Mondovì: the city of hot air balloons

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Mondovì: a name, a sound, a memory visible through its tower. It is an ancient village nestled on the hill and it is very beautiful in winter with the snow-capped peaks.

Mondovì, considered the city of hot air balloons (some particular conditions, in fact, make this area one of the best in the world for flight), today it is reflected in the new funicular opened in 2006 and designed by Giugiaro. It connects the Piazza district, the original nucleus of the city, a suggestive balcony over the Langhe and on the plain to the Breo district, a natural and administrative commercial centre that also houses important art treasures.

Things to do

Piazza Maggiore

It is of medieval origin, in Gothic style, surrounded by arcades since the 13th century. Its importance increased over time and it has become the natural home of public and private buildings. The latter rest on the pointed arches, but have facades of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Palazzo dei Bressani

It was probably built in the XIII century, it is made of terracotta with ogival and embattled windows. It belonged to the powerful Bressani family  from Vico.

Church of San Pietro e Paolo

The church dates back to the XV century, and it was realised by Francesco Gallo (who built the side chapels too) and Bernardo Vittone (author of the dome). The Sacristy preserves the “Slaughter of the Innocents” by Moncalvo. The façade houses the Moor who beats the hours since 1798.

Cathedral of San Donato

Its construction began in 1744, it was built on the ruins of the previous Romanesque church of San Francesco, this is the last work of the architect Francesco Gallo. The church was finished thanks to the intervention of Benedetto Alfieri and Nicolis di Robilant. The interior, with three naves, was frescoed between 1850 and 1860 by artists like Morgari and Gonin.

Church of San Francesco Saverio or della Missione

The construction of the building, designed by Giovenale Boetto, started in 1655, but it was completed only in 1733. It stands on the south side of Piazza Maggiore and is a Baroque jewel among medieval buildings. The interior, with a single nave, is enriched by columns, frames and above all by the frescoes by Andrea Pozzo executed between 1775 and 1777. An incomparable sight, the vault of the church fascinates the visitor with a fusion of images, real architecture and illusory.  Pozzo realised also the rare wooden altar and the external balustrade.

Palace of the judicial offices
In ancient times it was the Jesuit college, it was built in 1713  by Father Antonio Folletti from Barolo and Francesco Gallo. The exterior is monumental, it has an important atrium and a very bright staircase.

Church of San Giuseppe dei Carmelitani or della Misericordia
It is located in Via Vico and it is the was realised by the architect Francesco Gallo. It was built in 1708, and in its interior, all is projected upwards, it holds rich altars and numerous frescoes.

Belvedere gardens

It is worth visiting the gardens that overlook Via Gallo, from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the Maritime Alps, Monviso and the Langhe. The Civic Tower of 1.100 dominates them from the top of its 29 meters.

Santa Croce
The chapel already existed in the 13th century; inside it preserves a remarkable cycle of medieval frescoes.

Vescovado
It is located on Piazza Maggiore and is the building that housed the University in 1500. Inside are kept precious Flemish tapestries woven on cartoons designed by Rubens in 1618.

Synagogue
The eighteenth-century building is located in Via Vico. Inside, you can see a splendid tabernacle and an ancient Cabinet, which kept rolls.

City Palace

The building that stands on Piazza Maggiore dates back to the 15th century. Inside you can visit the Napoleonic Halls.

Porta di Carassone
It is the only surviving door of the five that allowed the access to Piazza: it is in Gothic style.

Church of San Filippo
This sacred building was realised by Francesco Gallo. Built between 1734 and 1757, it has a façade with two brick orders and an interior one very elegant, with a single nave.

Torre di Sant’Evasio
It is located in Carassonne, it has a square plan and dates back to 1300.

Chapel of Santa Maria delle Vigne
This building also stands in Carassone; the oldest parts are from the 10th century while, inside, there are frescoes which dates back to the 15th century.

Church of San Bernulfo
The church, already existing at the beginning of the fourteenth century, stands in Borgo Ferrone where San Donato was martyred. It holds an interesting altarpiece.

Parrocchia dell’Assunta
It is located in Mondovì  Breolungi. It is the ancient parish church prior to the Mille di Santa Maria. The apse dates back to the X century, the facade is of the fifteenth century, while the interior and the portico contain frescoes from different periods.

Cittadella

It was built at the behest of Duke Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, to the detriment of several Gothic buildings and of the Cathedral of San Donato, in Renaissance style, it was finished just half a century earlier. It was, for almost a century, starting from 1875, the Alpini barracks; currently it is instead the seat of the Financiers School. Not far from here, the visitor can see the house of the Fauzone, in Gothic style, where in 1842 was born the famous statesman Giovanni Giolitti and the seat of the ceramics museum.

Piazzetta G.B. Beccaria
It is particularly suggestive thanks to the famous statue of the famous physicist; Beccaria, who studied electrical phenomena in the age of Alessandro Volta. Here you can find the classical and scientific school, as well as the Hospitality Institute.

Nearby…

Church of San Fiorenzo, Bastia
Located just ten kilometres far from the city, this church preserves a pictorial cycle in the wider Gothic style of the Monregalese.

The caves of Bossea
Located in Val Corsaglia, twenty-five kilometres from Mondovì, open since 1874, they were the first to be open to the public in Italy. The path inside them is about two kilometres long and it is very suggestive for the deep caverns and the numerous underground lakes. The skeleton of Ursus Spelaev is preserved in the ‘Great Hall of the Temple’.

Mondovì is rich in industrial and craft activities, particularly in the ceramic sector, where the city has specialised since the 1800s.

Do not miss the characteristic carnival, with the typical masks of the Moro and Bela Monregaleisa. Alongside the hand-painted ceramic plates, there are many culinary specialties to try, which in Mondovì combine Piedmontese and Ligurian traditions, sipping the Dolcetto Doc of the Langhe Monregalesi. Those with a sweet tooth will not resist to Risole, Monregalesi al Rhum and currant candies.

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Mondovì

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