The emotion stirred by the sight of the Cavazzone today must be the same felt back in 1878 by Baron Raimondo Freanchetti, a banker, a farmer and benefactor who came to Reggio Emilia from Venice to visit these hills. He was literally fascinated by the place and he soon purchased 3000 hectares of land in the counties of Albinea, Viano and Vezzano, starting huge reclamation works and turning woodland into soil suitable for agriculture. He also repaired the roads included in the property and started the construction of this imposing building, its cellar (where he started the production of 'Passito' wine, made from dried grapes grown in his own vineyard), the dairy, the bakery, the barn, the storehouses, the stables, the ice-house and the farmhouses. He built a nursery school for the sharecroppers' children and, for his wife Sara Luisa Rotschild, a Nordic style 'chalet', the exact copy of the one built in Paris for the 1870 Expo.
During the late 19th and the early 20th Centuries, Cavazzone became the favourite meeting point of the 'enlightened' aristocracy of the town and the Baron's son, Alberto who was a musician and composer used to spend long periods of time there when he was composing or when his music was being played at the Reggio Emilia opera Theatre. Puccini, Mascagni, Giordano, Ilica and Ricordi were among his friends and were often his guests at Cavazzone
In 1919, Eugenio Terrachini, a prestigious Reggio Emilia entrepreneur, purchased the central part of this property from the Baron's heirs and at some point between the two world wars, he had the cast iron Belvedere moved from the Baron's residence in Reggio Emilia to Cavazzone. Today, the Belvedere is the symbol of this part of the region and a masterpiece of fine architecture saved from neglect thanks to this removal.
During the years following World War 2 several renovations were carried out by Paolo, Eugenio's son, in order to make this enterprise more modern and suitable to the rapidly changing needs of the new markets.
In those years, there was a huge agricultural mechanization; new stables for cattle breeding were built and an old barn was turned into a modern storehouse for animal feed.
In the early 1980's Giovanni Sidoli, Paolo Terrachini's grandson took over the enterprise and, among other activities and starting from a small number of wooden barrels coming from old vinegar farms belonging to the Terrachini and Sidoli families, he set up a business for the production of vinegar in the old hayloft. Nowadays this nectar is contained in 250 barrels made of different kinds of wood that preserve its precious scent and its tradition so closely linked to the culture of our land.
But the real turning point came a few years ago when part of this ancient building, its stables with vaulted ceiling and cast iron pillars was turned into a fully equipped meeting room and a prestigious restaurant where guests can discover and enjoy the local cuisine. The old sharecroppers' rooms were turned into comfortable suites that combine the old time charm with the modern comforts.
The ravishing beauty of the landscape ready to fill your eyes, the breathtaking charm of the surrounding rolling hills, the intense colours and flavours and the elegance of these ancient premises have remained intact and well preserved together with their history which is the essence of them.