And came the time when it was necessary to defend the area against the Saracens. They invaded the Langhe and brought destruction and poverty.
This happened in particular around the year 900, when the Saracens from North Africa, through Spain, reached Provence and from there began to plunder every village on either side of the Alps. Why are we going back in time? Simply because the Castle of Monticello, or at least the first fortification of this pretty village in the Roero, dates back to those very years. A first defensive outpost against any further incursions was built at the behest of the Bishops of Asti. Obviously this structure bore little resemblance to the present one, but Monticello was immediately given a strategic role. Destroyed in 1187, it was then rebuilt in 1348, when the feud passed into the hands of the Malabaila Family and then in 1376, until today, this castle continues to be owned by the same family, the Conti Roero di Monticello, who took up residence here.
For seven centuries it has dominated the village and today it welcomes visitors along an impressive route to be experienced with the grace of an invitation to court.
While undergoing several transformations, mainly internal, Monticello Castle is one of the most imposing and best preserved medieval buildings in Piedmont. The last works date back to 1787, the year of the wedding of Francesco Gennaro, Viceroy of Sardinia, with Paola del Carretto di Gorzegno: on that occasion the castle was transformed into the pleasant and elegant country residence that we can still appreciate today. The rooms are steeped in history and tell us all about the Roero Family: old-furnished suites, an armoury and billiard room, the private chapel, the nursery and down to the cellars, every single piece of furniture has been a testimony to the life of this noble family and the local area.
And there is no castle that does not have a park.
Monticello is a special park, an oasis of peace designed by a great architect of the House of Savoy. In 1827, the Roero Family, lovers of nature, which expresses itself best on these hills, commissioned the great architect Xavier Kurten to renovate the exterior spaces. He did not fail to meet expectations thanks to the experience gained in the royal gardens of Racconigi, Agliè and Santena and, even today, this splendid English garden, with its distinctive parallel and staggered avenues, dotted with cedars of Lebanon, hornbeams, olive trees, palms, lime trees, yews and pines, still charms its visitors.