Official Tourist Information Site of the Piacenza local editorial office



The Twenties in Vigoleno

During the 20’s, Vigoleno became known all over the world by the Princess Maria di Gramont Hugo. She was born as a princess from the Ruspoli family, before she was the widow of the Duke of Gramont and after the wife of Jean Hugo, the son of the famous French writer.

The princess and the hamlet

The noble woman managed, with the money of her first husband, to buy and restore the castle in the wonderful hamlet on the hills of Piacenza. Restoration works started in 1921, when the castle was in a critical ruin condition. The princess invited there some of the most important personalities of the culture of that time.

The castle and its famous guests

Between different famous persons passed by Vigoleno, some of them are remembered: the famous surrealist painter Max Ernst, Gabriele D’Annunzio, the piano player Arthur Rubinstein, the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, the American Diva Mary Pickford with her husband Douglas Fairbanks, the writer Elsa Maxwell and the intellectual Jean Cocteau.

Max Ernst painted an artwork which was titled by the inhabitants of Vigoleno. Knowing the extract taken from the Aida of Giuseppe Verdi ” Rivedrai le foreste imbalsamate, le fresche valli…” taking a look to the surrealist artwork they replied” La foresta imbalsamata!”(balmy forest).

The ’20s style influence in Vigoleno

The princess left the castle in 1934. Some of her traces are still nowadays visible; actually on the noble floor, it’s possible to visit a little theater with some oriental pictures painted by Alexandre Jacovlef.


Piazza del Municipio - Castell'Arquato