The Rocchetta Mattei, located above Riola in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi, is one of the most visited buildings by Emilian citizens and tourists who decide to explore the surroundings of Bologna.
Rocchetta Mattei: the history
The construction of Rocchetta Mattei began in 1850 at the behest of Count Cesare Mattei, a prominent figure in Bologna then. After various political and personal disappointments in those years, the Count decided to retire from city life and dedicate himself entirely to the construction of the Rocchetta. This building is a real castle with a unique style. The Count’s varied and particular personality is reflected in the building, where one can see rooms and towers built in Moorish style next to other medieval-style constructions connected by staircases with Art Nouveau decorations.
Rocchetta Mattei: visitors’ favourite elements
Two of the elements most photographed by visitors are the ‘Courtyard of the Lions’, a small-scale reproduction of the courtyard of the Alhambra in Granada, and the ‘Chapel’, inspired by the Mezquita (mosque) architecture in Cordoba. After the death of Cesare Mattei, the Rocchetta passed first to his adopted son and then to a local merchant, who exploited the building’s popularity by opening a hotel with an attached restaurant. This ‘commercial’ management lasted until the 1980s when the entire complex was abandoned. Today, thanks to restoration work carried out over the years, it is possible to discover and admire the beauty of Rocchetta Mattei.