Gabiano e dintorni
Gabiano and surroundings the monthly magazine of our Monferrato
Photo: view of Gabiano
A special issue of G&d to promote the built heritage of our Monferrato abroad.
Special edition 2012
Come to live in Basso Monferrato
An invitation to our english friends from a not for profit association Below: Camino Castle. A private castle which, for special events, is open to the public.
We are a not for profit association formed by citizens of Monferrato who for many years have committed themselves to promoting awareness of the region. We dedicate our spare time to discovering and appreciating the beauty and unique features that are to be found amongst our hills. The hills of Monferrato, or rather Basso Monferrato, are amongst the most beautiful in Italy : less wellknown perhaps than those of Tuscany, which is known by many people abroad, particularly in the UK, as "Chiantishire", but which lose nothing by comparison. Suffice to say that the region and its hills feature extensively in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, particularly the Sacre Monti. Monferrato really does not extend further than the boundaries of Turin and Casale Monferrato and borders the other notable hills of Langhe and Roero further south, also beautiful but different in character from our own. All have common traits: agricultural tradition in cultivation of the vine and wine at the heart of their economies, that combined with popular cuisine have developed an oeno-gastronomic culture among the richest and most renowned in the whole of Italy and the wider world, where one word resonates above all : Truffles, which are the King of these lands. Then there are many small and ancient towns and villages scattered amongst the hills, often accompanied
by castles. These are among the Italian regions with the greatest density of medieval castles, partly private, partly open to the public and someone even for sale. Basso Monferrato, where our Association is active, is part of the wider region of Monferrato and takes in the wildest terrain in these hills. It lies between the river Po by Verrua Savoia and Casale Monferrato and includes, in Murisengo and Moncalvo, two ancient communities that have their roots in the days of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these lands are being slowly depopulated, with many young people leaving to find work in large cities and in the industries which can be found in the large industrial centres around Turin, Genoa and Milan, which was formerly known as the Italian industrial triangle. Our hills are located right at the centre of this triangle and are therefore easily accessible thanks to local motorways and airports. About an hour from the international airport of Milan Malpensa and slightly less from Turin Caselle. A few kilometres from the A26 motorway which runs from the Swiss border near to the town of Gravellona Toce to Alessandria and which then leads to Genoa and the beaches of Liguria or a little further south, to Tuscany. Even closer is the A4 motorway that links Milan and Turin and which leads to France to the west and Venice to the east. To the south of the region, the A21 motorway from Turin to Asti in the direction of Piacenza connects us to Bologna, Florence and the Adriatic beaches of Rimini and other resorts. For those who like to travel by train there is a high-speed line linking Milan and Turin with Paris and London. Basso Monferrato is wilder than the other hilly areas of Monferrato. Over a number of years, large areas that were previously planted with vines have given way to
woods. For this, our hills are particularly suitable for lovers of nature in its unspoilt state. For such people, the area offers a wide range of opportunities. Sul Po, the area either side of the river between Verrua and Coniolo (the place that adjoins what was once the capital of Monferrato : Casale) you can go down the river by kayak, canoe or raft. About threeand-a-half hours of gentle descent will allow you to see the most unspoilt and most beautiful stretch of all of the more than 600 miles of Italy’s greatest river. The banks of the Po River have for many years been a park where can be seen a number of animal species : herons, cormorants, peregrine falcons, foxes, badgers, pheasants, hares, wild boars and many more. For those who love trekking on horseback or mountain bike, the hills are criss-crossed by many tracks and trails that connect neighbouring villages, where you can usually find a bar, café or restaurant to stop for refreshment. But that's not all you will find in our hills. Our communities in fact form a kind of large metropolitan area, as if a city had exploded into a thousand villages, each with its own specialty. For example, Odalengo Piccolo residents can visit an astronomical observatory where on summer evenings you can dine outdoors and watch the stars. At a small theatre at Pontestura, along with larger ones in Casale and Moncalvo, you may be able to see a play or comedy, ideal for anyone who understands Italian, or hear various types of music, whether jazz, rock, blues, or folk. Throughout the summer on practically every weekend each of these communities organise events with outdoor performances. There are also museums dedicated to subjects as diverse as alpine life, the Carabinieri and little-known painters. Often unknown or poorly advertised, often realized by individuals through years of patient work, they are unique of their kind. But should you want to visit larger or more
famous museums, note that Milan and Turin are little more than an hour away by car, Genova a little further. These are but a few of the many reasons to visit our region and the activities you can undertake whilst staying at any of the small but numerous hotels, guest-houses and residencies that cater for tourists; alternatively, for those who wish to more fully explore and appreciate the all that this “Well of God” offers, you may consider purchasing one of the many old farmhouses that are for sale, which you can remodel according to your tastes, or one of the smaller properties more suited to holiday use. It is worth considering that the economic crisis that Italy is currently experiencing may be especially beneficial in this respect. You can be assured that our small but active Association, which remember has no economic purpose, solely a cultural one, will help you and will give you all useful advice for visiting Monferrato as tourists, or better still as prospective fellow residents should you decide to move to our region, a land that for centuries has been appreciated by “visitors” as diverse as the ancient Romans, the Germanic peoples and those "barbarian" tribes who came and in time assimilated, together with the many foreign nationals who have already moved here. It is no coincidence that one of the best wines produced in our region is called Barbera! (from Barbarian) In this special issue of our magazine, which we wanted to produce in English for your benefit, you will find plenty of useful information should you decide to accept our invitation. You will find the names of B & B, guest-houses and hotels suitable for a short or long
holiday, but there's also details of a number of properties with gardens and associated land seeking a buyer who will be able to dedicate their time to not only renovating the buildings, but to restoring ornamental gardens, vegetable gardens and orchards. Among our partners there are estate agents and companies offering technical services that will support you and will assist you not simply for their own commercial benefit, but also because they love this region and through your satisfaction they know that many others will, perhaps, come on your recommendation. Below : Traditional festival of the Leva. Every year young people who reach 18 years of age celebrate accompanied by a brass band (shown in the photo) inviting all local people to partake of refreshment in the homes of the celebrants.
Where we are The village of Gabiano, taken as a reference for this area, is 54 Km from Turin; from Milan 130 km; from Asti 41 km; from Vercelli 32 km; from Alexandria 60km; from Milan Malpensa (Airport) 125 km; from Turin Casele (Airport) 53 km. The area lies at the heart of a dense network of motorways : the A26 which stretches from Switzerland - northern Europe
Venice east Europe
Turin - Frence
Genoa and the Ligurian Riviera, and connects with the famous beaches of Tuscany via the A12, up to Gravellona Toce in the north via Casale Monferrato, and connects you to Switzerland and Northern Europe; the A4 which leads eastwards to Milan, Venice and Eastern Europe and westwards to Turin and France via either the A5 or the A32; and finally the A21 which starts at Turin, passes near to Asti and leads to Piacenza, Bologna and the Adriatic Sea and the equally famous beaches of EmiliaRomagna From Alexandria, which is located about 50 km, is active service DB Autozug rail with cars accompanied from Germany at cheap price.
Images of the hills of Basso Monferrato www. gabianoedintorni.net www.collinedelmonferrato.eu Authorisation n째 5304 del 3-9-99 del Tribunale di Torino Director Responsable Enzo GINO - headquarter: via S. Carpoforo 97 - Fraz. Cantavenna 15020 Gabiano - Printed at A4 di Chivasso (TO) - Free distribution; - Publisher: Associazione Piemonte Futuro: P. Iva 02321660066; Information and pubblicity e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org cell. +393357782879;
Above: winter Side: Summer, in the beckground the Po river
In the following pages are some examples of real estate, both great and small, that are available to purchase and restore should you so wish.
Mr. Enzo GINO
Mr. Pietro Cressano
Mr. Franco Nicola
Editor & managing director of the journal G&d
Owner of the real estate agency for Italy Immobiliare Felice
Owner of Esserci, the real estate agency for Monferrato
Info For further information about any of the featured property or to arrange a visit in Monferrato please contact our representative in London:
Architect Rossana Rondano
Mr. Phil Whitehead UK Agent
The building designer in Monferrato
How it works If you have seen something you like or if you would like to see details of other properties in the Monferrato region, you can either contact us directly at the e-mail address shown above, or contact our representative in the UK (see details opposite) who will be happy to provide you with further information and if desired, arrange a visit to our charming hills to view any properties of interest. We can arrange a stay in one of the many B&B, hotels or agri-tourist properties in the area and we will accompany you to visit the properties that interest you most. We can also arrange visits to places of interest, local restaurants and the like to ensure you experience a taste of what our region can offer. Then, if you find a property to your liking that requires alteration or improvement, you can study the best options for refurbishment with our architect in Monferrato, who will be happy to co-ordinate with your own Architect in the UK if desired. Our UK representative will also be happy to suggest suitable UK Architects should this be helpful to you. Our Architect will engage any other local professionals required (eg : Structural Engineer) and recommend capable and experienced local builders for the work. They will also follow all phases of approvals and refurbishment. We can also assist you in negotiating the potential pitfalls of local bureaucracy (with which you may not be familiar) by liaising with local authorities, statutory service companies and the like, on your behalf.
Mr. Phil Whitehead e-mail: email@example.com
For information on the territory, history, culture, entertainment, gastronomy, art, see also: www.gabianoedintorni.net
Castello di Gorzano 2,510 m2 with a further 32,000 m2 of land which includes stables and cottages
Its origins are testified by walls sited on foundations dating from the late 14th century. The Castle has witnessed political and economic struggles and it has belonged to a number of prominent families : formerly the fiefdom of Gorzano, then a branch of the Cavazzoni family, then again coming under the Gorzanos, who were followed by the Isnardis, the Viscontis, the Guascos, the Savoia, the Curbis, the Degenova Pettinengos and the Raggios. Today, it is a sumptuous private residence. Enveloped by feelings of magic in a heady scent of history, the secular park covers 32,000 m2. Two lateral avenues (in times past, access for horse-drawn carriages) introduce the central body of the building enclosing a courtyard elevated towards the park with a well in the centre and, to the sides, gravel driveways with evergreen hedges and lawn that make an even more spectacular scenographic impact and create the feeling of entering another world without time, without space, against a backdrop of
supremacy of the underlying properties. The large entrance hall with an imposing manorial staircase leads into the charming “salone delle feste” with frescoes dating back to 1633 and 17th-century tapestry on the walls woven from pure multi-coloured silk, with Coat-of-Arms over the fireplace. A strong feature also is the library with f re s c o e d vaults, and a white marble fireplace in the red room, also with frescoes and a fireplace in sandstone, and the delightful billiard room. Of great charm is the consecrated Chapel, still in use, with its main entrance from the park, and the tower with views of the Alps, which signifies the power of the family that lived in the Castle. In addition to the Castle (which will be sold privately) the property includes: -a Caretaker’s House : detached from the main house adjacent to the park entrance -Two cottages: detached from the main house and to the side of it -Stables with space for five horses with an overhead living-space requiring renovation, adjoining the castle. -Further land of about 32,000m2 in addition to the park giving a combined total of 65,000 square meters of area. The castle itself comprises the following : Ground floor: access to cellar, wine vaults and service areas ; Mezzanine ground floor: lounge, spacious hallway, 10 other rooms and service areas; main staircase and connecting service stair and elevator;
First floor: a sumptuous Gallery from which you can access 9 rooms with associated service areas; terrace; stair to the WatchTower. Floor Areas : Castle: 2510 m²; Caretaker’s House : 340 m² (136 m² of dwelling and the rest of ancilliary areas; The Cottages : 840 sq.m; Stable: 462 sqm; giving a total of in excess of 4,000 square metres.
Castello di Pessine â‚Ź 2,000,000 - about 1,600 m2
Despite extensive research we were unfortunately only able to partly uncover the authentic origins of the Castle, such that it belonged to different notable families including : the Prati of Moncalvo, the Gonzaga family and the Gozzani di
Treville. One certain date we have suggests the Castello dates back to 1386, as this is recorded on a tufaceous stone placed at the entrance of the manor with the image of the Lamb of God and marked with the words "AGNUS DEI QUO TOLIS PECATA MUNDI". The castle is situated in a strategic position at an altitude of 500 meters and is about one hour from Turin, Milan and Genoa. Surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards, hazelnut groves, woods, which form a so-called "green lung", where you can still can follow ancient paths of pilgrimage that lead to the well-known Sacro Monte di Crea, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The building was reconstructed combining modern and functional structures with authentic materials of yore â€“ tufa stone, coppi, pietre etc. on the basis of a draft initially designed to accommodate recreational activities associated with its related spa. The property includes about one hectare of grounds, with the possibility to extend the holding by up to 22.5 hectares.
Castello delle Rondini (Swallows Castle) â‚Ź 1,500,000 - about 700 m2
This residence of 700 m2 is arranged on three levels, interconnected by stairs made from sandstone. Architectural variations that have occurred over time have left many original features untouched as the bas-reliefs and decorative stucco depicting convivial events testify. The balconies of the property and
the terrace of the crenulated Tower offer an enchanting view over the hilly slopes and Alpine chain beyond. Through a wall below, via a walkway and Pergola, there is a rose garden with swimming pool. Large cellars and ancient underground walkways offer additional accommodation of unquestionable charm. The remaining land has merged together, but once upon a time was cultivated and 4500 m2 of vineyard is currently a multicoloured area given over to
vegetation. The property includes also an additional habitable building suitable for staff.
Villa Gabutti (Camino) About 500 m2 - park about 8,000 m2
It is the second half of the 19th century from which Villa Gabutti derives its characteristics. An Architectural gem of the Basso Monferrato Casalese area which, in the arches of the main entrance, on the balcony and in the frescoed salons, reveals the expression of the best architecture of the time. The Villa, set in lush parkland, has retained the neoclassical style of the original layout and currently presents a unique architectural work on three floors. The three different reception rooms look out on the garden and scenic balcony and contain antique furniture ranging from baroque Lombardy through to the Empire revival style of the late 1800s. Suspended in the age of dreams, with a hushed atmosphere, enriched by the superb
panoramic view of the great river, the first rice paddies and the Alps that stand out on the horizon from Mont Blanc to Mont Resegone, Villa Gabutti is the expression of fin-desiĂ¨cle refinement and a way of understanding architecture, thereby offering an harmonious feeling of
environmental continuity between the spectacular interior and the spectacular natural exterior, both admirable and to be admired. The accommodation comprises: Ground Floor: entrance hall with both the main staircase (in marble) and service stairs, serving the up-
per floors; kitchen, dining room, an elegant â€˜salonâ€™, study, bathroom with ante-room, plant & services room. All rooms have quality flooring in either marble or terracotta. First floor: master bedroom with elegant sitting room area and ensuite bathroom; 4 further bedrooms with private bathrooms. Second Floor: Mansard roof with exposed beams and, currently under restoration, 4 bedrooms and 2
living rooms paved with antique terracotta tiles. Basement: largely below ground level, but with direct access to the garden, spread over 3 spacious rooms with vaulted brickwork. Externally, there is approximately 8,000 mÂ˛ of mature, fenced parkland, planted with palm trees and conifers, with an irrigation system and lighting included. Also an integral part of the residential complex is a recently restored
building built to the north-east of the sloping garden, topped by an architectural terrace with panoramic views. The building is on 2 levels and comprises a total of 500 m2 of floor area. It is currently dedicated to catering, with a fully equipped kitchen, lounge and service facilities on the ground floor and with a large rustic banqueting suite and Conference Centre on the first floor.
Cascina Scorgnetto â‚Ź 630,000 - about m2 500 for personnel; two porticos and a storage room for equipment etc compliment the main building. First floor : two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large room of 90 sq m reclaimed with floor-to-ceiling Windows and roof, adjoining the This is an ideal property for all those who are looking for greater privacy and a less-spoilt natural environment, in a context whose features allow you to keep horses, livestock, or carry out any other type of activity, while not excluding the possibility of the classic "Happy Retirement". The accommodation at the Cascina Scorgnetto comprises the following : Ground Floor : Entrance hall to living room, kitchen, salon with wood-burning oven, additional kitchen for accommodation activities, W.C for the dining room and cloakroom with W.C
barn. In the grounds, there are three low
detached building s : one currently used as a storage room for equipment, the second is used as a stable for cattle, and the last used as a stable for horses. Land of about 116,000 square metres completes the property.
Residenza Bargiano - Villamiroglio 350,000 € - about 500 m2 This ancient dwelling dating back to the late 1700s, when seen from the outside, appears to be “L shaped", because the two buildings (the original residence and a former stables/barn, the “Rustico”) are connected by a portico/hallway and main entrance, through which is accessed the inner court, and looks out on a landscape of the Monferrato hills, amongst which emerge in the distance ancient villages and towns. Recently renovated (the roof was completely replaced in 2010), preserving strictly all of its original features : doors and overpanels, some still with compass opening, floors in terracotta in rectangular panels of multicoloured hexagonal tiles, vaults, some with antique decorations etc. The accommodation comprises : Main house : Ground Floor : brick-vaulted kitchen, living room, dining room, study, bathroom with anteroom; on the same level, with an entrance on the outside, there is a large basement which, through a staircase carved into the rock, leads to an “infernot” ( a traditional wine cellar of the area). First Floor : first wing : two large bedrooms, hallway and a bathroom; second wing : two spacious bedrooms, corridor, bathroom and a further large room. The “Rustico” : Ground Floor : cleared-out
former stable with portico used as a storage room for equipment. First Floor : two spacious barn spaces with exposed roof structure. In the grounds is an old detached building, currently used as a Woodshed; in addition there is 13,000 square metres of land in front of the relaxing properties. The building is equipped with a photovoltaic system for generating renewable energy with 5 kWp capacity.
Some photos of interiors 15
Casa Puck â‚Ź 530,000 - about 500 m2
Casa Puck, a Midsummer's dream, is a rare example of an architectural restoration of adjacent hamlet farmsteads; hard work, professionalism and creativity are today highlighted in this harmonious and versatile multi-family residence enhanced by enchanting views of the area. The symmetries of the terracotta and the tufa stonework enhance the restoration of the facades and interiors, and a meticulous, obsessive quest for fine materials, make it unique. A residential complex with the most panoramic of views, approximately 500 m2 of renovated conservation project using quality materials, consisting of four independent but interconnected buildings. A) Manor House on two floors plus attic/mansard floor. Ground floor: living room, kitchen, study, bathroom with whirlpool bath, garage and cellar. First floor:
kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms, bathroom, lounge with access to panoramic covered terrace. Second Floor (Mansard) : bedroom, bathroom, terrace solarium. B) Servants House on 2 floors. Ground Floor: kitchen, living room, sitting room. First floor: bedroom and bathroom. C) Outbuilding : Ground Floor: warehouse. First floor: clear space suitable for residential use. D) Garage and Woodshed, gas heating with autonomous controls for the various units. Terraced garden with Orchard (approximately 1500 sqm.) Pool. Oven-barbecue Area. The proposal includes kitchens and built-in furniture. The property has character-
istics suitable for social activities and accommodation of guests. Further changes, adaptations or improvements may be undertaken and further residential space created within the current layout.
Casa Puck: Details of the courtyard, the garden and interiors
‘Soft Rafting’ on the Po river in the river park ‘Vercellese Alessandrino’
For those who love nature, unspoilt and wild, a descent along what is considered to be the most beautiful stretch of the entire length of the Po
On the opposite page: photo taken on the Po at the foot of the Monferrato hills during a raft descent
In a group of eight you sit on the edge of the dinghy accompanied by the path of the great river, often driven by arms that paddle to move the raft forward in the water when it is almost stationary or when the headwind has interfered. The Po is not the Colorado river, but if you prefer the excitement offered by the spectacular scenery of nature instead of adrenaline, this ‘soft rafting’ will be ideal for you. In addition to the typical peace that is instilled by the tranquil flow of water you may discover a new universe that can be seen only when changing your vantage point (a very popular exercise). You will see landslides that inexorably gnaw into the hillside tearing away large strips of land covered with trees, or boulders of Tufa that have rolled into the River. But in the more than 20 miles of a journey that lasts more than a couple of hours you can see many beauty spots, some real gems like the steeple of a church (at Cantavenna) that stands out from the treetops or the former convent surrounded by greenery on a hill that looks like the enormous bow of a ship covered with vegetation. Even the rock of the hills, stripped bare by landslides and displaying different shades depending on the material that has been laid down over the centuries, appear to want to recount their history. You haven't finished studying a particular point of interest that you would like to see better, that you wish to understand, yet the raft is already moving on and the kind of film-show that passes before your eyes now offers, already, another story : colonies of Cormorants there, flapping over the hills and over the trees. Their cries are heard from a distance; on leafless branches you can see the weave that make their nests, built by experienced beaks. You’ve not even
finished watching the scene when some ducks take flight, perhaps frightened by the dinghy, that orange contraption that runs silent. And then stretches of pebblestones brought by the swirling current to abut the dense thickets of trees and vegetation that, in summer, lose nothing in comparison to the most famous tropical forests. Who knows how wonderful it must be with snow in winter and in the autumn? You are already looking forward to repeating the experience in other seasons when over there some fish jump out of the water and land with a splash when they fall back in. Out on the bank, with a little attention and luck, you can see many varieties of birds: herons, egrets, widgeons, garganey, plovers, terns and kingfishers. It is rare, turning through 360 degrees, to see traces of human presence: no buildings, no views of poles for power lines, no mobile antennas, no scrap metal ... no man-made noise, only the flow of water, birdsong and rustling of foliage stirred by the wind. This can happen for long stretches of this descent of the Po; the most unique view of its beauty in the whole of its 652 km length from Pian del Re to the mouth of the river. But if someone just can't get enough of "civilization", if the sight of something human makes you feel more secure, if the presence of nature - mistress, dominatrix gives you a certain feeling of smallness, of loneliness – anxiety almost - don't be alarmed : shortly thereafter, passing near Trino, you will see one of the symbols of human power: a nuclear power plant, now closed for many years. It's right there in front of you, like a quiet sculptured mammoth floating before your eyes at a stone's throw away, closer than you may have ever seen before.
The English Residence About 450 m2
This â€œL"-shaped residence, with its internal courtyard protected by ancient stone walls, is on two floors and is equipped with distinctive areas including : kitchen, living room, bathroom, guest bathroom, shared toilet, bedrooms (original), open plan area (in the former barn) used as a living room (with spectacular views of Monte Rosa and
wood storage cellar, two more general cellars and two attics (to assign to your preferred useage). 950 sqm of land, in addition to the internal courtyard. The residence is being sold partly furnished. Energy class G = 301.206 kWh/m2 per year
Monte Monviso) and m a ste r bedroom. Completing the accommodation is an authentic charming portico with two arches, with adjacent large
Palazzo Roma 120,000 â‚Ź - about 800 m2
The outside of the Palazzo largely maintains a stately appearance and fine original architectural character, but a programme of careful and sympathetic restoration and rehabilitation for the beautiful roof garden, with itsâ€™ stone walkways, is required. The building is spread over four levels, of which the first floor is situated between two terraces, one used as a roof garden with pedestrian access from the outside and an independent one used as a terrace, both being placed over the ramparts. This property has already been the subject of two "feasibility studies" for accommodation use. If desired, there is available in addition a further adjacent house on two levels of 200 m2 floor area with 100m2 of Garden, for a bargain price of â‚Ź35,000.00
Palazzo del Piccolo Monte 790,000 â‚Ź - about 1,000 m2
The property has all the features of an old stately home: large lounges and frescoed rooms, fireplaces, carved stonework and column capitals, a well, secret paths and rooms underground.
Founded on the tufa rock in ancient times, it is now in its eighteenth-century dress, embellished by a nineteenth-century expansion into the neo-Gothic style. The characteristic â€œUâ€? shaped building, already subjected to recent and careful restoration, shelters a roof garden, almost a "hortus conclusus" (a medieval enclosed garden), that enclosed by the walls of the building, overlooks the surrounding hills. From this private green vantage point there rises a majestic and elegant Tower,a silent observer of a time that was. This is high-impact scenographic real estate, properly dedicated to
use as an elegant representative residence, an ideal place for receptions, dinners, and parties. THE PROPERTY: If you study the "Palace of the little mountain", you can immediately locate an 18th
century part (the first building), built in Tufa stone and brickwork, whose stuccoed walls have been restored and lime washed to match their original appearance. On the other hand, the neo-Gothic style (the second building) is recognisable in the brick facade and two splendid mullioned windows. The Palazzo, whilst the fruit of many alterations occurring at different times, keeps unchanged the characteristics acquired in its’ different historical phases. Finally, there are the perfectly preserved battlements that crown the building. IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PART : BASEMENT FLOOR : three rooms next to each other with brick barrel vaults, accessed via a carriageway gate, are linked to an impressive ‘infernot’ (wine cellar) accessed by a narrow tunnel with different niches carved into the rock and, in parallel, by a "manica lunga", a long gallery dug into the rock and formed by brick arches. There are secret passages, from which we can deduce the presence of further tunnels below, probably ancient escape routes, now walled up. GROUND FLOOR : The ground floor has been designed as a living area, comprising: large entrance hall and dining room with frescoed ceilings, kitchen with brick fireplace, large living room with frescoed ceiling, bright veranda with coloured glasswork, a wide corridor that is home to the stone staircase that is the entrance to the upstairs areas (the stairwell is closed for access to the basement). This level is completed by the roof garden overlooking the hills. The flooring to the ground floor level is terracotta tiling. FIRST FLOOR : The first floor is divided into a Guest Area and a Sleeping Area. The Guest Area is composed of two rooms with terracotta floors and vaulted and coffered ceilings, today used as a living room and a bed-
room, a small services room and a large panoramic terrace overlooking the veranda, the roof garden and the hills. The Sleeping Area is composed of a large bedroom with frescoed ceiling and terracotta floors, a spacious bathroom where old and new blend elegantly: the frescoed ceiling frames a Jacuzzi; a master bedroom with vaulted ceiling with frescoes and original parquet floor, large bathroom with hydromassage shower and laundry area, also with frescoed ceiling. IN THE NEO-GOTHIC PART : GROUND FLOOR: Entrance to a living room totally clad in wood-panelling, with scenic staircase hall in brick and terracotta (a very well-preserved original), large kitchen with vaulted ceiling and supporting arches in brick, bathroom, large open-plan room with cast-iron staircase to access the Tower (still in original condition). FIRST FLOOR: a bedroom, with leaded glass windows, a large room with ceiling and walls entirely painted and embellished with a monumental fireplaceand frescoed ceiling too, now used as a study to which is connected another large room with exposed roof timbers, reinforced in its’ structure to house the library. SECOND FLOOR: one bedroom currently used as a local store and a large storage room attic space. FURTHER INFORMATION: The external window frames have almost all been replaced or restored and all equipped with double glazing. The wooden interior doors are original and have an old-fashioned dignity; the property has "Zonal" heating with three independent gas-fired boilers and a wood-fired boiler.
An ancient sport of Montferrat: Tamburello Unknown to many but practiced by so many young people is the game Tamburello, known as "Tambass" in the local dialect. The game resembles a kind of tennis in which two teams of 5 players each hit a small leather ball from one side of the court to the other across a net using a raquet that looks like a tambourine without the bells! It is a traditional sport of the Monferrato hills, whose local teams often win national tournaments. It is practiced in various parts of Northern Italy. Gabiano, between male, female and youth level, has 5 teams. Every Sunday from March to September the teams of several municipalities compete in a tournament.
Gabiano Women's Tamburello team
The various senior and junior Tamburello teams of Gabiano
Ex Canonica 110,000 â‚Ź - m2 600
The environment still bears all the hallmarks of a period in time: for the most part represented in what is overhead supporting arches with wooden beams, a hall with coffered ceiling, refined decoration with abstract designs, rustic and bucolic scenes, Venetian-style floors, original doors, store room, the Curateâ€™s room, the Bishop's room and so on ... The property is arranged on two floors plus a basement, with porticos, and has a wide inner court on two levels. It requires major renovation.
The former Convent “Tenuta Bucolica” € 648,000 - about 1,000 m2
Ancient and imposing ... the property is completely surrounded by nature and by its’ dominant position. Thanks to a number of factors, the estate has always been, and remains, in an ascetic timewarp ... a spiritual place, so much so that for years now it has been used just for this purpose (meditation, Reiki, Holistic healing, etc) as well as recreational activities and rural tourism. The estate is to be sold privately, but there is nothing to prevent it being assigned to a different use. Currently the estate is broken down as follows: -Guest/Agritourist Accommodation : fitted kitchen, 3 reception rooms, 5 bedrooms all with ensuite bathroom, pantry, basement, bathrooms, food processing laboratory and 3 storerooms.
- Private Residential Accommodation : (separate entrance) diningkitchen, 3 bedrooms and 2 bath-
rooms. -Residential Relaxation Centre : (separate entrance) 2 rooms total-
ling about 70m2 with services, currently used as meditation halls and for holding relevant courses. This area contains a further kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and cellar. -Porticos, terraces, storehouses and central heating plant complete the property. -A good 15 hectares of land complete the whole estate.
Cascinale a corte chiusa 290,000 â‚Ź - 800 m2
The greater partion of an imposing farmhouse of the 19th century enclosed courtyard system with adjacent stabling and porticos. The complex consists of two residential units with adjoining and behind farm buildings. The main wing is built on 2 levels and comprises: a large basement cellar divided into 3 rooms; a well for supply of spring water.; Ground floor: entrance, staircase to upstairs, 2 bedrooms, living room with frescoed Hall; First floor: 4 bedrooms
paved in terracotta tiles and balconies. The adjoining rural wing is also arranged on 2 floors and comprises : Ground floor: kitchen with fireplace, living room and 4 storage rooms; First floor: 2 bedrooms, bathroom, 2 open-plan spaces. The property includes 1 hectare of attached land currently planted with forage crops. Please note that the property for sale excludes part of the building.
Pictures of the farmhouse and the surrounding area in winter
Casale Valmauro 320,000 â‚Ź - about 350 m2
Immersed in the quiet of nature and surrounded by one of the few unspoilt environments now remaining, this detached and secluded country residence enjoys 12000 square meters of land given over to pine-woods, lawns and a garden planted with ornamental trees and hedges etc. The House is on two floors currently divided into two residential units with separate entrances: Main unit: Ground Floor : kitchen, living room, dining room, basement, central heating boiler and a portico; Firsty Floor : four bedrooms, bathroom and closet; Second Unit: the ground floor has a living-room/kitchen, with a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor.
Residences Monferrato Apartments from 69,950 € to 199,950 €
In the main square (“Piazza Europa”) of the hill-top village of Gabiano, a property originally built in the early 1960s has been brought back to life by local developers Immobiliare Felice. Using the skill and experience of local consultants and builders, the company have completely refurbished the building, combining the best of both traditional and modern materials, to create a mixed-use development consisting of two spacious and airy apartments, three studio apartments, topped by a stylish modern café-bar (the Caffe Belvedere, pictured below, now open for business), perfect for a light lunch or evening ‘aperitivo’. From the Bar terrace, there are stunning views of the Monferrato hills, the Po Valley and on fine days (of which there are many!) Monte Rosa and the Alps, which are less than 2 hours away by car. The development also includes a small commercial unit, suitable for office or retail use, which is available for purchase or rent for fitting out by the Purchaser or Tenant. The individual residential units, facing either south or west depending on their situation,
have an ambience entirely in keeping with their idyllic location and each boasts impressive views of the surrounding countryside. The refurbished property has achieved a “Category A+” energy rating as certified by Regione Piemonte (the regional authority), meaning that in summer the interiors are naturally cool whilst in winter the heating bills are minimised. The property also benefits from a roof-top solar panel installation which contributes to the hot water supplies of all units, further minimising energy useage. Each residential unit in turn comprises : Unit A1: Studio Apartment with views to the south and west, consisting of entrance hall, shower/WC room and combined living room/bedroom with ‘monobloc’ kitchen installation. Sale price €79,950 Unit A2: Studio Apartment with view to the south, consisting of entrance hall, shower/WC room and combined living room/bedroom with ‘monobloc’ kitchen installation. Sale price €69,950 Unit A3: Studio Apartment with view to the south, consisting of entrance hall, shower/WC room, combined living room/bedroom with ‘monobloc’ kitchen installation and a large outside balcony. Sale price €84,950 The properties are accessed from Via Marconi which adjoins Piazza Europa on the north side. Unit A4 : Apartment with views to the south and west with outside
patio and garden area; internal accommodation comprises a combined living room and kitchen/diner, large double bedroom, shower room/WC and utility room. The property is accessed from Via Marconi. Sale price €139,950 Unit A5: A two-bedroom duplex apartment with its own external access directly from Via del Mercato which adjoins Piazza Europa. The internal accommodation comprises a large double bedroom at ground level (which could be used as a further reception room if preferred) with a shower room/WC adjacent, a large hallway at mezzanine level (which could also be used for storage units) leading to the stairs up to the main accommodation level combined living room and kitchen/diner, large double bedroom, shower room/WC and utility room. The property is accessed from Via Marconi. Sale price €199,950. This development provides overseas investors an ideal opportunity to own a low-maintenance weekend retreat or holiday-rental property at an economic entry-level, giving a base for exploration of the rich gastronomic culture of the Monferrato region and to enjoy the diverse attractions of the area which exist through the various seasons of the year. All enquiries in relation to Residences Monferrato should be directed to Immobiliare Felice using the following contact details: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctuary Crea (Unesco heritage) Within Monferrato lies the nature park of Sacro Monte di Crea which is recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage site. Among the interesting and important structures of the Park that was established 90 years ago is the documentation centre for the ‘Sacri Monti’ that collects data and documentation relating to over 1600 sacred mountains and sacred sites across Europe. It is the only one of its kind. The story of the Sacro Monte di Crea begins with that of the convent and Church of Santa Maria, which has been the subject of devotional pilgrimages since the middle ages. The tradition, perhaps not without historical foundation, says that it was St. Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, that climbed the hill around the year 350 A.D. There, it is said, he brought a wooden statue of the Madonna and child, still revered, and there he built an oratory. In fact the statue of the Madonna is from the 13th century and little is known about its’ origin. It is known that around the year 1000 A.D. there already existed a convent that established the regular canons of Vezzolano. The early history of the origins of the Santuario includes the elderly King Arduino of Ivrea, who had retired to the Abbey of Fruttuaria, was visited in a dream by the Madonna, to-
gether with St. Benedict and St. Mary Magdalene, and subsequently built three churches dedicated to her: the Consolata, Belmonte in Canavese and Crea in Monferrato. The Santuario di Crea was already an important place of worship when in 1156, the Marquises of Monferrato gifted to him a relic of the Holy Cross. In the early 14th century, after the Aleramici dynasty ended, the Paleologi became the new Marquises of Montferrato, and they took Crea under their protection. Between 1372 and 1418 they constructed, inside the Church, the chapel of St. Margaret of Antioch, where there was kept a relic of the Saint (now kept in the Cathedral of Casale Monferrato). Between 1474 and 1479, Guglielmo VIII Paleologo
commissioned important frescoes in the Cappella di Santa Margherita: on the back wall, on either side of the Madonna in Trono, appear his portrait and that of his wife Bernarda de Brosse, along with their daughters. At the end of Paleologi dynasty in 1536, rule over Montferrato passed to the Gonzaga family. It was under Vincenzo I Gonzaga, in 1589 that an expansion of the Church was conceived and implemented, the first construction project being that of the chapels of the Sacro Monte. This was the model of the Sacro Monte di Varallo, now in advanced stages of construction, with its beautiful chapels filled with painted statues and frescoed walls, inspired by Father Constantino Massino, the Prior of Crea, designed as a devotional path of 18 stations dedicated to the life of the Virgin called, more properly, to the ‘mysteries of the Rosary’. The Nature Park The regional law of 1980 established the "Parco Naturale e area attrezzata del Sacro Monte di Crea”", which includes all of the Sacri Monti of Piedmont. The Park of the Sacre Monte di Crea, with its 34 acres of land, is managed by a Board of directors who assume responsibility for the activities for the conservation and promotion of artistic and environmental heritage, relying on resources entrusted to it by the Piedmont regional authorities. Details from the sculptures in the Cappella del Paradiso
“…and finally, yet more fabulous properties to tempt you…” Cod. 602 - Villa Cagnolo - Asti € 2,950,000.00
Cod. 280 - Monferrato Real Estate Monferrato near Asti Cod. 1134 - Residenza di caccia dei Conti Serra
Cod. 1160 - Villa Agostino Monferrato (near Moncalvo)
Cod. 1146 - Palazzo Conti Balbo Monferrato surrounding Asti
Cod. 188 - Convento dei Serviti Monferrato - € 800,000.00
Cod. 330 - Palazzo Belvedere Magrelli Monferrato near Casale € 750,000.00 33
Cod. 1184 - Residenza Casagrandi Alfiano Natta - € 700,000.00
Cod. 1245 - Convento di San Bernardino Moncalvo Monferrato - € 650,000.00
Cod. 1145 - Antica dimora gentilizia Montemagno - € 550,000.00
Cod. 1013 - Palazzo Minoglio Surrounging Moncalvo
Cod. 1202 - Residenza Celata Monferrato near Casale - € 450,000.00
Cod. 1168 - Villa Rosazza Monferrato surrounding Casale € 450,000.00
Cod. 1201 - Dimora Belloni Altavilla Monferrato - € 390,000.00 34
Cod. 601 - Ex Convento Benedettino Podere Masseria - € 350,000.00
Cod. 1243 - Antica Dimora Medioevale Monferrato surrounding Asti € 290,000.00
Cod. 1125 - Villa Prina Monferrato Casalese - € 280,000.00
Cod. 604 - Dimora della Torre Ottiglio - € 280,000.00
Cod. 1209 - Casale Lau Near Moncalvo
Cod. 420 - Antico Casale Nobiliare Asti - € 1,280,000.00
Cod. 1204 - Tenuta Equestre Pianoro Monferrato surrounding Casale € 970.000,00
Cod. 1153 - Nobile Casale € 970,000.00
1236 - Casale Inge - near Moncalvo € 950,000.00
Cod. 414 - Casale Le Rubinie Surrounding Casale € 850,000.00 Cod. 1138 - Borgo Anselmi Monferrato near Moncalvo Price: € 845,000.00 Cod. 1450 - Casale del Frate (Friar farmhouse) Surrounding Moncalvo
Cod. 1179 - Cascina Calandra Monferrato surrounding Casale Price: € 650,000.00 36
A special issue of G&d to promote the built heritage of our Monferrato abroad.