Montecchio Emilia is a strategic town of the Enza River Valley, on the border between the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Parma.
In the Early Middle Ages, it was an initial bulwark within the pre-Apennine defensive system set up by the Canossa. A privileged feud of the Este family until 1713, Montecchio Emilia maintains, in the town centre, part of the XV-century bastion walls, the porticoes, the Castle and the medieval burial ground, the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Olmo and the Parish Church of San Donnino.
The most representative monument of Montecchio Emilia is undoubtedly the Medieval Castle. The structure dates back to the Matildic era, as quoted in a document signed by Countess Matilda in 1114. The building continued with several interventions until the XVI-century by order of the Este family and particularly Prince Luigi D'Este who lived there from 1638. The castle was long occupied by the Vicedomini who t vicarious roles, starting from the Bishops of Parma to the Este family. The structure, with a rectangular plan, has a compact volume with two crenelated towers. The highest one is the Clock tower.
Enza Park, a public area on the banks of the Enza River extending over 40,000 square metres, has been the main social meeting recreational point of the local community for many years, especially in summer.
San Marco Festival - April 25
Market with local and organic products; display of plants and flowers, stalls and funfair.
Primo Maggio Aiolese - May 1 - town of Villa Aiola
Performances of folk groups, demonstration activities for old and young people, exhibitions, visits to the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese museum, refreshment point with fried dumpling and local wines, cooking of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with a wood oven in a XVIII-century dairy, ancient Val d'Enza crafts.
San Simone Festival - last weekend of October
Stalls, funfair, agricultural and trade display.
Another place of interest, in the village of Villa Aiola, is the Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano e della Civiltà Contadina e Artigianale della Val d'Enza (Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano and Farming Life and Crafts of the Enza River Valley). Founded in 1977, it conserves objects and work instruments from the farming world, especially the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.