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Castelfranco Emilia is located along the via Emilia, between Modena and Bologna. It takes its name from its castle which was known as "Franco", meaning "Free", as an indication of the freedom which it guaranteed to the surrounding lands. The establishment of the Borgo Franco - free town - (or Castello Franco) came about in the Middle Ages thanks to the people of Bologna. Today, some parts of the ancient town walls of the Borgo Franco can still be seen: the parts which were near to what was the "Porta Bologna" gate, in the direction of Bologna on the via Emilia (XIV/XVth centuries).
The municipality of Castelfranco is home to one of the most beautiful historical villas in the Modena area: Villa Sorra which was built in the beginning of the Seventeen hundreds. The villa's garden is particularly remarkable, partially laid out in the style of a romantic English garden, it encloses Neo-Gothic architecture. Also in the municipality can be found the impressive Panzano castle which is of ancient origins and was reconstructed by Monsignor Innocenzo Malvasia towards the end of the 1500's.
As far as the inhabitants of the town are concerned, it is interesting to look back at what was written in 1844 by Alessandro Bacchi: "the temperament of the inhabitants is cheerful and jesting due to the delightful position in which the Land is situated, while the continual passage of Travellers makes them hospitable and polite".
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