Castles are all different; like the old ad said,’Oils ain’t oils’.
This one, outside Parma, is the 15th century Torrechiara, and open for us to enter.
A steep cobbled ramp led up to the main entry, past where the portcullis would have been lowered against the enemy.
Of course it has sweeping views over the country that would have been under its protection.
This included the village within its hilltop realm, needed to house the workers and artisans to run this fort-cum-villa.
From the broad tiled loggia or verandah, I can look down on the roof below and admire the ancient lichened terracotta tiles.
It has the usual central courtyard and well, which all look quite simple, almost monastic. Inside is another matter.
Yep, frescoes galore for the family’s living and entertainment rooms, but they were very different to the religious ones with which I’d been swamped. So much skill and talent had been at the disposal of these wealthy families.
I loved that this one featured jugglers and acrobats.
And I especially loved the beautiful ceilings of these four connected rooms, depicting birds at different times of the day.
But the defensive purpose of this place was brought home by the incredibly heavy-looking armour and weaponry, The soldiers must have been short, judging by the breastplates, and I hoped the fellow on the left had a matching codpiece.
Safe within their fortress, protected by their short soldiers, I could imagine the pleasure of being surrounded by ceilings and walls painted with fascinating scenes. For a time…
But I found myself yearning for at least one more restful and less demanding room, with plain white walls and just a few pictures.
The next castle, my favourite, was quite different, as you will see next post!