The castle of Serralunga d’Alba, considered by many to be one of the best preserved examples of a 14th century noble castle in Piedmont, stands on the ridge of the hill overlooking the characteristic village and its famous vineyards. Since 2015 it has been delivered to the Polo Museale del Piemonte.
Castello di Serralunga d'Alba History
The ancient manor is the symbol of this landscape, immediately striking for the impetus and verticality of its Gothic architecture.
Slender and majestic, it dominates one of the most beautiful and intact villages of the Langhe, surrounded by the hills of great wines. It is considered one of the best preserved examples of a 14th century noble castle in Piedmont, and represents a unique case in Italy for its architectural structure, typical of a French donjon.
As early as the 12th century, a tower towered over and defended the village. In 1340 Pietrino Falletti received the fiefdom as a reward for his military commitment, had the tower demolished and the castle erected. The construction of the building was to have been completed in 1357, to whose February a document registers a sale made in one of its halls.
The circumstances of not having been the subject of important military events and of never having been transformed for residential purposes have left us unchanged in its original structure as a medieval stronghold. More than a military role, however, the castle has played a function of control over the productive activities of the territory over the centuries, as demonstrated by its verticality, aimed at emphasizing the prestige of the Falletti family.
The castle already at the end of the fourteenth century presents the palacium, a compact and elongated main building, consisting of large overlapping rooms; a cylindrical tower and a hanging tower for sighting purposes; a square-based tower; the courtyard with the drawbridge. In the large room on the courtyard level, which serves as a public hall for the administration of justice, there is also a small chapel with a barrel vault and frescoes dating back to the mid-fifteenth century. They depict the martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. The large fireplaces and wooden ceilings are the only remains of the original furnishings. On the top floor the patrol path developed, initially open and protected by battlements, later covered by the roof.
From the windows on the third floor, the view is spectacular, 360 degrees over the Langhe, up to the peaks of the Alps.
Since 1949 the castle has been owned by the state, which purchased it from the Opera Pia Barolo, the body established by the will of the Marquise Giulia di Barolo, the last heir of the Falletti family. Between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century the care of the castle by Opera Pia was subordinated to the attention for the productive performance of the local farmhouses: in these years the castle has hosted cellars, ponds and deposits of agricultural products.
With the state acquisition, the first major restoration works were started. Since 2015, the castle has been delivered to the Piedmont Museum Center.