Castel Guelfo

The territory of Castel Guelfo lies between the municipalities of Dozza, Imola, Castel San Pietro and Medicina. The disputes between Bologna (Guelph) and Imola (Ghibelline) over possession of this border territory saw, in the early 13th century, the supremacy of the Bolognese government. The gradual grounding of crops by the city’s middle class during the 12th and XiV centuries culminated in the city of Bologna building a castle “Castrum Guelfum” in the early 14th century and sending a garrison to defend the settlers.

The settlement of the Malvezzi family, appointed counts in 1458, and the feudal form of government, ended the interference of Imola conferring a certain stability that lasted until the arrival of Napoleon in 1796. From the 1400s to the 1700s, the development and layout of the urban form was defined, characterized by the fortified structure and triangular architectural setting of the Borgo.

During the 1800s Castel Guelfo faced problems from the period between the French occupation and the unified state. Upon the death of Piriteo IV Malvezzi (1806), the properties passed to his daughter Maria Laura, who was married to Principen Astorre Hercolani. The different political-administrative arrangements caused by the unification of the country and the Fascist twenty-year period did not change the urban identity of Castel Guelfo.

The excellence of Castel Guelfo

The “Brazadela”

The traditional doughnut from Castel Guelfo di Bologna has also been known as “Brazadela” in this area for over 700 years. Generally oval in shape, the doughnut is golden and crispy on the outside and soft and dry on the inside. It is an ancient, simple dessert with a somewhat rustic flavor, capable of bringing back memories of childhood. So good and genuine, to be enjoyed on its own or “tociata” (soaked) in wine, a traditional gesture that makes it irresistible. What is its secret? The dough made by hand as grandmothers did, with the simple products found in every true “arzdora” kitchen: flour, eggs, sugar, milk, butter, a touch of lemon and vanilla, baking powder and granulated sugar to make all the children happy.

Antonio Basoli

Antonio Basoli, born June 30, 1774 in Castel Guelfo di Bologna, was an ornamentalist, scenographer, painter, garden designer and draftsman. At only 12 years old, he enrolled in architecture courses at the Clementina Academy in Bologna. Having completed his studies in 1794, he independently undertook the successful activity of interior decorator and continued that of ornatist and set designer, working successfully in the most important theaters in Bologna and abroad. Alongside his profession, he also taught at the Academy, which became the Academy of “Fine Arts,” as chair of elements of ornamentation. In 1822 at the height of his career, he ended his profession as a set designer and that of in¬terior painter (1928), to devote himself to drawing and easel painting marked as always by a scenographic vision directly implicated in Pre-Cinema techniques (Panorama, Diorama, Neorama). He created works of extraordinary visionary intensity such as, The Four Parts of the World and The Pictorial Alphabet. Antonio Basoli, died in Bologna on May 30, 1848. The Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna acquired all of his manuscripts, etchings and more than 10,000 drawings.