A day
in a castle

There is no other place like Serralunga d’Alba that can elicit a thrill of power like that which flowed through the veins of 14th- century squires. The castle, which dominates the landscape of one of the most famous villages in the Barolo hills, was built in the mid-14th century by the Falletti Marquees. They were the most powerful lords in the lower Langa. Approach its slender and majestic form with deference just as the peasants who mowed the wheat and harvested the grapes, which became the feasts of the rulers, approached their lords under the battlements.

Climb to the top of the tower for the most marvelous view of the Langhe. The Castle of Serralunga is particular as it is the only castle in all of Italy to feature a donjon alla francese, an interior tower within the walls of the castle that serves as a last defence against attackers.

Wander through the grandiloquent rooms that used to be covered in bombastic tapestries and imagine the justice, often heavy-handed and unfair, that was served. Escape into the fable of noble importance, as if you were the ruler of this land. These walls tell the stories, in frescoes by Salone dei Valvasori, of your cause, your family’s revered lineage and the powerful oaths you took to rule and serve.

After you have returned to your reality, descend onto the streets of Serralunga d’Alba, a quant village that was built under the shadow of the castle. The houses still follow the concentric design of the walls that were built to shelter against attack. The houses spring out from this ancient wall, a sign of how enclosed life once was, the necessary protection from the outside world under the auspices of one ruler.

The Falletti Marqueses

The Falletti Marqueses, the lords of Serralunga, were one of the longest-running royal dynasties in the Langhe. Probably of Provencal origin, this line of rulers were well-established bankers in Alba, their riches and influence so great that in 1250 the Municipality of Alba ceded the Castle of Barolo to their hands. After that, they quickly rose to power across the Langhe, their economic prosperity ushering them into influence so that by the 14th century they ruled over fifty fiefdoms in the region. The last descendent of the Falletti family was Juliette Colbert, the Marquis that ‘invented Barolo.’ It is thanks to her and the Count Camilo Benso of Cavour that the enologist Oudar came to the Langhe to study it and elevate its quality. Before his arrival Barolo was an unrefined, sweet and slightly fizzy wine. Starting with the exceptional cultivation of the native Nebbiolo grapes, Oudar was able to transform Barolo into the still, dry red wine that aged for a long time in wooden barrels before conquering the world.

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