Langhe Castles

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Grinzane Cavour

Count Camillo Benso di Cavour was Mayor of Grinzane for 17 years. The castle is a national monument, fully restored for the 100 years of unification and houses the Museo di Cavour, the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca and a restaurant. Not to be missed are the Hall of Emblems with a priceless painted coffered ceiling and the bedroom of the Count. In the cellars where the Count kept the great Barolo today instead towers a giant press. The courtyard retains the nucleus of the construction that took place around the tower between 1000 and 1200.


Falletti Castle was radically transformed into a residence in the aftermath of the passage of Piedmont under Savoy rule (Treaty of Utrecht in 1713). Defensive requirements becoming fewer in number, and having other heavily armed fortresses nearby (such as the overlooking Castello della Volta which dominates the village and those of Castiglione and Serralunga that close the valley) the Falletti, one of the richest families of Asti, devoted themselves to courtly life. In Turin their residence (Palazzo Barolo) was among the most beautiful buildings in the city. Today the castle houses the WiMu (a multimedia museum about wine) and the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo. It played host to Silvio Pellico, librarian of the Marquise Juliette Colbert, great benefactress and "mother" of Barolo wine.

Serralunga d’Alba

The fortress of the Marquises Falletti is the best example of its kind in Northern Italy. Built on the French model of the donjon, it stands perfectly preserved above the small circle of village and towers in the hills of Barolo. A visit to this National Monument offers a glimpse into the life of a castle guard in the fourteenth century and how all ingenuity was employed in creating traps, difficulties, obstacles and pitfalls for any invader. The castle was never taken by any enemy, not even by deception.


The red brick tower of the village is the work of the Gonzaga family, who, when they inherited the crown of the Marquis of Monferrato, fortified the borders of their new possessions. The twin of that of Santa Vittoria d'Alba, from its height of 30 metres it dominates the fortress of Tanaro, from which the view extends across Langhe Roero and Monferrato, the best symbol of the UNESCO-recognised winemaking landscape of these hills. Inside, there is the first sensory analysis room in Piedmont, a multimedia museum dedicated to this noble son of Nebbiolo and a panoramic terrace for wine tastings on the roof of the world.

The Castle of Busca is a seventeenth-century reconstruction of the old destroyed medieval fortress. The elegance of its forms, the decorative use of sandstone, the momentum of the internal colonnade make it a rare example of a late Renaissance castle in the Langhe. Inside is the Regional enoteca of Moscato, the institution that represents the wine of the eastern Langhe that, encroaching upon the Monferrato of Asti and then Alexandria, epitomises, perhaps better than any other, the value of the cultural heritage of wine landscapes.

Testo ©Pietro Giovannini

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