This is the perfect trip if you decide to spend a few days in the “Terre di Po e dei Gonzaga” and you are interested in the history, the local art and the famous people born and raised in these places.
The trip starts from Luzzara - northernmost Municipality of our “Unione”: hometown of the famous Italian screenwriter, journalist, playwright, writer, poet and painter Cesare Zavattini, it now houses the Naive Arts Museum, which he conceived and founded in 1967. Due to an earthquake, it has been temporarily closed. Nevertheless, it will soon be reopened - after some necessary renovations. You can visit a room dedicated to Zavattini and admire some of his works at the homonymous Cultural Centre.
Then, we head towards Guastalla, where you should not miss a visit to the “Piccolo Museo della Moto” (Motorcycle Museum), which hosts a collection related to the golden years of motorcycling in Italy - back to the time of the Vespa and Lambretta and to those manufacturers that designed and built motorcycles for every need. The tour continues with the “Quadreria Maldotti” (Maldotti Collection of paintings), where you can admire artworks related to the territory and, in particular, to the Guastallese area.
A few kilometers away, you will find Gualtieri, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy and hometown of Antonio Ligabue - this is why many initiatives and events relate to the painter, such as the Antonio Ligabue Museum, which houses about 40 artworks representing the entire pictorial cycle of the artist, and the House Museum.
In this town, you will also discover Bentivoglio Palace - which gives its name to the homonymous nearby square. Dressmaker Umberto Tirelli’s donation - consisting of several works of considerable artistic value - is preserved inside the Palace. He was one of the most important costume designers in film and theatre history, due to his collaboration on films such as “The Leopard”, “Casanova”, “Amarcord”, “1900”. The collection includes the dress worn by Romy Schneider in the film “Ludwig” by Visconti.
After taking a walk in Bentivoglio Square, you may head towards Boretto - following the main embankment. Among the major points of interest, you will find the "Pietro Ghizzardi" Museum, which has its seat in the house where the artist spent the last ten years of his life. The atmosphere in which the painter and writer spent his days and created his artworks – from the mid 70s until his death in 1986 – has been preserved intact in this place.
The last town on the river Po banks is Brescello. It was Giovannino Guareschi's hometown and setting of the popular “Peppone e Don Camillo” saga. Here, it is possible to visit two museums entirely dedicated to the main characters of the book and to their author. In addition, in the main square of the town (Piazza Matteotti), you can admire two bronze statues representing the main characters, who “greet” each other from the sides of the “piazza” (Don Camillo near the church, Peppone in front of the Town Hall).
Then, the trip continues towards the inlands - in other words, towards those Municipalities which are not located near the river Po banks. In Novellara, you can visit the Gonzaga Museum, located on the main floor of the Fortress. It develops along thirteen exhibition halls, five of which are dedicated to Lelio Orsi - artist working for the Gonzaga family for 40 years. Here, his frescoes can be admired. In the fortress there are also the marble fireplaces designed by Orsi himself and some of the original coffered ceilings as well as furnishings, ceramics, coins and pharmacy jars, which constitute a valuable collection of about 170 pieces.
The second town you will meet is Poviglio - and there you should not miss the “Terramara St. Rosa” Museum. The land has been settled since the Bronze Age - actually, ten archeological areas connected to the “terramaricola” culture have been found. Documented between the late 17th and the early 12th centuries B.C., this culture was related to one of the largest settlement periods in Europe.
Finally, the last town of our trip is Reggiolo. Here, you may visit the “Antonio Ruggero Ruggeri” Art Gallery. The Art Collection was set up in 1975 by the Municipality of Reggiolo, thanks to a legacy donated by the author to his hometown. It is part of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Emilia-Romagna catalogue and consists of 35 oil paintings and 30 graphic works (drypoint, pencil, India ink). The painting section has so far been housed in the Hall of the Town Council, whereas the graphic works have been placed in some of the Town Hall offices.