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Travel Rocchetta Mattei, Bologna, Italy: This is the world's weirdest castle

05:00  11 march  2018
05:00  11 march  2018 Source:   traveller.com.au

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Rocchetta Mattei castle is wedged in a valley south-east of Bologna on a winding road to Florence. My guide, Alice, has me alternatively shaking my head, restraining giggles and wondering if I'm being pranked. Rocchetta Mattei is the world ' s weirdest castle , in which a statue of Snow White, chained

Rocchetta Mattei from across the valley.© Provided by Sydney Morning Herald Rocchetta Mattei from across the valley.

What do you do if you have oodles of money matched with eccentricity, paranoia that you're going to be murdered, and an unhealthy obsession with your dead mother? Why, build a castle and seclude yourself for 40 years with a jester for company, strange symbols on the ceilings and – because you can – an awaiting tomb built above your dining room.

I've toured many castles, but this is the first to utterly bemuse me. My guide, Alice, has me alternatively shaking my head, restraining giggles and wondering if I'm being pranked.

Rocchetta Mattei is the world's weirdest castle, in which a statue of Snow White, chained to a wall in the owner's bedroom, is the least peculiarity. A tour here is quite the yarn involving electric shocks, architectural fakery and an Italian count who ought to have been confined to a lunatic asylum, but was instead famous across Europe and ennobled by a pope.

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Rocchetta Mattei is a fantastic architectural masterpiece in Emilia, at Grizzana Morandi, near Bologna ! ► Become our Ambassador and be our guest in your next trip to Italy http Rocchetta Mattei - Продолжительность: 2:04 Emanuele Tumidei 7 924 просмотра.

The castle Rocchetta Mattei (literally "small fortress Mattei ") is situated in the mountan chain of the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. It is 45 km away from Bologna , on the SS.64 (road) that links Bologna to Porretta Terme, just after the town of Riola

Rocchetta Mattei is wedged in a valley south-east of Bologna on a winding road to Florence, and makes a startling, turreted appearance that reminds me simultaneously of Russian churches (gold domes), Moorish forts (striped walls, arched windows) and an imaginary castle from a Renaissance painting.

"Count Cesare Mattei was a little bit unusual, he wanted to follow his desires, he was eccentric," says Alice with considerable understatement. He started his adult life in politics and founded a bank but after his mother's death withdrew from public life. He invented a homeopathic "cure" for various diseases that purported to realign the body's energy through the electricity contained in herbs and plants. It made him famous. Through sales of a kit with which patients could treat themselves, he also became exceedingly rich.

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The castle passed to the count' s son, but after World War II the cost of maintenance, repair and upkeep were too high and the castle was abandoned for many years. The Rocchetta Mattei is located outside Riola, a "frazione" of Vergato.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Peter P. Bologna , Italy . Her English was impeccable and the castle was amazing 😍. Ask Deb A about Rocchetta Mattei .

A Moorish-inspired room at Rocchetta Mattei.© Provided by Sydney Morning Herald A Moorish-inspired room at Rocchetta Mattei. The count completed his castle in 1859 atop medieval foundations on a rock containing a supposedly lively electromagnetic field. It was the centre of his homeopathic practice, with the deluded and desperate rich and royal coming for cures. He lived there until his death in 1896 and for the last 20 years never left its walls.

Mattei's castle displays all the child-like, unhinged absurdities of his cancer cure. You might imagine the count striding about saying "I want a lion! A hippogriff! A giant electric clock!" – one of only two in its day. And then when he got those, getting ever more demanding: "A minaret! A Turkish room! The Alhambra Towers that recreate the entire solar system!" And he got those, too.

This is a castle of turrets and a drawbridge, winding staircases and battlements, a labyrinth of passageways and rooms. It's discernibly castle-like but everything looks odd, like a drawing from a sci-fi cartoon. Moorish elements are strongest. A chapel resembles the hybrid mosque-cathedral in Cordoba, the Lion Courtyard a scaled-down version of the one at the Alhambra.

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Riola (Bo) Italy - Castello della Rocchetta Mattei dopo il restauro ( Castle of Count Cesare Mattei ) - Duration: 12:18. Arte e moda nella magia della Rocchetta Mattei (Designer Fashion Style Beauty in the castle ) - Duration: 21:35.

Envisioning his castle as the home of his medical revolution, Mattei constructed the “ Rocchetta ,” as he called it, with the enthusiasm and focus of a child. Mattei ’ s electrohomeopathy is still practiced in some corners of the world such as India and Bologna , Italy . Relics in the Basilica of San Domenico.

Every architectural feature has symbolism associated with magicians, masons and other assorted madmen. (Mattei never married, and there is no womanly restraint in this ultimate garden shed.) You come in through a narrow entrance that looks like a giant ear, pass between statues of good and evil and into a sun-flooded baptismal courtyard. See, you're already cured!

The count's bedroom has a ceiling knobbly with downward pointing pyramids, one of which supposedly conceals a fabulous life-prolonging diamond.

The Hall of Nineties was created to celebrate Mattei's 90th birthday with 90 guests. Instead, he carked it at 87 and was bundled into his tomb, covered with astrological signs and messages whose meanings have yet to be deciphered. Some think they point to hidden treasure, but when the tomb was recently opened it contained just a skeleton. Grinning, one presumes, at having got away with such a grandiose, ludicrous prank.

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