The Gallarati Scotti Castle of Cozzo stands at the crossroads of important territorial routes towards Pavia, Torino and Vercelli and it’s situated at the north-western end of the town, positioned on the defensive line of the Sesia river.
The building probably dates back to the XI century, as can be observed by certain characteristics such as its square plan and the massive and compact appearance. In 1465 the court advisor and nobleman Pietro Gallarati bought the castle from the Caccia family, on direct concession of the Duke Francesco Sforza. Gallarati also obtained the feudal rights and the jurisdictions connected to the castle and its surrounding lands.
From 1467 the building was partially reconstructed, adding a ravelin and other parts, in order to turn the military settling into a countryside manor dedicated to the production of rice, thanks to constant reclaiming and irrigation interventions, as well as a place to rest after hunting parties in the surrounding woods. The suggestive porch through which we can access the nobles’ courtyard is decorated with ornamental frescoes linked by the coats of arms of the Visconti and Gallarati families. Inside we can admire the monochromatic fresco of the Madonna of Humility from the school of Leonardo, the boards illustrating the apostles Peter and Paul and The Annunciation by Cesare da Sesto.
The castle was the setting for many historical events connected to the political history of the region. It should be noted that in 1499 the king of France Louis XII, who had descended in Italy to conquer the Duchy of Milan, met with Pietro Gallarati in Cozzo: a clear acknowledgment of its important political role in a difficult moment of passage from the Duchy to the new monarch. This event was immediately celebrated with a gorgeous contemporary monochromatic fresco depicting Pietro Gallarati, his wife Maria of Princivalle Roero, the cardinal d’Amboise and the Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, French halberdiers and landowners.
The association Vigevano Promotions organizes half-day or full day customized itineraries to guide the groups of visitors in the discovery of the stories and legends inside of them.
For information about the guided tours:
tel: +39 351 8782734