During your vacation, you will stay at the historic Castello di Montalero, in the heart of the Monferrato region of Piemonte. Castello di Montalero is a beautiful building with much history going back to the 11th century, although the present building was constructed on the old castle foundations around 1720.
The castello was originally built for the Marquis di Casale, Teodore II Paleologo in 1188 whose family, until 1634, ruled the fiefdom of what was then Mons Laurus, later becoming Montalerius until being given its current name of Montalero. Through marriage, the castello and its estate passed through the Mazzetti family who, in 1656, successfully defended the castello from an attack by French-backed troops of the Duke of Modena during one of the many regional feuds and minor wars of that period. The Mazzetti family remained feudal lords until 1795 when the last remaining female heir, Gaetana Rosalia Mazzetti married into the Calcamuggi family who retained ownership until the estate was sold to the Marquis Ricci di Cereseto in 1902.
Today, Castello di Montalero is privately owned and, during 2021, will begin to host a small number of exclusive Italian cookery courses each year aimed at those visitors to Italy who wish to experience the unique culinary and gastronomic pleasures that the Monferrato has to offer.
The Castello is currently undergoing an extensive restoration programme, under the supervision of the Italian Ministry of Culture. This work is not carried out during our cookery vacations season, only when the Castello is closed for winter. The major part of the works were completed in 2021. The remaining works include the re-building of an important group of medieval ruins attached to the Castello, which will be used for additional accommodation and activity amenities, once completed. Much attention has been paid to maintaining the original architectural integrity and atmosphere of the Castello, resulting in a unique experience for guests to enjoy during their stay with us.
The gardens and park, still under progressing restoration, will eventually extend to around 2 hectares (5 acres). The beautiful south facing, salt water pool refurbishment and terraces will be completed by summer 2021.
The Castello sits on a hill top of the Cerrina valley in the centre of a small agricultural hamlet (population 35), including a beautiful 16th century church, six other houses and a couple of small farms. The nearest small town of Cerrina (population 350) is about 3km away. The Cerrina valley is one of the most unspoilt and original parts of Monferrato, extending from the historic Roman town of Casale Monferrato in the east to the busy agricultural town of Murisengo to the west. To the north lies the river Po and the rice fields of Vercelli, famous worldwide for its excellent and numerous varieties of rice used in making risotto. To the south one can discover the most beautiful and original hill towns in Northern Italy, from the truffle town of Moncalvo to the wine producing villages and towns of Casorzo, Grazzano and Vignale, all within half an hour or so from the castello.
Castello di Montalero is conveniently situated between the three main cities of Turin, Milan and Genoa. The main airport recommended for arrivals is Malpensa International Airport near Milan. By road, the Castello can be reached in 1 hour 45 minutes from Milan centre, 1 hour from Turin centre and 1 hour 45 minutes from Genoa centre.