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The historical centre of Castelvetro

The historical centre of Castelvetro, the so called Castello, is characterized by suggestive towers that stand upon the flourishing hills and it welcomes those who arrive in Castelvetro in distance. The old hamlet was once surrounded by walls and it has preserved the ancient structure that keeps rare and beautiful treasures. On the south-east and south-west parts of the town there still are leavings of the ancient walls and not far from them, the Oratory of S. Antonio from Padova, built in the XVII century by Rangoni family, stands. Its brick facade has Doric capitals and a small bell tower with four windows rises on the two-pitched roof.

At the end of via Cialdini, one finds himself in front of the square-based Torre delle Prigioni (Prison Tower) that was constructed in the second half of the XVI century and is more than 20 metres high. Primarily, it was used as prison but, after a recent restoration, it has been brought back to its original state. In the entrance-way there is a trap-door that leads to the basement, from which a tunnel is told to lead out of the castle; interesting graffiti, made by the prisoners, are still visible on the cell walls.
The real heart of the historical centre is Piazza Roma, from which a wonderful landscape view can be admired. The black and white stone slabs of the pavement are the distinctive symbol of Castelvetro and create the famous giant chessboard: that is why Piazza Roma is also known as "Piazza della Dama" and it is used as game base for the historical commemoration "Dama Vivente", a living checkers game.
Many buildings overlook the square: Palazzo Comunale was inhabited until the Napoleonic age by the noble Rangoni family; Palazzo Rinaldi has a neogothic facade in full harmony with the style of Palazzo Comunale and is now a private residence.
Torre dell'Orologio (the Clock Tower) overtops the square and is one of the main symbols of Castelvetro. It is thought to have been built between the XI and XII century and represents what remains of the ancient fortified structure on the east side. On each of its sides, there is a clock and on the south wall there is a meridian that still marks the passage of time.

Walking through via Tasso, one reaches the imposing Church constructed in 1897 and dedicated to Saints Senesio and Teopompo, a true example of neo-gothic architecture. On the facade there are three doors with rose windows and an ornament, while the intern is divided into three naves with pillars, a marble aisle from Carrara and various paintings. The slender Bell Tower is 48,5 metres high and it is one of the most beautiful in the zone.
In front of the Church, there is Palazzo Rangoni that welcomed the poet Torquato Tasso during his staying in Castelvetro and that is characterized by a wide entrance with a decorated hall, an intern court, the grand staircase and a gallery which connects the two wings of the building. During the Renaissance, the decorations increased thanks to the work of Scacceri family.

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