History

The antechamber of the Main Room in 1898
The inner court in 1930s
The Main Room in 1930s

The first core of the castle of Zavattarello was built by the Monastery of Bobbio (Pc) at the end of the 10th century. It was owned by this Monastery up to 1169, when, during the fights between Pavia and Piacenza, was conquered by the latter.
In 1209, as decided by Emperor Otto IV, Zavattarello became again a possession of the Bishop of Bobbio. It was the field of long disputes between two factions of Piacenza: the Ghibellines leaded by the Landi family and the Guelphs leaded by the Scotti family. The alternating war and diplomatic events allowed both the parts to rule the feud.
About Ubertino Landi, feared lord of Zavattarello from 1264, numerous threatening legends are told. He defended the castle from numerous attacks and fought in several bloody battles. Thanks to his mighty influence, the borough's development grew. But with the advancing of his age, he decided to give his possessions to the Guelphs from Piacenza.
In 1327 Manfredo Landi became lord of the castle, thanks to Lodovico il Bavaro. His domination on Oltrepò Pavese strengthened in 1358, when the Landi, Beccaria and Visconti families allied against Pavia, signing this act in the Castle of Zavattarello.
The growing of the Visconti power marked also the rise of the Dal Verme: in 1385 the Bishop of Bobbio, Roberto Lanfranco from Pisa, regained the possession of Zavattarello and gave it, in 1390, to Jacopo Dal Verme, famous soldier of fortune from Verona and founder of a well known war school. This famous warlord, who was also cited in the 23rd canto of the Orlando Furioso by Lodovico Ariosto, was the first one of the Dal Verme family to have properties in Oltrepò Pavese.
In 1485 Lodovico Sforza ordered the murder of Count Pietro Dal Verme, who had no male heirs: so, Lodovico gained the possession of Zavattarello, giving it to Galeazzo Sanseverino, Count of Caiazzo. In 1499 the Sforza fled from Milan facing the coming of the French army captained by the Milanese Gian Giacomo Trivulzio and took refuge in Germany, together with the Sanseverino. Bernardino Della Corte, to whom had been given custody of the castle of Milan, surrendered to the French for money and was rewarded with the feud of Zavattarello and others belonged to the Dal Verme family. But the heirs continued claiming their rights and in 1512, when Della Corte died, regained Zavattarello. The Sanseverino, though, allied with the French and in 1520 regained the feud from Francis I. The fights between the Sanseverino and the Dal Verme ended with the death of Galeazzo during the battle of Pavia in 1525: from that moment the Dal Verme remained uncontested rulers of the feud of Zavattarello.
With World War II, the Counts left the castle, that became one of the fields of the Oltrepò war events, unfortunately damaged by a fire on 23rd November 1944.
In 1975 the sons and wife of Count Giuseppe Dal Verme signed a donation of the castle to the Municipality of Zavattarello, that is the current owner and during the years restored the fortress, making it this way a tourist and cultural attraction in continuous growth.