Rocchetta Mattei in the Bolognese municipality of Grizzana Morandi, about 20 km from Porretta Terme, is a true architectural gem which, thanks to the restoration sponsored by the Cassa in Risparmio di Bologna Foundation, has regained all its charm. With surreal and eclectic architectural forms, the Rocchetta Mattei is a fairytale castle, inspired by the Moorish architecture of world-famous buildings, such as the Alhambra in Granada or the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
It is the quintessence of a set of styles – medieval, gothic, Moorish, liberty – in a journey full of symbolism and esoteric references, between illusion and mystery. Built at the behest of Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896) scholar, politician, physician and inventor of electrohomeopathy which made him famous throughout Europe, the Rocchetta was a reference point for patients who flocked from all over the world to avail themselves of his medicine " alternative”.
The guided tour of the Rocchetta Mattei reveals a maze of courtyards, narrow and steep staircases and themed rooms, decorations and perspective deceptions, between esoteric symbols and bizarre and fascinating decorations. An unconventional visit in the name of originality in the Bolognese Apennines, where even the Tsar of Russia arrived to be treated by Mattei, as well as the writer Dostoevsky who, mindful of the experience, quoted Count Mattei in his literary masterpiece " The Brothers Karamazov".
Rocchetta Mattei is also an extraordinary venue for events, concerts, exhibitions and private ceremonies. The Rocchetta Mattei can be visited upon reservation.
Nearby stands the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, in Riola di Vergato. It is considered one of the greatest examples of modern sacred architecture designed by Alvar Aalto, Finnish architect, designer, academic, master of the modern movement, exponent of functionalism.