The Fontanellato Castle is in the town center, encircled by a moat full of water, and has one of the masterpieces of Italian Mannerism: the frescoed chamber by Parmigianino in 1524, depicting the fable of Diana and Atteone. The appartamento nobile di Sanvitale is still open. It is possible to tour Italy’s only operational Optical Room.
The stronghold’s construction began around 1124, when a first defense tower was built by Pallavicino. The central guarding tower was built in the same period, that is now the entrance door too: today it has a stone bridge, originally a lift bridge. In 1386 the lands around Fontanellato with its stronghold, were given to Sanvitale.
In 1404, the fief became a county: in that period, the stronghold became an important noble residence. It has been property of Sanvitale family up to 1948, when Giovanni Sanvitale sold it to the Municipality of Fontanellato.