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Castles high and low

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If you have the chance to coast through the Roero in a car or on a Vespa, don't miss the occasion to follow the history of the Lords of Roero from palaces and estates to vineyards and art foundations.


Visualizza Su e giu' per i Castelli in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

Drive up to Guarene from the Tanaro plains, and the country is suspended in time. Here is the ideal point of departure for an itinerary that moves through the countryside of the southwestern Roero, a land rich with history. Begin at either the Piazza del Municipio or Piazza Roma. Leaving the car behind, explore the center and let your gaze be drawn inward to admire the Neoclassical communal palace, and next to it, the Baroque Church dell'Annunziata. On the opposite side, the 18th century Re Rebaudengo Palace rises up, one of the more interesting buildings; after reconstruction, it was made to be the seat of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, holding a magnificent exhibition center for art. Walk towards the top of the hill. The central medieval alleys all bring you to the same destination: the Castle of Guarene, the most sumptuous example of a lordly residence in all of Roero.

Returning to the piazza, get back in the car and turn down Via Gorizia; after about one kilometer , take the road that goes to Castagnito. Here, drive through the heart of the historical center to turn onto the steep climb of Via Guglielmo Marconi, which will take you up the rocks of the territory. In ancient times, a modest castle was erected here from which the lords of the land dominated the Tanaro valley from one side, and the splash of the Borbore creek from the other. As it never became a fixed residence of any lineage, the castle inevitably went to ruin. On the site of the vanished manor house are now the Church of St. Giovanni Battista and the seat of the Confraternity of the Holy Spirit; as well as the community building and the monument to fallen soldiers.

Exit from the circular city center and head towards Castellinaldo by way of a hilly countryside crossed with little-used trails. Castellinaldo appears all at once after the last curve of the secondary road that takes you to Priocca and Govone. Your glance will be inevitably drawn to the vertical structure of Castle Damiano, which seems to pull the houses clinging to the surrounding hills towards itself. The parish Church of San Dalmazzo, below the Castle, gives an even stronger sensation of vertical height for its protruding bell tower and sloping facade. Adjacent to the church is the original Villa Cottalonga, an 18th century residence.

Descending towards the town and passing by a low piazza, the road climbs up and immediately back down again. Take the road for Magliano Alfieri that runs along through the middle of the vineyards and then directly to the high part of the community, below the western side of the Castle. Leave the car and proceed on foot for a visit. On the first floor is the Museum of Plaster Art that houses a collection of the most renowned examples of this artform. To the side of the Castle is the parish church of the county seat, dedicated to St. Andrea. From the middle of the 13th century, the Castle of Magliano was purchased by the Alfieri family of Asti who, five centuries later, gave us the poet Vittorio, also a writer and the inventor of the Italian tragedy.

Last modified onThursday, 20 June 2013 16:54
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