Castell'Arquato is a well-preserved hamlet that is able to fascinate everyone with its art, its nature and its typical products. From the rural roads that wind between the hills and towards the Appennino, Castell'Arquato rises in the middle of nature with its towers, its belltowers and its castellated walls. Visitors will be amazed by its medieval history: the entire hamlet, the houses in sandstone, the narrow streets built on a terracing filled with fossils. Castell'Arquato is located in the Riserva Geologica del Piacenziano, a natural reserve that was covered by the sea in the prehistoric period. The church of Santa Maria Assunta, called "la Collegiata", is a Romanesque parish church of the 756 AD and was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1117. The Palazzo del Podestà was built in 1293 by the podesta Alberto Scoto and today is home to the boardroom of the municipality and the town hall winehouse, where you can taste the typical products and the DOC wines that are produced in the local wine cellars and wineries. The Rocca Viscontea, erected by Luchino Visconti between 1342 and 1349, is one of the most important military complexes of Northern Italy. Inside the ancient Ospitale di Santo Spirito, of the XVI century, the Museo Geologico G. Cortesi hosts a permanent exhibition of fossils and finds of the geological heritage that belong to the Piacenzian era. The Museo Illica, instead, is dedicated to Luigi Illica, a librettist of famous composers like Puccini, Giordano and Mascagni, who was born in Castell'Arquato in the house next to the museum. Don't forget to visit Vigolo Marchese (about 6km away from Castell'Arquato) with its exquisite San Giovani e il Battistero Romanesque church. In Vigolo Marchese you can try a special type of chocolate cake, made with a jelously guarded recipe of the local bakery. Besides the white DOC wines, the Monterosso Val d'Arda DOC is the local typical wine which is produced only in the nearby valleys. Other great wines of the area are Ortrugo, with a dry and sweetish taste, Malvasia, Sauvignon and red wines like Gutturnio and Bonarda, with the typical almond smell. In every restaurant of Castell'Arquato you can find some of the greatest cold cuts of the area, like for example the "pancetta", the salami and the "coppa piacentina", usually served with a particular type of salty fried dough called "chisolino". Among these traditional delicacies you can also taste the anolini, a traditional pasta soup filled with Grana Padano cheese and the "tortelli" filled with ricotta cheese, spinach and Grana Padano cheese.