Villafranca was founded in order to defend the area from the raids of the Mantuans. It has Roman, as well as Bronze origins. The town became famous during the Italian wars of Independence, when on the 11th of July 1859, Franz Joseph of Austria and Napoleone III of France signed the Armistice bringing the Second War of Independence to its close. And it was once again at Villafranca, on the 24th of June 1866 that the Infatry of the 49th Parma Brigade Regiment acted as a human shield to protect Prince Umberto from the attacks of the Austrian Ulans during the Third War of Independence an episode commemorated by the Quadrilateral obelisk erected in 1880.

The Scaligeri Castle, symbol of Villafranca: this fortification was initially constructed in 1199. The Della Scala Family then added the keep and constructed a series of defences stretching from Nogarole Rocca right up to Valeggio and known as the "seraglio". Within the castle stands a chapel and attached to it the Risorgimento  museum (1898) containing memorabilia dating back to the Italian wars of Independence. The castle is today the impressive back-drop of may cultural events. The Oratory of St. Roch It stands in the town's northern suburb. If the castle was built to defend the town from attack, the church was built to defend it from a more dangerous enemy - the plague.

Church of Disciplina: it stands at the far end of town's main avenue, was built subsequently refurbished between the 15th and the 18th centuries and features an imposing baroque fasade commissioned by the Degno family. Worthy of note is the famous "mortorio", in the crypt, with its nine 16th century wooden statues.

The Cathedral of saints Peter and Paul: dedicated to the patron saints of Legnago, this church stands  in the centre of town, where the original medieval structure was erected. The Cathedral is a seventeenth century copy of Venice's "redentore" at the Giudecca; however on account of the narrow space where it stands, the edifice doesn't convey that overall impression of harmony which Palladio's masterpiece does. Inside the church you will find precious art-works, such as the carved choir stall, reliquaries (17th - 18th centuries) and significant altar-pieces by Felice Brusasorzi.

The Gandini-Bugna Palace: it stands in via della Pace and it is here that the Emperors of France and Austria, Napoleon III and Franz Joseph, signed the treaty which put an end to the Second War of Italian Independence.

The church of St. Francis of the Capuchin Fathers: it house a fine 17th/18th century library.

The oratory of San Giovanni della Paglia: dating back to the 15th century, yet rising on the site of an earlier church, probably mentioned by Shakespeare in "Romeo and Juliet".

Must-see in Villafranca

  • The Scaligeri Castle, Villafranca's symbol.
  • The oratory of St. Roch, standing on th outskirts of the city.
  • The church of the "Disciplina", donated by Count Maffei in 1499.
  • The Cathedral of sain peter and Paul, in the town centre.
  • Gardini-Bugna Palace (Bottagizio) - which will be restoredto house a museum.
  • Church of St. Francis of the Capuchin Friairs, with its fine library.
  • Oratory of St. John della Paglia: founded by the knights of Malta.
  • Nicolis Museum
  • Risorgimento Museum


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Our land

Earth and water mixed.

The history...along the Adige.

Hidden richness.