Monticello d’Alba Castle is located near Alba, in the heart of Roero hills. Today it is one of the best conserved medieval buildings of the area.
The castle origins are really ancient but not sure and its foundation surely dates back before the year 1000. Since 1376 the estate has always been property of the same family: the Roero family from Monticello, who obtained the control over the feud from Asti’s bishops. They had previously made build a military fortress to defend the borders of the property after the devastating Saraceni arrival in Alba in 920.
At the beginning of 1300 Asti’s bishop had installed Ludovico Malabalia in the castle, as a vassal, but he had turned out to be a dictator who oppressed the poor native population. Asti’s bishop, bothered because of his behavior, asked the Roero Counts for help, as they were the most famous and powerful lords of the age. The Roero went there to give their help, besieged the castle and conquered it, freeing the population from the violence of Malabaila. After the victory, the bishop renounced to the castle to give it to its saviors as a sign of gratitude.
The construction we admire today is no more the original, because it has been seriously damaged in 1187 during a siege that lasted for nearly three years. Typical example of fortified residence, Monticello can show an architectural peculiarity really singular: each of the three towers has a different map and different dimensions. Once is squared, once is round and the other is octagonal.
In the latest times, precisely in 1787, some radical restorations were made inside of the castle, without affecting the external medieval structure. The occasion for this huge restoration work was given by the marriage of Francesco Gennaro Roero, Sardinia’s viceroy, with Paola del Carretto di Gorzegno. The castle was transformed into an elegant and noble country dwelling; part of the defense elements were eliminated, like the majestic lift bridge, which left its place to a huge stone ladder and the channels were fill in with terrain and transformed into wonderful gardens. New painting decorations were made for the inside according to the refined taste of the eighteenth century.
Itinerary for the visit
The castle develops on three floors. Passing through the “Scalone d’Onore” , one accedes to the Arms Hall and to the adjacent chapel dedicated to Santa Barbara. On the upper floor there’s the Tableaux Hall with the portraits of Roero’s family and the emblems. Following the itinerary there’s the Billiard Hall and Hunter Diana’s Gallery. The courtyard, that is at the height of the first floor, keeps still untouched the ancient structure of the fourteenth century.
You can visit the internet site of Comitato per la valorizzazione dei Castelli della Langhe e del Roero. The castle can be visited during Turismo In Langa events, look at the Events Calendar for the next initiatives. In alternative you can also contact us to reserve a personal guided tour. Telephone number: 0173.364030; SMS: 342.6019355; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions for the castle:
The castle is located in Monticello d’Alba (Cuneo, Piemonte), Frazione Villa, in via San Ponzio 2. From the state highway 231, which connects Alba to Bra, once arrived in Santa Vittoria d’Alba you will have to turn towards Monticello (in front of Eataly), go on through Frazione Monticello Borgo, then go towards Monticello Villa and follow the instructions for the castle.