- Art & Culture
Pizzighettone: Case Matte and Church of San Pietro
Next stop: Pizzighettone, on the banks of the Adda river, and its recently restored walls, which have recently attracted a large number of visitors.
Once used to defend the inhabitants from enemy attacks, the intact fortifications that surround this village are best known for their unique Casematte, a fascinating complex of guardhouses inside some of the best preserved town walls in Lombardy.
In fact, there are 93 large vaulted rooms within the fortifications, originally serving as military accommodation, storehouses and shooting emplacements. A rare feature of military architecture, the Casematte of Pizzighettone are set apart by their unique layout: the rooms all communicate with one other and connect to form a single system, creating a particularly interesting effect. Following the path through the Casematte, which stretches almost a kilometre, is a chance to truly immerse yourself in the history of the place.
Leaving the Casematte and crossing the bridge over the Adda, be sure to stop at the Church of San Pietro (Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) in the nearby village of Gera. Entirely covered with marble and mosaics depicting the Virgin Mary, this 18th century Marian shrine was decorated both inside and out by Pietro Mizzi (parish priest of Pizzighettone until 1999), who dedicated his entire life to the church.
Available to visit by prebooked guided tour, the Church of San Pietro contains an interactive exhibition that delves into the origins, history and unique characteristics of the place.