Family Outings - The historical buildings and magic of Cherasco
An easy walk around town, featuring historical landmarks, playgrounds, a one-of-a-kind museum, and other curiosities. Get ready to meet an actual wizard!
You will find numerous parking areas in the southern part of the centre of town, near Piazza degli Alpini (playground and fountain). From here, you will already be able to see the start of the tour at the impressive 19th century archway of Porta Narzole (which was never completed). Go past the archway along Via Vittorio Emanuele II, which is dotted with shops, cafés and restaurants, and continue on past Palazzo Salmatoris, which often hosts exhibits and conferences, then pass the civic tower (torre civica), featuring both a clock and a moondial, to reach the lovely Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale), which is clearly of 15th century origin with its Gothic arches. The Tourist Office is also located in the Town Hall, should you like to request more information.
Continue along this road until you reach the 17th-century Arco di Belvedere. Go through the archway, then turn left to reach the Antico Orto dei Padri Somaschi gardens just before the Santuario Madonna del Popolo. Here, you can learn about the edible flowers and ornamental plants of the past. Head back to Arco di Belvedere, then turn left and go to the site of the ancient bulwarks (fountain and restrooms). Continue on to the right and pass a religious building until you find a playground. Immediately past the playground, head to the left along a pedestrian section of road that follows the path of the ancient defensive walls and features panoramic vistas to the north in the direction of Bra (benches) and Old-World sycamores providing shade.
At the end of the pedestrian section, you will come out to the east of the centre of town. Cross the highway and take Via Cavour to the right. Along this road, you will find the thrilling Museum of Magic, one of Europe’s most important such museums, dedicated entirely to the art of magic, where you can try your hand at some real magic tricks and high-level illusions.
After a tour of the museum, head back along Via Cavour, then take Via Regina Margherita to the right (fountain), where you will find a stunning view out over the Tanaro River and the entire Langhe region. The road runs alongside the 14th century impressive Castello Visconteo (which, unfortunately, is private property and cannot be visited). Continue around the castle to admire its facade, then continue along a section of Viale dei Platani, which is lined by a remarkable series of sycamores which, according to legend, were planted by order of Napoleon after he captured the city in 1796. Once you reach the main entrance to town, take Viale Salmatori to the right to return to the starting point.
Cherasco is known as the city of snails. Here, there is the International Institute of Heliciculture, which governs the farming of snails for culinary use and more, given that snail slime has now found uses in both cosmetics and medicine.
Franco Voglino and Annalisa Porporato
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Piazza degli Alpini
Piazza degli Alpini