A minimum number of 10 participants is required for this tour.
Duration: 9 hours.
Meet your guide in Saluzzo and set off on foot to begin your tour. This beautiful town, which extends on a hill overlooking the Po Valley and has Mount Monviso in the background, played an important historical and artistic role in the past. Saluzzo had in fact a glorious past, being the capital of an independent marquisate for four centuries.
Your guide will take you on a nice stroll through the town and show you the various architectural and urban features, dating back to different periods, that Saluzzo still preserves. The artistic and historical importance of this town is proved by its many works of art and
monuments, such as the imposing manor house of the Marquises of Saluzzo, the climb to the castle with the stately homes, the old town hall with the civic tower, the religious complex of San Giovanni, Casa Cavassa (Cavassa House) –now home to the civic museum-, the house of Silvio Pellico and the Duomo.
Your tour will then continue with the beautiful Manta Castle (Castello di Manta), which is located in an extremely strategic position, between the hills of Saluzzo and Cuneo. Built on the remains of fortified structures dating back to the12th century, this castle was inherited in 1416 by Valerano Saluzzo, the illegitimate son of the Marquis of Saluzzo, and soon became his favourite residence. Valerano transformed the stronghold into a magnificent manor house in late Gothic style: the cycle of frescoes in the baronial hall, which was painted at the behest of Valerano himself, is one of the most astonishing examples of late Gothic painting.
In 1984 the last descendant of this noble family donated the castle to the FAI -Fondo per l’ambiente Italiano- (Italian National Trust), which undertook significant restoration work and opened the castle to the public.
Enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants.
In the afternoon you will visit the majestic Staffarda Abbey (l’Abbazia di Staffarda): an important medieval monastic complex founded in the 12th century by the Cistercians and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whose construction continued throughout the 13th century. Today, the Abbey, which is located in the open country, is still surrounded by a small rural village with both Romanesque and Gothic buildings. The Abbey was once surrounded by a defensive wall and the entrance was protected by a tower with a cross on top. There was also a drawbridge, like in ancient castles. Your guide will show you the old entrance, which is still visible as it has been incorporated into a farmhouse.
The monastic complex was built on top of the remains of a Roman building, beneath which lies a Celtic site. The rare paintings inside the Staffarda Abbey depict templar crosses and show an insistent use of colours linked to alchemy (red and white). The orientation of the entire structure was skilfully considered during construction: the sun illuminates the altar in the morning, the bell tower at noon and the main entrance at sunset.
End of tour.
Minimum age: 8
Dress CodeAbbigliamento comodo