Mordano dates back to Roman times. Today, the ‘grid’ layout the Romans used to reclaim the land is still clearly visible. They were followed by the Benedictines, who governed until the early Middle Ages, when the feud of Mordano was bitterly contested: initially ruled by the Della Bordella family, it then passed under Milan before becoming a possession of the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, Girolamo Riario. On his death (1488) Mordano passed to the widow Caterina Sforza.
Just six years later the castle was destroyed by the French: in 1494 Charles VIII conquered the peninsula as he headed south to Naples. On arriving in Romagna with two thousand soldiers, he travelled to Bubano to pressure Caterina Sforza to join him.
He laid siege to her fortress, expecting to take it in a matter of days. However, resistance was stiff and well organised, and the French soon realised that victory would come at a high price. So they turned to the bastion of Mordano. They took it, devastated the town and massacred the population.