Book one of our tour guides for a guided tour in one of the following towns: Cuneo, Saluzzo, Mondovì, Casale Monferrato, Acqui Terme, Vicoforte, Staffarda, Sacred Mountains, medieval castles and the stunning Royal palaces of the House of Savoy. Plan more guided tours in Piedmont, in the provinces of Cuneo, Alessandria, Asti, Novara, Vercelli, Lake Maggiore.
From the lower part of the modern city built along the Ellero stream, you climb the modern funicular to Mondovì Piazza, founded in 1198 by the populations of the villages of Vico, Vasco and Carassone who rebelled against the bishop of Asti and took refuge in Monteregale. The central square on two levels is embellished with frescoed façades of houses, palaces and churches, among which the “Mission” stands out as a high example of Jesuit architecture where Andrea Pozzo practiced his prospective art. The Mondovì visit takes about two hours and can be combined with the nearby Sanctuary of Vicoforte, the largest existing elliptical dome, built by architect Francesco Gallo on the structure designed about two centuries earlier by Vitozzi on commission of Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy.
In the territory of Monegalese stands the church of San Fiorenzo at Bastia di Mondovì, which with its 326 sq. M. frescoes of the fifteenth century represents the most extensive “biblia pauperum” of Piedmont. The opera, made by different artists, surprised the traveler traveling from Bastia along one of the oldest streets of Salt.
Visiting Saluzzo is a true journey back in time, in fact the medieval old town is surprising for the fairytale atmosphere. The seat of a powerful marquis who kept the region under pressure for about five centuries, Saluzzo was governed by fourteen Marquises, who maintained close ties with neighboring France. Do not miss the church of St. John with a precious funeral monument and the nearby Casa Cavassa with the works of the Flemish painter Hans Clemer.
Saluzzo is at the doorstep of the Monviso Natural Park and gastronomic itineraries with visits to cheese producers such as Castelmagno and Tumin del Mel.
Saluzzo can be combined with the visit of Manta Castle, just outside the historic center of the city, as a defensive fortress controlled by the marquisate and later in the 15th century, enlarged by Valerano, the parent of the Saluzzo-Manta branch and its successors. In the Baronale Salon you admire the great fresco of an unknown author, called “Prodi and Eroine”, a testimony to the passion of the fifteenth-century aristocracy to the myths and ideals of the chivalrous theme. Each character depicted was quoted by Thomas III, father of Valerano, in his work “Les Chevalier Errants” written by him in 1394. Equally curious “the Fountain of Youth”, fresco located on the opposite side of the same hall whose wave movement, Character expressions and the use of the maple, attract the attention of visitors of all ages.
Staffarda abbey is just a few kilometers from Saluzzoand the visit allows you to make a journey through time to discover the Cistercian monastic order that settled here between 1122 and 1138. The abbey reached a remarkable economic importance also thanks to the works of reclamation of the surrounding lands by monks whose lifestyle was particularly rigid, based on three rules: poverty, labor and hermitage. Of great value is the polychrome dated 1531 by Pascale Oddone, which embellishes the main altar of the church characterized by a typical style typical of the Romanesque-Gothic, in line with the life philosophy of the monks. Equally charismatic are the rooms adjacent to the cloister, such as the Capitular Room, the refectory, the lab, and the kitchens.
The “wedge” (“cuneo” in italian) of rock on which stands the historic center is the terminal part of a plateau eroded in the millennia by the river Stura di Demonte and the Gesso stream that delimit it. The guided tour focuses on the part of Via Roma, recently restored, that leads from the wedge point to Galimberti square, a city lounge dedicated to the National Hero of the Italian Resistance. Founded around 1198 as a free commune for its strategic position towards the Alps and France, Cuneo was a crossroads of conquerors that besieged it over the centuries for seven times. It became Diocese only in 1817 and the provincial capital in 1859. The guided tour will take you to the Cathedral, built on the site of an ancient small church dedicated to Santa Maria, the Jesuit Church, Sant’Ambrogio, Santa Croce and the San Francesco . Finally, you will walk along the picturesque Mondovì ‘district, formerly called the Judean Contrada, and the square Antonio De Curtis in honor of the famous Totò, the Parthenopean actor.
The visit includes the symbolic buildings such as the church of S. Andrea, designed by Bernini and the church of S. Chiara, considered a masterpiece of Piedmont rococo architecture for the double perforated dome, called diaphanus by architect Vittone who designed it. The Palazzo Comunale, whose façade is inspired by Turin’s Palazzo Carignano, is located just a short distance from the birthplace of Blessed Giuseppe Cottolengo, founder of the Little House of Providence. Palazzo Traversa houses the Civic Museum with exhibits from the neighboring Pollenzo, a Roman city later restored in Neo-Gothic style and today the home of the Slow Food’s Gastronomic Sciences University. The non-profit organization established in 1986 by Carlo Petrini organizes Bra every two years in the important “Cheese!” Festival, with cheese producers from all over the world.
There are few cities like Cherasco whose foundation has a precise date: November 12, 1243. Born to accommodate fleeing populations because of the conflicts between Alba, Bra and Asti, who contended the plains at the confluence of the Tanaro and Stura di Demonte rivers , The new “villa\” arose on a flat plateau. The high position allowed to keep away the seventeenth-century plague and favor the transfer to the city of noble families, including the Salamatoris hosting the Savoy and the Holy Shroud in their Baroque palace. Curious is the façade of the church of St. Peter embellished with molded terracotta tiles and Roman recovering material. Among the culinary stops we recommend the tasting of Cherasco snails and “baci”, pralines worked with hazelnut Piedmont in pastry workshops.
From Moncalvo, where you can see the works of the homonymous painter, continue for the Sanctuary of Crea, one of the nine Sacred Mountains scattered between Piedmont and Lombardy, a mystical place of great inspiration where art and nature blend. An uphill trail between the twenty-three chapels in which theatrical effects with man-sized statues and frescoes have been realized, with the task of amazing the pilgrim. The Sanctuary contains two ancient chapels: Santa Margherita, frescoed on the commission of the Marchesi del Monferrato and that of the Madonna. Here lies the wooden statue carved, according to tradition, by the evangelist Luca and transported to Piedmont by Eusebius, the first bishop of the region.
Acquae Statiellae, founded in the second century A.C. From the Romans, he knows an economic and social bloom of which are still visible the ruins of the thermal spas with the swimming pool and the aqueduct. The elegant city center blends the low modern part with the medieval area called “Pisterna”, where the Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption and the Castle of the Paleolithic Dynasty are located. Piazza della Bollente is home to the eclectic temple where visitors can drink the sulfur water naturally emerging from the bowels of the earth at a temperature of 75 degrees. Acqui is also the starting point for many hiking and gourmet excursions to taste, among other products, the famous DOP cheese of Roccaverano and red dessert wine, Brachetto.
Located along the River Po, on the border between the rice fields of Vercelli and the Piedmont hills, Casale keeps witness to the role of the capital of the Marchesato del Monferrato, including the castle wanted by the Paleolithic dynasty. The town, nowadays less than 35,000, has a rich collection of important civil and religious buildings. The Romanesque Dome, which began in the 12th century, has a rare narration decorated with precious mosaics and contaminations of Armenian art. Seventeenth-century architecture instead attributed to Casale the name of baroque city: it is remembered the church of Santa Caterina, belonging to the Dominican nuns, built by the architect Zanetti who operated in the area between 1711 and 1732. The Synagogue of 1595, on the other hand, is surprising for the strong contrast between anonymous, intended as a defense against religious intolerances, and the sumptuous baroque interior. The itinerary can be enriched with gastronomic specialties such as mixed boiling, squares and famous krumi biscuits whose shape was inspired in 1878 by the mustache of the first King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II that died in that year.
The Castle of Racconigi, one of the most beautiful Royal Residences, has exquisite interiors whose visit can be combined with the tour of the rich nineteenth-century park.
In the Barolo area, several medieval castles are open to the public: the castle of Grinzane Cavour, the residence of Count Camillo Benso, today hosts an ethnographic museum devoted to life in Langa. The Barolo Castle with the WiMu, a modern and interactive wine museum. The medieval fortress of Serralunga d’Alba, and many other castles open on request.
To the north of Alba, in Roero: the Castle of Govone, conceived by Guarini, where Jean Jacques Rousseau lived. The Castle of Magliano Alfieri with the Museum dedicated to plaster ceilings. Cistern d’Asti with the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
Rates vary according to the language and the time of the year. Please send us your request in the form below.
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Private tour: YES
Participants: Max 50
Length: about 2 hours
Kids and family friendly: YES
Physical activity: low. This is a walking tour less than 2 miles long. On our itinerary we might encounter uneven steps and cobbled stones.
Meeting place: in front of the Opera house (Teatro Regio) or at your downtown hotel
Arrival place: to be decided together
Transportation: not needed
In case of rain: the tour runs
Other castles and cities in Piedmont
Other castles and cities in Piedmont