The Langhe area is famous for its natural beauty, fine vineyards and delicious food and wine products, but it hides another precious treasure: magnificent castles.
Located on vantage points, they are a testament to the rich history of the area and its strategic importance over the centuries.
These ancient fortresses, dating from different eras, enchant visitors with their medieval charm and majestic architecture.
During the medieval period, when much of Europe was characterized by conflict and invasion, the hills of the Langhe provided an elevated position that was easily defensible from attack.
Over the centuries, the Langhe was divided into small fiefdoms ruled by local nobles and lords, in perpetual rivalry and conflict with each other, who built castles as fortified dwellings to protect themselves and their territories, exerting control over the surrounding population.
How many castles are there in the Langhe?
If we also want to consider ruins, in almost every municipality in the area we find traces of a manor house.
There are about 30 castles that can be visited in the Langhe and Roero: some house museums inside, others have become high-end accommodations, and still others are locations for exclusive events.
The architectural styles we find are those belonging to the medieval period: Romanesque, with its typical thick walls, defensive towers, and small, narrow windows; Gothic; and Renaissance.
However, it should be considered that some castles show a combination of styles, as they have undergone various transformations and renovations over the centuries.
Exploring historic jewelry: the most interesting ones to discover
The Castle of Grinzane Cavour
Situated on top of a hill and built around the mid-11th century, Grinzane Cavour Castle stands majestically, affording breathtaking views of the enchanting Langhe hills.
Over the centuries, the castle has belonged to several noble Piedmontese families, including the Benso family. An illustrious name associated with this mansion is that of Camillo Benso, who stayed, and contributed as mayor, in the picturesque village of Grinzane.
Within its walls, visitors can explore the Museum of the Langhe, admire the fascinating Historical Halls, and discover the precious Cavourian Memorabilia, evidence of a glorious past.
The Royal Castle of Govone
Govone Castle is a historical jewel with ancient origins. Its majestic architecture, with crenellated towers and exquisite interior decoration, enchants visitors from all over the world.
Surrounded by spectacular Italian gardens, it offers a magical atmosphere for relaxing walks.
In addition to being a tourist destination, the castle hosts cultural events and manifestations, thus enriching its interesting offerings.
The Castle of Cisterna d’Asti
The Castle of Cisterna d’Asti, a remarkable example of a castle complex, has undergone various renovations and extensions over time, showing obvious constructions from different eras.
Acquired as a donation from the City of Cisterna in 1912, the castle has since 1980 become the home of the “Arts and Crafts Museum of the past“.
This museum collects about 4,000 objects dating from the period between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, offering valuable evidence of Piedmont‘s artisan and peasant culture.
A visit to this castle allows you to immerse yourself in the history and traditions of the past, discovering a cultural heritage of inestimable value.
The Castle of Barolo
Barolo Castle, with ancient origins dating back to the 10th century, has gone through several transformations over time: from a defensive fortress to a noble country residence and even a religious college.
Its imposing bulk dominates the town, a tangible symbol of the power of the local lords.
Inside, admire the rooms furnished in the period style of the Marquise Giulia Colbert, the striking hall of coats of arms, and the library with mementos of Silvio Pellico, the patriot who worked there as secretary and librarian.
The upper floors house the Barolo ethnographic-enological museum, a rich display of traditional viticultural and enological tools from the area, and a collection of wine crystals and vintage photographs of the village.
In the cellars, where Marchesa Giulia celebrated the first Barolo, is the Regional Enoteca. Since 2010, the castle has housed the WiMu Wine Museum, further increasing its valuable cultural heritage.
The Castle of Guarene
The Castle of Guarene, a splendid example of Piedmontese Baroque architecture with Juvarrian influences, was commissioned by Count Giacinto Roero of Guarene in 1726, on the site of an old medieval manor house.
Inside, there are frescoes by renowned artists such as Francesco Cosoli and Giuseppe Palladino.
The “Chinese Rooms” with exotic tapestries, the Patronal Chapel of St. Theresa and the scenic garden add a touch of rare beauty to this historic residence.
Today the castle is a luxury hotel that offers its guests an exclusive stay experience with a spa and indoor pool inside, and priceless rooms and suites.
The facility can be visited: all tours are guided are conducted in groups of a minimum number of 4 people and last about 40 minutes.