Compiano, where time has stopped
Compiano is counted among the most beautiful villages in Italy. That ancient agglomeration, mentioned since 1021, arose on the historical route that connected Emilia, Tuscany and Liguria and still today it dominates the high Taro Valley.
Its toponym refers to a castrum cum campo plano; in fact a tower was already there with a defensive and control function before the year 1000 and it is certified that it had belonged to Malaspina dynasty that ceded it to Piacenza Commune in 1141.
A century later the power over the Taro and the Ceno Valleys and so also over Compiano passed to Landi dynasty, originally from Piacenza; in 1257 Ubertino Landi started a control which will last more than 400 years and which reached its peak in 1551 when Agostino Landi received the title of Sovereign Prince of the Holy Roman Empire by Charles V of Spain.
In 1682 Compiano and nearby Bardi became part of the domains of the Farnese family at the head of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza since 1545.
In the following centuries the Castle became a military fortress and consequently a state prison, when it became a property of the Bourbons, followed by Napoleon Bonaparte, then by his second wife Mary Louise of Austria and finally by the Bourbons again.
In 1891 an engineer, Giuseppe Magnaghi from Salsomaggiore Terme, bought the Castle because he wanted to turn it into a nursing house but his project did not go on and the property passed to Angelo Nazzani, the parish priest of Compiano, who used it as a boarding house for young girls, named the Holy Heart and managed by the sisters of Cottolengo of Turin for more than 60 years.
At last from 1966 to 1987 the Castle was the permanent address of Lina Angela Luisa Comtess Raimondi Marquise Gambarotta, who transformed it into a definitely eclectic house-museum, thanks to its refined and varied furniture together with a collection of works of art and objects gathered during her several travels.
Following her will, the Castle and its content were donated to the Municipal Administration of Compiano, which opened it to the public in July 1987. Thanks to some memorabilia donated by Dr. Flaminio Musa as well as the collaboration of the Great East of Italy- Giustiniani Palace, the International Masonry Museum, set up in some rooms, was opened in 2002. In 2012 a room at the entrance to the castle became the Wine & Food Museum.