Things to see
The small town of Zavattarello has several places to visit. The Medieval borough dominated by the castle, museums, churches: artistic gems rich in history. Not only the main town, but also the hamlets are small artworks worth a visit. And do not forget the nature, the main feature of these lands.
The Medieval borough "Su di Dentro"
Via Marconi links Piazza Dal Verme with Via Carlo Dal Verme, leading to the castle: a suggestive emotional path through the history of this village.
This part of the town is called by the inhabitants “Su di Dentro” ("the inner village") because the entrance is under an ancient stone arch, above which a Medieval tower was used to patrol the main access. This used to be the first defensive line against enemies. In the Middle Ages, all the borough was fortified: you can still see parts of the Medieval walls.
The origins of this first core of Zavattarello date back to the middle of the 13th century, when a village of artisans developed here. Their main activity was the shoe making: indeed, the name "Zavattarello" comes from the ancient "savatén", "shoemaker".
The Dal Verme Castle
The Castle of Zavattarello is an important evidence of military architecture, entirely stone-made, with walls up to 4 metres thick: an astonishing medieval fortress that resisted numerous sieges.
The guided tour walks every room, from the prisons to the top of the tower, from which you can see a breathtaking panorama of all the land.
Core of the Dal Verme domains, nowasays the castle is fully restored and open to the public. Events, ceremonies, exhibitions, parties, conferences make these rooms alive, where ancient and modern merge, creating a unique emotional twine.
In the rooms of the Dal Verme Castle of Zavattarello you can find a contemporary art collection that's always growing and evolving, just one of the attractions for the numerous tourists visiting the medieval fortress.
The Contemporary Art Museum shows italian artworks from the second half of 20th cent. and also more ancient paintings by Count Giuseppe dal Verme, owner of the castle at the beginning of the 20th century.
To him and his wife Titina Gavazzi the Museum is entitled, as a homage to their great love for art and this fortress, donated to the citizens of Zavattarello by the Count's heirs in 1975.
Every year the rooms of the castle hosts also temporary art exhibitions in the cycle "Summer in Art": personal and collective exhibits of famous and young artists, with a special role for their bonds with our land.
The Memories Museum "Magazzino dei Ricordi" by Bruni Virgilio is a path along ancient life that lets you see more than a century of traditions, a cultural heritage with ancient roots. Into the museum you can find the recreation of the farmer's kitchen, the tailor's shop, the barber's shop, the school, ancient artisan laboratories: a past which enriches our present and our future.
Contemporary Art Museum
Memories Museum "Magazzino dei Ricordi"
"Summer in Art"
The church of St. Paul is already mentioned in 929, on the occasion of the night spent in Zavattarello by the monks of Bobbio who were transferring the remains of St. Columba to Pavia. Modified several times during the centuries, the building was reconsecrated in 1520 by the Bishop of Piacenza Pietro de Reconda, after its extension in 1500. The façade was added in the 18th century and restored on the occasion of the Jubilee in 2000. In the apse there is an altarpiece from the beginning of the 17th century in gilded wood, with a painting from the 15th century representing the Holy Mary with the Child and the Devil.
The building of the octagonal cemetery began in 1689, but it was completed only two centuries later with Carlo Alberto di Savoia. This fascinating place hosts also the Dal Verme family tombs.
The oratory of St. Roch dates back to the 14th century and was part of a Cistercian monastery, unfortunately now lost. The main altar in gilded wood has a superbe late-Baroque altarpiece that was said to be by Ambrogio Corona (in "Zavattarello pearl of the Oltrepò") "a masterpiece of Baroque art". In this church a statue from the 16th century represents the Holy Mary of the Rosary with the Child. The fifteen paintings of the "Via Crucis" are credited to the school of the Tintoretto.