Beyond The IndustryCastle of Montecastello
To those arriving in Montecastello, the ancient Ponziano, from Alessandria or from Bassignana, from the east or from midday, the superb vision of a magnificent castle with a high tower, property M.D.M of the Ghidini family of Palazzolo sull'Oglio opens up.
Located at the top of a hill overlooking the wide plain bathed by the river Tanaro, just where the hills of Monferrato come to wedge their last offshoots between the Tanaro and the Po, a dozen kilometers away from Alessandria.
This ancient castle, which still inspires respect and moves admiration, saw the passage of knights, princes and queens; over the centuries it hosted families such as the Visconti, the Sforza and the Savoia families. It was also home to nobles belonging to the Bellingeri family of Pavia, and from 1455 to 1860 to the Milan Press and then to Garrone Arnaboldi, also from Milan, to whom we owe the last restoration and the call to true splendor.
The 50m high central tower of the eleventh century belongs to the most ancient nucleus to which, in the following centuries, was added a strong enclosure protected by four towers at the four corners.
In memory of the Stampa family remains in the north wall of the tower, their coat of arms and the epigraph "MAXIMILIANUS STAMPA BARO MONTISCASTRI"; the motto of Cristiano Stampa-Leyva "SOLA VINCAM CLEMENTIA" can be read on the vault of the salon. On the south side of the Bertesca tower there is the coat of arms of Charles V, emperor of Spain of 1536.
In the eighteenth century the Castle assumes, while maintaining the original scheme, a new guise: enlargements and extraordinary developments with a central three-storey body, terraces, balustrade and marble stairs, elegant wrought iron railings, a magnificent ring nut worthy of a abbey.
The chapel was erected in 1739. The altar, dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, has the seventeenth-eighteenth-century altarpiece in Baroque marble frame, representing the Saint.
The glimpse on which this ancient building stands, surrounded by a well-kept garden and an entrance courtyard, characterized by the spectacular nature of the whole, by the imposing and refinement of the decorations leads to admire the beauty of the past and the hope for the future.