the castle > history

The Barolo Castle - WiMu

The first documentations of the existence of a fortification on the hill of Barolo come from the 10th century. During this period, King Berengar I granted a local feudal lord the rights to build a structure to defend against the Hungarian and later Saracen attacks. Traces of its foundations can still be seen today in the great tower and in the lower section of the eastern tower.

Thirteenth century acts show the concession of the castle to the town of Alba, from which arises the Falletti family just a few years later. Here, a branch of this important family already began to grow in 1325, a family that later undertook many important renovations and expansions. The thirty-some inhabitants surrounding the castle gradually gave room to the structure’s additions, according to the land register of 1524.

Gravely damaged by lootings following the wars of the 16th century, the castle was reconstructed with important modifications by Giacomo and Manfredo Falletti. The new façade of the castle was conserved until the death of the last Marchesa, Juliette Colbert, in 1864.

In the 19th century, the castle became the country residence of the Falletti family, who moved to Turin in 1814. Among the regular guests of the castle was the writer and patriot Silvio Pellico, a friend and counselor to the Marquis as well as head of the family library.

In following the last wishes of the Marchesa Juliette, upon her death in 1864 the Opera Pia Barolo was instituted, a non-profit organization charged with administering the family fortune. Among the charges of the Opera was Barolo College, a scholastic institution that schooled the majority of young Barolo inhabitants and those of the surrounding countryside from 1875-1958. For years, it was the only educational opportunity that the town’s youth had, particularly for poorer families, who also had the possibility to earn merit scholarships.

In order to hold the Barolo College, the Castle was profoundly transformed. During the renovations, the medieval architecture underwent extensive modifications that give the castle its modern conglomerate aspect that can still be admired today.

In 1970, after a period of neglect, the Castle was purchased by the town of Barolo with generous funding by citizens, local companies, and Barolo College Alumni. From the moment of its purchase, rehabilitation and restoration works followed, supported by the City Hall, the Province of Cuneo, and the Region of Piedmont.

In 1982, the local Enoteca Comunale, founded eleven years prior, obtained the status of Regional Enoteca, representing all 11 towns included in the Barolo wine discipline in the ancient wine cellars of the Marquis. In the same year, the Professional School of Hoteliers opened in the area in which the old Barolo College classrooms once were. The rooms themselves were open to visitors even earlier in the 1970s, with the help of several volunteers.

Condividi su Facebook Condividi su Twitter