On February 25th, the winners of the cultural contest have been announced. Let’s have a look at the podium of the Luoghi Del Cuore 2021 ( Places in the Heart 2021 ).
The Bronze Medal: Brescia’s Castle
With a total of 43.469 votes, this Medieval fortress and castle gained the third place. It’s in the northern region of Veneto, not too far from Milan.
Its origins date back to the 13th century, aka the 1200s. The later renovations reflect Brescia’s history. In 1426, the Venetian Republic took over the land, but it only fortified the castle’s towers. Nowadays, the only one standing up is the one on the northern perimeter.
One century later, French and Venetians fought for control. The Italian Republic triumphed and it started strengthening the defenses of the city. When the line of the war moved away from Brescia, the castle lost its strategical and tactical use. Instead, it became a residence.
In the 19th century, the fortress became a military jail during the Italian Independence war. When the country unified, the castle turned into a place for events and into a museum.
Nowadays, Brescia’s Castle is still a museum and a place where the local community meets.
Luoghi Del Cuore 2021 silver medal: the Sammezzano Castle and Park
Only 45 minutes away from Florence, this castle owes its current look to Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d’Aragona. Ferdinando improve the building with targeted works between 1843 and 1889.
In 1972, the Italian government established that the fortress was a place of historic and artistic value. It needed to be protected and saved. For 30 years, the castle was a hotel and restaurant. Until it closed and it remained close.
And that’s why the contest Luoghi Del Cuore 2021 is so important. The funds will help save the Sammezzano Castle and its unique park -with 150 years old sequoias. It’s time to bring it back to its former glory.
People can donate to the organization defending the castle, which can become a gorgeous, touristic destination. The 62.690 votes from the contest say it’s worth it.
The gold medal: the historic railway Cuneo-Ventimiglia-Nice
This historic site received 75.586. Indeed, it’s the winner of the Luoghi del Cuore 2021. This train line was built two centuries ago to connect Italy and France. It’s also known as the railway of wonders. And for a good reason.
In fact, the wagons cross all types of landscape, from the mountains of Piedmont to the beaches of Liguria. It’s 63 miles of beautiful and different landscapes, including the Alps and the Mediterranean. Until the railway reaches the French Riviera.
It was a touristic line, a symbol of the friendship between Italians and French. During the years of the Fascist dictatorship, Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler soured the relationship with France. So, the railway was slowly forgotten. Unfortunately, in 2017, the line was closed.
One year later, works of renovations began. The goal is to re-open this historic railway. And the victory at the contest Luoghi Del Cuore 2021 is an import financial and marketing support.
Once again, it’s possible to donate to the Committee that wants to protect and save this site.
Watch: the 10 winners of the Luoghi del Cuore 2021 contest
To find out more about this Italian contest, check out our article here.