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In my opinion, some of the most beautiful work was on the ceilings where they had painted many different types of birds flying in the sky; my favorite is the one depicting a scene at sunset. It is just breathtaking! However, the most famous room in the castle is the Camera d’Oro (The Golden Room), which was Pier Maria Rossi’s bedroom. The walls in this room are covered with frescoes alluding to the great love between the Count and his lover, Bianca Pellegrini. Pier Maria Rossi was sent to Milan to study and when he was just 15-years-old he was forced to marry Antonia Torelli to unite their two families and avoid conflicts between them. However, while he was in Milan he fell

madly in love with Bianca Pellegrini, a court lady of the Duchess Visconti. After several years of marriage and having 10 children with Pier Maria, Antonia Torelli retired to a convent, leaving the way free for him to unite with Bianca. He built a couple of castles for her and in one of the photos on the previous page, Pier Maria gives Bianca his sword as a sign of complete submission. After visiting the castle, we continued to cycle the roads surrounding it and I got a chance to photograph the Castello di Torrechiara from a lot of different angles! It was a great afternoon and I am grateful I had the opportunity to mix my passion for biking with a visit to this very impressive site.

know before you go: For information about the castle’s opening hours and prices you can visit Parma’s tourism website. If you’d like to see more photos from my time visiting the province of Parma, be sure to check out my photo gallery.

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