Provincia di Bologna

Sforza's Castle - Rocca Sforzesca


The fortress dates back to the 14th century and it is located in a vast grassy clearing, named Piazzale Giovanni dale Bande Nere. Its present aspect is the result of the works carried out by the architect Dainesio Maineri in 1440. He transformed the four square towers into round towers for defence purposes. 
The square layout fortress was surrounded by a large moat, which is still visible on three sides. You can also see the two ravelins, connected to the entrance doors by a drawbridge. Along the centuries, the fortress fell under the control of the families who ruled over Imola. In 1473, it became a possession of the Riario-Sforza lordship, namely Girolamo Riario and his wife Caterina Sforza. 
The visit starts in the underground "Springalds Room", which hosts a collection of springalds, falcons and falconets dating back to the 15th and 16th century. The southeastern tower features the Riario-Sforza embrasures. Another room contains a wide range of 18th century rifles and muskets while the "Captain Apartment" displays armours, helmets and weapons dating from the 14th to the 18th century. 
After the Chapel of St. Barbara, the visit continues along the patrol trenches on the glacis equipped with round loopholes for bombards, trap-doors/machicolations and swallow-tailed merlons. 
The visit leads from the northeastern to the northwestern tower and offers a global view of the main courtyard and of the so-called "Paradiso" (heaven), a noble residence with an elegant portico. The south-eastern tower houses a collection of 16th century ceramics found during the restoration works carried out in the fortress.


Address: Piazzale G. dalle Bande Nere - 40026 Imola (BO)

Opening hours: Saturday 3.00pm-7.00pm; Sunday 10.00am-1.00pm & 3.00pm-7.00pm
Weekly closing day: From Monday to Friday included
Opening period: All year round except Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter
Admission ticket: € 3,00
Concessions: € 2,00 (people over 60, groups over 20, students bearing an university document)
Special ticket: € 4,00 entitles to visit the Rocca Sforzesca and Palazzo Tozzoni; € 5,00 entitles to visit the Rocca Forzesca, the Municipal Picture Gallery and Palazzo Tozzoni

How to get there

How to get to Imola


It's located in the historical centre.
From the tollgate follow the directions to the town centre and Museums.
From the train station go straight along until the clock tower; then continue into via Mazzini and take the second street on the right, Via Garibaldi and follow this road until you'll see the Fortress on the left.

Learn more

The fortress is one of the town museums.
The Paradiso houses the Piano Academy. 

Info on the Tourist location

IAT - Tourist Information Office Municipality of Imola

Galleria Centro Cittadino

via Emilia 135 - 40026 Imola (BO)

Tel: +39 0542 602207; Fax: +39 0542 602141


Opening times: Monday to Friday 8.30am-1.00pm; Tuesday also 3.00pm-6.00pm;

Saturday 8.30am-12.30am
Late night openings on Sundays and holidays during major events in the city.


Last update: 20-09-2012

Edited by Area Imolese