A visit to Castello di Guarenne – Langhe, Italy

A visit to Castello di Guarenne – Langhe, Italy

March 1, 2021

Castello di Guarenne

An Italian jewel & must-visit for the true connoisseurs

Castello di Guarenne is perched atop of a hill, above the village of Guarenne, hidden in clouds…A palace has dominated Guarene from its hill for seven centuries.

In the Medieval era, a fortress stood on this site. In the 18th century, a new summer residence was designed and built here for the Counts of Roero by Count Carlo Giacinto – the most well-known member of the family lineage and an important figure of the 18th-century Piedmontese aristocracy. The palace is an impressive three-story edifice, reaching 25 meters in height and surrounded by extensive and elegant gardens landscaped in the Italian style in the first half of the eighteenth century.

It commands an unequaled panorama of the whole chain of the Langhe hills from Monferrato to Verduno – this landscape, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is covered with renowned vineyards and dotted with castles, towers, and villages. In the other direction, it looks out onto the Roero heights and towards the distant Alps.

Across the generations, the palace has been home to the Guarene, La Vezza and Piobesi branches of the Roero family, which occupied a position of high status in the Piedmontese aristocracy. In 1889 it was inherited by the Provana family from Collegno. Its long history is documented in an extensive archive and displayed in a museum of architecture, painting and decorative arts. In 2011 Castello di Guarene came under new ownership, and was destined for a new role combining top-level hospitality with continued respect for its value as a unique piece of heritage. Three years of restoration and conversion followed.

Today, the palace continues to make people’s dreams come true. Preserved as it was in its heyday, with all its works of art intact, it is now also home to a top-class hotel. An essential stopping point in any itinerary of the Baroque highlights of Piedmont, it stands out among the very best places to stay in the region.

Sumptuously furnished antique-style bedrooms, haute cuisine, fine wines, and the latest modern technology combine with historical heritage to offer the visitor a truly unique experience.
“A few evenings ago, his lordship the Count of Magliano, in the company of his lordship the Count of Castagnole, came to observe the construction and said that in comparison with this palace, theirs were no more than mere houses.”
A central figure in the palace’s history, Carlo Giacinto Roero di Guarene was an amateur architect who worked alongside court architect Filippo Juvarra, responsible for the design of the façade. From the laying of the first stone at 8.30 in the evening on 13 September 1726, Carlo Giacinto directed all the construction and interior furnishing work – which would not be completed until after his death in 1749 – either on-site or, in the winter months, by means of minutely detailed instructions sent daily by a letter from Turin to the master mason in charge.
Castello di Guarene can, therefore, lay claim to the distinction of being a palace built “via correspondence”. This grandiose project was finally completed in the second half of the century by Roero’s sons Traiano and Teodoro. King Vittorio Amedeo III of Sardinia and the queen paid a royal visit in 1773, and the palace is full of mementos of the occasion.

The palace was built in the eighteenth century, a fantastically ambitious project conceived by local nobleman Carlo Giacinto Roero.

He commissioned the building of this splendid new residence to his own personal taste, surrounded it with gardens and oversaw the furnishing work on what was to be a sumptuously decorated interior. Roero had both the ability and the financial means to see this project through. An accomplished – albeit amateur – architect, he was also a high-profile aristocrat and a landowner of considerable wealth.

The heart of the Castello di Guarene palace-museum consists of the fifteen most highly valued interiors, occupying both sides of the central hall.

A guest exploring these fifteen historical interiors on either side of the Salone d’Onore (central hall) will find them just as the royal couple did on their visit in 1773.

The Stanza del Vescovo (Bishop’s Room) is still completely intact, displaying one of the most spectacular examples of Piedmontese baroque bandera – fantastically intricate polychrome designs embroidered in wool on worsted cotton fabric. Also preserved intact is the Camera Azzurra (Azure Room), where bandera embroidery is used in designs of finely plaited wreaths and floral blooms.



Guests who stop to admire the two Chinese Rooms (Sale Cinesi) – richly decorated in 18th-century Chinese wallpaper – should note that these hand-painted wallpapers made the long journey from the Orient in the second half of the 18th century, traveling via London then by sea as far as Marseilles, from where they were transported by mule to the palace. They remain perfectly preserved in the Sale Cinesi to this day – a fine complement to the silk fabrics that grace the four-poster beds with oriental motifs.

On lifting their gaze up to the frescoed vaults of the Dining Hall and Gallery, guests will be drawn to compare them with those at the Palazzina di Caccia in Stupinigi – and, we are sure, will arrive at the conclusion that the ceilings at Guarene closely rival them in beauty. The nineteenth-century vaulted ceiling of the Sala Della Musica (Music Room) will also delight the eye.

Viewed as a whole, the paintings that embellish the doorframes and walls of the historic heart of the palace represent a collection of art that is by no means second-rate. Guests may – perhaps unexpectedly – encounter several well-known canvases, among them the outstanding Madonna Della Cappella, and landscapes by Scipione and Vittorio Amedeo Cignaroli. In addition to all this, the palace is a rich source of interest for the amateur historian – in the region of eighty historical figures, among them princes, kings, bishops, dames, and knights – as well as an exceptional museum collection of faces, stories and fascinating mementos of the past. For those interested in fashion history, the women’s clothing dating from the palace’s heyday and before that is presented here gives a vivid insight into women’s fashion of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

 The palace also offers an itinerary of fine antique furniture, ranging from 17th-century carved wooden chests to exquisite examples of Louis XVI.

Guests are luxuriously accommodated in eight large bedrooms on the third floor, named after prominent figures in the history of the palace. Another four bedrooms are located on the ground floor.

The bedroom ensembles have been converted in keeping with the original floorplan and fresco decoration, and each one has an en-suite bathroom finely decorated in marble. The walls are decorated in the aristocratic tradition with silk or silk velvet tapestries, mounted on felt-lined frames. The furnishings are entirely in period style – most are original, dating back to when the palace was built, and some are from collections belonging to the new owners, Artusio and Gallo. Guests are therefore immersed in the same aristocratic ambiance as Carlo Giacinto himself intended, but also enjoy the latest in modern comfort and convenience.
Each bedroom is equipped with the latest appliances, a LED television, safe, minibar and wireless internet.

The SPA at Castello di Guarene is ideal for a pleasant stay dedicated to quiet, relaxation and well-being, away from the stresses of everyday life. From 2 pm till 8 pm. You will be surrounded by an intimate and refined environment.

From the indoor swimming pool, entirely excavated in the rocks, you can enjoy a unique landscape in absolute peace and quiet, with a panoramic view on Alba, Langhe, and Roero. Wellness Center is comprised of magic caves, saunas drenched by the scent of wood and hammam reproducing the mystical atmosphere of Oriental bath. Comfortable loungers, relaxing music, and soft lights will invite you to relax after a sauna session, to read, and to dream…

The SPA of Castello di Guarene has an emotional shower, Finnish sauna, Steam bath, jacuzzi, Kneipp and salt cave.The treatments available are customized to individual needs and include different types of massages and body or facial treatments.



The age-old gastronomic tradition of Roero and the Langhe is a natural point of reference for the cuisine created here at Castello di Guarene, as well as the use of carefully selected natural ingredients and sheer creativity.

Every dish, even if it belongs to the most traditional canon of Piedmontese cuisine, is intriguingly different, and is served with true panache. The restaurant dining hall is a fitting complement to the fine cuisine – the ceiling is divided into nine sail vaults in fine brickwork, supported by high pillars. On the walls are original paintings of landscapes, flowers and prominent figures from the Houses of Savoy and Roero.
Last but certainly not least, the cellar can boast the entire range of Piedmont’s finest wines – including the very rarest vintages, and also stocks various examples of the best quality wines from renowned Italian winemakers.

The gardens were started in 1740 and laid out according to Count Carlo Giacinto Roero di Guarene’s design by the master gardener at Castello di Govone.

The scenic layout of hornbeam espaliers, yew trees shaped into pinnacles, and cypresses makes skillful use of the limited space. Documents chronicling the palace’s early history mention five peacocks roaming the gardens – which is unusual for this period and location.

At a lower level, on the side of the palace overlooking the Tanaro valley and Barbaresco, another formal garden – called “Maneggio” (Intrigue) – is laid out. Here, low hornbeam hedges mark out flowerbeds of various geometric shapes, arranged symmetrically around the garden’s central axis.

The recent restoration and conversion project has returned the garden to its original splendor.



For more info:

Castello di Guarenne, Via Alessandro Roero, 2 – 12050 Guarene (CN) Italy – Tel: +39 0173 441332


Edited by Alex Dordevic for mnswr.com

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