Not far from Pontenure, lying in the intensely cultivated plain, is the agricultural village of Paderna.
Next to the rural village is a magnificent mediaeval castle, while in the village there is the parish church dedicated to the Pul of St Peter (Cattedra di San Pietro). The history of the present church, built in 1755 to replace an earlier romanesque building, is linked to that of the lords of the Castle. In fact it was Count Marazzani who started the reconstruction, at his own expense.
The Countess Amalia Marazzani then provided the rich furnishings of the church.
The Castle, with its long history, is still lived in but can be visited.
The date of its foundation is unknown, but damage and destruction are documented in the 13th century. The Marazzani, who bought the castle in 1453, gave it its present appearance: a large trapezium divided into two sections – one largely agricultural and the other mostly residential – surrounded by walls on which the keep and other towers stand, and by a moat filled with water, giving the castle extra charm. During the changes and adaptations of the 15th century, the 9th-century chapel of Santa Maria became part of the manor house.
The present owners, the noble Pettorelli family, are the heirs of the Marazzani, and have restored the castle, transforming it into an ideal location for events, meetings and weddings.
Today the castle of Paderna is an organic farm, with an educational farm, an orchard, and an “ortogiardino”, or horticultural garden, where traditional old varieties and cutivars are cultivated. The owners have also decided to open the castle to visitors.
A tour of the castle gives visitorsthe chance to admire the defensive structure with the imposing square tower that dominates the whole fortress, and the beautiful “torre nell’Acqua” or Water Tower, the courtyards, the organic farm, the ancient church of Santa Maria, the peasant museum, the moat ….
The castle of Paderna belongs to the circuit of the Castelli del Ducato di Parma, Piacenza e Pontremoli
For many years now the important exhibition of flowers and nursery plants, "Rassegna di fiori, piante e frutti di un tempo, prodotti dell'agricoltura" has been held every year at the castle, when plants, seeds, aproduce are on show and for sale, especially the products of sustainable and organic agriculture. During this event there are also talks, lectures, book presentations and special exhibitions.