The town hall
It was built (on the design of arch. Antonio Melari) between 1824 and 1828, after the demolition of the old civil building, lying in the same position. The façade is Palladian style, rimmed with a balcony protected with a wrought iron railing. Above the main entrance there is the eye-catching Coat of Arms of Brisighella, a rampant goat. Above the door of the balcony a lunette depicts a bas-relief with a Madonna and Child. The top of the building is crowned with a triangular tympanum, with in the middle two angels holding a six-hours clock.
This museum presents to the visitor a poetical vision of our town, how the painter Giuseppe Ugonia (1881-1944) depicted it in all its distinctive features, using the light technique of litography. Some of Ugonia’s works can also be found in the British Museum in London.
It’s a bastion of the fifteenth-century defensive wall, that can still partly be seen today. A second bastion it’s now part of the apsis of S. Croce church. In the defensive walls of the town there were three gates: Buonfante, Fiorentina and Gabalo, leading to Faenza.
The old fountain
Built in 1490 inside the old circle of walls and near the Fiorentina gate, this is the oldest public fountain of the village and it was fed by the waters of the gypsum caves.
Monument to the fallen (“The sleeping soldier”)
This bronze statue by the sculptor Domenico Rambelli (Faenza, 1886-1972), unveiled in 1927, depicts and infantry man asleep in the snow. The plan of the Parco della Rimembranza (“Park of memories”) is due to the painter Giuseppe Ugonia.
This road runs along the ancient ditch which enclosed the walls of the village. Parts of the wall are still visible as well as the Bastion (now the Apse of the Church of the Rosary).
This is a tiny alley inside the inner city, whose name is of uncertain origin: named after an ancient Brisighella family or some kind of nickname; or maybe after a peculiarity of the place itself (Gattamarcia meaning in Italian “rotten cat”!). In the 16th century a Jewish community lived here and operated here for a few years their lending business.
At the back of the Town Hall used to meet three roads: one from the Castle, one from the Tower Clock and one leading to the Borgo. From this place begins Via Trebbio (from Latin “trivium”, the crossing of three streets). Here flowed the Valle stream, providing Brisighella with its water supplies.
Via Trebbio is a sort of balcony that looks out over the village, affording a beautiful vista of the Lamone valley and the surrounding hills.
A broad arch, resting on the rocks and partially hidden by the green, shows the place where there was the old parish church of S. Michele del Gesso.
The Squares and Gateways
This square was built by covering the Rio della Valle with slab stones in the 15th century and it represented the political forum for the medieval town.
From here can be easily seen the half-rounded windows giving light to “Via degli Asini”, buried inside the above buidings; several Cellar and Shop doors also open out onto this square.
Piazzetta del Monte
This square owes its name to a charitable institution set up by Monsignor Giovanni Carlo Piancastelli: the “Monte Frumentario” was a granary depot for farmers who had finished their supplies; here they were freely given grain that could be repaid after harvest.
This square was the economic center of the town; up to twenty years ago this was the location for the weekly market where farmers used to sell their products, mainly poultry and eggs.
Piazzetta del Suffragio
This was the ancient religious heart of the town, with two sacred buildings.
The first was the Church of the Rosary (1465), not anymore a consacrated place today, once the oratory of the “Battuti Bianchi” brotherhood that in the next hospital, from the 15th century, looked after the elderly, the poor and the pilgrims travelling to Rome.
The other is the Church of Suffragio, dated to the 18th century, which once was the old parish church of St. Michael. When it became too small for the growing population of the village, it was rebuilt outside the walls. In the Suffragio church are the remains of all the Brisighellesi soldiers who died in various wars.
This is situated at the top of Via Spada, a cobbled street with its characteristic low houses.
This gateway, leading to the side of the hills, was demolished in the 19th century; a plaque informs that close to this point since 1626 there was a small column with an image of a Madonna that, later on, was moved to the top of the hill and worshipped as the Madonna of Monticino.
Porta delle Dame
This is the entrance to the heart of the old village, leading to Via degli Asini. It is said that the ladies of Brisighella used to welcome here travelling strangers and visitors.
The original centre of Brisighella grew at the foot of the chalky rock where Maghinardo Pagani from Susinana built a stronghold (today the Clock Tower) in order to control the Baccagnano castle, on the right bank of Lamone river.
In that castle the Manfredi family, lords of Faenza, took refuge after Maghinardo chased them away from their city. When the Baccagnano castle was conquered too, the population crossed the river and built their houses against the walls of the rocky hill, using chalky blocks as construction material, and connecting the upper floors to the hill with small bridges, that can still be seen today.