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Barolo Castle history

« A castle with a thousand-year history. A noble residence. The cradle of Barolo wine.»

The Castle lived four lives till nowadays, it has been founded for military purposes, became a noble residence, has been deeply transformed to hold a college and finally became a museum.

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Open every days from 10.30 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. last admission 6.00 p.m.

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Tel. +39 0173 386697

X-XVIth century

The first documentations about the existence of a fortification on the hill of Barolo and looking towards Talloria valley come from the Xth century.

During this period, King Berengar I granted a local feudal lord the right to build a structure to be defended 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.

XIIIth 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, and later undertook many important renovations and expansions. 

Gravely damaged by lootings resulting from the XVIth century wars, the castle was reconstructed with important modifications by Giacomo and Manfredo Falletti.

XIXth century

In the XIXth century, the castle became the country residence of the last Falletti family marquises, Carlo Tancredi and Giulia.

Among the regular guests of the castle there was the writer and patriot Silvio Pellico, a friend and counselor to the marquises as well as head of the family library.

In following the last wishes of the Marchioness Juliette, upon her death in 1864 the Opera Pia Barolo was instituted, a non-profit organization whose charge was to administer the family fortune, in order to continue the marquise’s benefactions. In this context the castle’s transformation into a college took place.

Barolo College, from 1875 and until 1958, has been for years the only scholastic institution that schooled the majority of young Barolo inhabitants and those of the surroundings, particularly those coming from poorer families, who also had the possibility to earn merit scholarships.

In order to hold the Barolo College, the castle was deeply transformed. During the renovations, the medieval architecture underwent extensive modifications that give the castle its modern conglomerate aspect, the one you can still admire today.

XXth century

In 1970, after a period of neglect, the castle was purchased by the town of Barolo with generous fundings by citizens, local companies, and Barolo College students.

From the moment of its purchase, rehabilitation and restoration works began; some rooms were open to visitors in the early 1970s, with the help of several volunteers; in 1982 the barolo Enoteca Regionale has been set up in the cellars.

XXIth century

Along this development project, during 2003-04, some ideas about the realization of a Wine Museum in the castle take shape: WiMu adventure began.