THE LOCATIONS

Grinzane Cavour

In the early 1900s, the little village of Grinzane was renamed Grinzane Cavour in honour of the local man who went on to become the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy. As a young man, Count Benso di Cavour had been mayor here for almost twenty years. The village is dominated by a medieval castle which belonged to the Benso di Cavour Counts, and which looks out over the region’s rolling hills and lush wine trails.

Piea

There is a small village in the Asti area which is home to the most wonderful hidden corners: Piea, where fewer than six hundred people live. And yet it boasts at least five prestigious churches and a castle with stately rooms, a sumptuous ballroom, and a staircase which was designed by none other than Filippo Juvarra, the Sicilian architect who epitomized the Baroque style in Piedmont at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Cocconato d’Asti

Set right at the heart of the region, Cocconato is now included in the official list of “Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages”. It offers visitors a high-profile experience: from the late-Gothic Town Hall (it is rare to find a civic building in this style in Piedmont), to the seventeenth-century Church of the Consolation with its beautiful altarpieces. As you explore, maybe you could stop off for a Robiola and a glass of local wine.

Asti – Church of San Rocco

Within the ancient, prosperous Piedmont city of Asti you will find the hamlet of San Rocco, which lends its name to the Church of San Rocco. It is in the Baroque style where you can still see the influence of Guarini, but it also has the newer, softer lines of the Neoclassical period (it was completed in 1720). The church was designed by Carlo Giulio Quadri after the village decided to dedicate a place of worship to Saint Rocco of Montpellier, invoking him to free them from the Black Death which had also plagued Asti during the seventeenth century.

Vezzolano Abbey

The public who come to our festival will have the opportunity to listen to a Baroque music concert in the Romanesque-Gothic complex of the Abbey of Vezzolano at Albugnano: this setting is one of the most precious testimonies to Piedmont’s medieval past. The origins of the abbey are the subject of debate: we know that the structures we can see today date back to the Mid-Medioeval centuries, but they were probably built over much older constructions which may well go back as far as the Carolingian or even Lombard periods.

Piobesi d’Alba

Ever since the Middle Ages the town of Piobesi, which is situated a few kilometres from Alba, found itself under various domains because it was the scene of a series of intricate affairs. However, the most valuable attraction that we have today dates from a later period: although the history of the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli dates back to the tenth century, nowadays people appreciate its Neoclassical façade even more, as it blends so wonderfully into the lush landscape surrounding it.

Neviglie

This small yet proud community has ancient origins: in fact, its name first appeared in written records as early as the tenth century. Set in an area that produces excellent Moscato, Dolcetto and Barbera wines, this town also offers artistic treasures that blend in beautifully with the landscape: from fragrant lanes to the ancient Church of San Giorgio which houses a precious panel by Macrino d’Alba, one of the leading artists of the Piedmont Renaissance.

Cortemilia – Convent of San Francesco

Cortemilia is certainly well worth a visit for its porticos and the air of a bygone era, but also its hazelnuts and more generally the wonderful landscape surrounding it. And let’s not forget a particularly important building: the 13th century former Franciscan convent which is adorned, among other things, with a precious canvas depicting the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus and various saints.

Castello di Guarene

Guarene Castle was built on the site where an earlier fortress had dominated the green hills of the Roero region since the Middle Ages. The Roero family from Guarene lived in the castle, as did other families in the area. To the West, the building has views across to the Alps, and it gazes on them with the pride of someone who is well aware of their long history.

Guarene – Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation

The Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation has been actively involved in promoting contemporary art for twenty-seven years. Its headquarters in Guarene are located inside a prestigious eighteenth-century building which is protected by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. It was restored sympathetically for its new use, with full respect for the original spaces. Not only are contemporary art exhibitions now held here, but also conferences, educational workshops and film screenings.

Alba

The capital of the Langhe, and the most important centre of the entire Langhe-Roero landscape, is the ancient city of Alba which dates back to the pre-Roman era and has flourished economically and culturally for centuries. Alba deserves a detailed visit not only for the quality of its wines, meats and truffles (as well as Nutella, of course) but also for the variety of architectural styles which include Roman ruins and Gothic churches, medieval defensive towers and charming porticos.

Canale – Church of San Giovanni

Canale is a small medieval town where you can find the eighteenth-century Church of San Giovanni Decollato, with its Neoclassical façade and spacious interiors. The building is no longer a place of worship and is now used as a wonderful space for cultural and recreational events.

Castagnito

The small town of Castagnito d’Alba has barely two thousand inhabitants, yet it is one of the most determined communities in the entire territory when it comes to environmentalism and good living. The facade of the Town Hall in Piazza Garibaldi is worth seeing, and on 15 June our Festival will be holding a concert in the recently renovated Community Theatre nearby.

Bra – Church of the SS Trinità

As well as being celebrated for its food and wine, the city of Bra is full of history, including of course the hamlet of Pollenzo, the ancient Roman Pollentia. The Confraternity of the SS Trinità also has very ancient origins (13th century), while the current building bearing the same name dates back to the 17th century and stands on the site of a previous 14th century church.

Coazzolo Castle

Coazzolo Castle is another of the many elegant buildings dotted around the Piedmont hills. Built in the Middle Ages, it was extensively renovated in the Baroque period. Its beautiful setting among the region’s green hills, along with the atmosphere steeped in history, make it a profoundly inspiring place, perfect for a enjoying food and wine in the company of good music.

Santo Stefano Roero – Church of Santa Maria del Podio

Another delightful Roero village is Santo Stefano, which straddles the border with the province of Asti and has a population of around 1,300. On 21 June, the Colline in Musiche Festival will hold a concert by the Claude Duet in the local parish church. This building dates back to the 14th century, but you can see the results of the 18th century reconstruction, as well as renovations done after an earthquake struck the church towards the end of the 19th century.

Turin – Villa della Regina

The Villa della Regina was built between 1615 and 1619 initially by Ascanio Vittozzi and then by the Castellamonte family. It was commissioned by Maurizio of Savoy, who chose it as the residence of his very young wife Ludovica (once he had resigned as Cardinal): in fact, it was originally called “Villa Ludovica”. Set on Turin’s hill, the building is located right where a vineyard once stood, emphasizing the connection between architecture, gardens, woods and farmland.