I admit, I had never heard of it until reading your post. I love seeing the character of the old architecture.

  7. Your pictures are wonderful and really show the history of this location! I loved reading about the history as well. This is my favorite thing about traveling in Europe – there’s so much history around every corner!

  8. It does look like such a quaint little village there. I always love learning the history behind places like this. All that wall in brick is kind of crazy. Very nice!

  9. My favorite thing about visiting places around the world is learning about their histories. It’s so amazing to think about all the people who came before you.

  10. Italy is in our bucket list from long time we are planning to visit Italy in this year and we will definitely going to add Pizzighettone to our bucket list too

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