The village of Tizzano and the Marescalchis manor
(now Visconti di Modrone)
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in the image above: family coat of arms.
The ties between Bologna and the illustrious Marescalchi family date back to the second half of the Eighteenth century, when the Earl Vincenzo Marescalchi bought a wide hill property (stretching down the crest where the Tizzano hermitage is located, to the Bolsenda) from the Benedictine monks. Thanks to its southern exposure and slight sloping this land was ideal for the cultivation of grapes, which was already practised at that time. The Marescalchi thus added a new property to their properties in the plain, the Palace in the heart of the village and the small villa out-of-town called "La Marescalca". This brought prestige to the patrimony of such a renowned family, whose name had been linked with the history of city for centuries.

A wealthy family as far back as the XII century, the Marescalchis have gained greater importance and leverage with the city of Bologna: since its creation, they could count on a hereditary seat in the Senate; many magistrates, ambassadors and soldiers of the city came from this family; they created family bonds with several illustrious families of the city. The Pope Gregory XIII, who was one of the most important popes of the renaissance, was a member of the Marescalchi family. The cathedral of Bologna also housed the most important event of the Renaissance period: the coronation of Charles V, renowned as the man “in whose realm the sun never sets”. On such occasion the Marescalchi family, already ennobled by Francis I, was invested with the title of “Count Palatine” with the authority and privilege to adorn their emblem with the Imperial Eagle.
in the image above: particular of the garden with a fountain.
In Tizzano the Marescalchis restored an old villa in the countryside. It was a simple building with a colonnade and choreographic water installations, surrounded by a wide and luxuriant park, with inner frescoes by the artist Baglione. Its location and the surrounding landscape made the house a pleasant summer residence.

The historical events which took place in Europe between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth century, also involved the city of Bologna, where Napoleon I first entered in 1796 as commander of the revolutionary troops. In his memory, written in Sant'Elena, the former Emperor remembers the welcome of the city: “Bologna especially was inflamed with the desire for freedom. The arrival of the Army was triumphal; Caprara, Marescalchi and Aldini, deputies of the Senate, did the honours: the first ones who came from the best families of the country ".
in the image above: Ferdinando Marescalchi.
Who was the Senator Marescalchi chosen to welcome Napoleon? He was Ferdinando, son of that Vincenzo we mentioned above as the buyer of the Tizzano estate. He will become the most important figure in the family.

At the age of 26, Ferdinando Marescalchi became senator, by hereditary right. He was especially concerned with the transalpine innovative ideas. He soon joined the liberal ideals and taking advantage of his position, he circulated them, with the aim of making the most of the military and political situation to support the cause of the Italian independence, he fought for.

His twofold role as an aristocrat and an open-minded politician made it possible he was chosen for the delicate task of Ambassador of the Cisalpine Republic in Wien, following the Treaty of Campoformio. He was the first Italian diplomatic official who used the tricolour as the Italian flag.
in the image above: the document confirming his appointment as foreign minister.
He was then summoned to take part in the Directory in Milan and then appointed Minister of foreign affairs. He held this office without interruption under the First Italian Republic initially and then under the Kingdom of Italy, until the fall of Napoleon. In 1805 Ferdinando Marescalchi met Napoleon in Bologna for the second time. This time not as a General but as the Emperor. On that occasion he adorned the City Palace with paintings by Guido Reni, the Carracci and decorated it with valuable furniture, causing the admiration of Stendhal, who wrote in his memoires: "In the house of Mr Marescalchi there is a room which could make anyone envious, full of paintings by Guido Reni, Guercino, Carracci. At all uncommon. They could be valued at 500.000 francs". But Ferdinando Marescalchi could have not afforded such splendour without the incomes from his properties, including the farm of Tizzano, with its considerable returns.

The political activity of Ferdinando Marescalchi shifted the focus of the family to France, where his descendants moved. His nephew Napoleone Ferdinando was an ambassador on behalf of King Louis Philippe at a number of European courts. His son Antonio after the fall of the second empire returned to Bologna and chose Tizzano as his preferred residence. The renaissance of the property is due to Antonio Marescalchi (the road which crosses the farm is named after him) who dedicated himself to this property with love and ability.
in the image above: aerial photo of the ancient manor e particular of the portico.
Sold the Palace in the city (where Guglielmo Marconi was soon going to be born) and Villa Marescalca, he restored Tizzano and the property, he built up a typical Bolognese structure along the colonnade, to unite the residence and the rustics, he built up and adorned a cave for wine storage and ageing, increased the number of the farmsteads, developed the agricultural production, especially vine growing, making the most of French studies and experiences.

The residence also became a centre for agricultural production, a “harmonic” complex which united ornamental aspects with the needs of a modern farm.
in the image above: particular of the winery.
Antonio Marescalchi, last male descendant of the family, was succeeded by his only daughter, who got married with the Earl Guido Carlo Visconti di Modrone, Senator of the Kingdom.

Life in Tizzano between the two world wars was deeply connected to the lives of his owners, who lived there for a long time housing famous people and literary men within a cosy and retained atmosphere. With the war and the German occupation, the Villa was seized by the German commanders who prevented the owners from using it, for the next two years.

Following liberation, in April 1945, an American air troop, even though the German troops had already been evacuated, made it the target of two violent bombings. The Villa was completely destroyed, the Estate was severely damaged. It is only thanks to the dedication and love of the owners that Tizzano Farm could flourish again and regain its splendour.

The residence has been modified according to nowadays life needs and still represents a meeting point for representatives and men of learning from all over the world. The former Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini was a “regular” visitor of the property, during the time he spent in Bologna as a journalist.
in the image above: company overview.
Today the farm, renewed and equipped with the most advanced machinery, is a point of reference in Emilia: its wines are renowned and appreciated all over Italy and abroad.

This is the proof that the Visconti di Modrone family, heirs to the Marescalchis, is be able to keep up with the times.

From the vineyards to the final bottled product Tizzano offers a complete wine range: from white sparkling wines, to aged red wines, including both autochthonous and international varieties. In the XXI century Tizzano proposes itself to the public of connoisseurs as an historical farm as well as a well-organized structure. A new chapter has yet to be written...
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Tizzano Società Agricola S.r.l. • Via Antonio Marescalchi, 13 • 40033 - Casalecchio di Reno (BO) • Tel. +39 051 571208 - +39 051 577665
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