try to discover it by walking along the medieval streets: enter in the Duomo, Casa Cavassa, the historic home of the notables of the Marquis and take the climb to the castle where elegant buildings overlook. Once at the top of the municipal tower, look around turning your gaze towards the plain, you will see the Alps and towards the summit of Monviso you will discover the magical atmosphere of this ancient city so dreamily so unknown.
Things to do
The construction of the cathedral of the Assunta began in 1491 on the ruins of an ancient parish church, dating back to the 11th century at the behest of the Marquis Ludovico Il and it was finished in late Gothic in 1501. The façade is divided by three portals of which the central one is decorated with gables and two terracotta sculptures. The interior shows neo-gothic decorations and baroque influences such as the high altar, dating back to the 1700s. Walking along the small naves it is possible to admire the wooden crucifix of the early 1400s, the polyptych by the master Hans Clemer (end of the 15th century), the Deposition in painted 16th century terracotta and the altar of St. Joseph, in the ambulatory, dating back to the same period.
Porta di Santa Maria
It is the gateway to the old city. It was erected in 1379 due to a new expansion of the centre, which was followed by the construction of a new city wall. It was heavily modified during the early 1800s. Crossing the door you enter Via Volta, called the “Portici Scuri”, dating back to the 14th century.
Piazzetta dei Mondagli
Coming from Via Volta you reach a small square: on the right there is the birthplace of the writer Silvio Pellico. This place is one of the many suggestive spots of “Saluzzo Vecchia”: narrow alleyways and cobbled stairways, including Via Muletti and Via Valoria, which lead to the beautiful Ascent to the Castle and that converge on its terraced form.
Ascent to the Castle
It is a splendid street overlooked by the noble houses and the most important buildings of the city, such as, for example, the Mint of the Marquisate (XV century), or the building of the Ancient City Hall, which was built in 1462 and enriched by the suggestive Tower Civic, symbol of the city, since 1464. At the corner of Piazza Castello we find the Lower House of the Marquises, dating back to 1200. The view of the street is interrupted by the great corner tower of the fifteenth century of Castile: it is all what remains of authentic of the Castle of the Marquis who stood on the hill in1280, later it was transformed into a prison, and it is now abandoned.
Its construction dates back to 1462, at the time of the marquisate of Ludovico I. It soon became the emblem of independence from the marquis power. It is 48 meters high and it reigns over Saluzzo. The external plant is square, while internally it becomes octagonal through the spandrels. In the mid-1500s it was raised to make room for the bell. It was restored in 1993 and opened to the public who can enjoy an exceptional vantage point: on a sunny day you can see the Alpine arch from Monte Rosa to the Langhe.
Church of San Bernardino
Its construction, at the behest of Ludovico I, is the result of the work of Pietro Costanzia from. The original building was destroyed in 1528 during an invasion and later it was rebuilt by Margherita di Foix. It underwent new expansion and renovation work in the second half of the ‘700 thanks to the will of Don Benedetto Saluzzo, count of Manta and governor of Saluzzo. Inside, you can admire the choir, which preserves the original structure, and the high altar that “houses” a beautiful statue of the dead Christ, moreover also the valuable frescoes and the characteristic chapels that occupy the two side aisles are worthy of note.
Church of San Giovanni
It was built in 1230 it was entrusted to the loving care of the Staffarda monks. In the following centuries it was under the lead of the Dominicans. The very simple facade of the 13th century building is flanked by the mighty bell tower, in Gothic style, with a rectangular plan dating back to 1376. Inside, accessed through a splendid staircase, a beautiful cycle of fifteenth-century frescoes is preserved the Chapel of San Crispino and San Crispiniano. Noteworthy is the funeral chapel of the Marquises in Gothic style, the 1460 cloister and the chapter house with the large 16th century fresco in the refectory.
Casa Cavassa Civic Museum
The name of this elegant stately home, which was built at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, bears the name of the owners, the Cavassa, a noble family from Carmagnola who received it as a gift from the marquises. Galeazzo Cavassa of vicar general of the marquisate. The heraldic symbol chosen by the family was closely related to the name and was a silver fish, in a symbolic position that represents the act of going upstream. It is portrayed in many works inside the house and at the entrance of the house. The portal is a source of pride because it has fine decorations in carved wood. It was purchased by the antiquarian Lanetti and restructured in 1989 under the control of the Superintendence for the Artistic and Historical Heritage. It consists of 36 walnut panels and has two doors in the middle of which there is a pretty entrance door. Once past the very beautiful entrance, the entrance hall of the house has, particularly evident, six pillars entirely carved and preserved intact. Among the splendid rooms that can be visited, do not miss on the ground floor the altarpiece of the Madonna della Misercordia (1499), realised by Hans Clemer, and the wooden choir of the fifteenth century coming from the marquisate chapel of Revello.
Church of San Bernardo
It was built during the 1400s and 1500s, today it is closed. The façade, in exposed brick, is Baroque and inside there are valuable stuccos of the ‘500 and of the’ 700.
Confraternity of Misericordia or Crociata Nera
This church was built in 1761-62 by the architect Quarini and it has a splendid curved baroque façade. Inside, the modest dimensions are offset by the trompe d’oeuil frescoed vault by Gian Domenico Rossi in the mid-1700s.
It is one of the six doors of the fourteenth century walls that were demolished in the 1600s to make way for the new buildings with porticos of Corso Italia.
Piazza Liderico Vineis
It is located in the current city centre where, in the middle of a garden stands the monument to Silvio Pellico, a 1863 work by the sculptor Simonetta.
It has always been known as “Watchtower” , it was later transformed into a hunting lodge for the Marquises. In 1572 Count Carlo Birago brought it and transformed it into a residential building. Inside there is a wonderful fireplace and a room with an umbrella vault.
Saluzzo have always been rich in countryside and craftsmanship.
Agriculture (especially the cultivation of fruit) has been joined by a strong industrial reality, coupled with wood and iron craftsmanship, is famous also abroad thanks to the National Antiques Fair, and the National Exhibition of Handicraft and Antiques. The birthplace of Silvio Pellico it is not only known for the exhibitions and for the craft of furniture, but also for music: in fact it is the seat of the school of high musical perfection, attended by young people coming from all over Europe and by the choir of the Polifonici of Saluzzo, which holds concerts throughout Italy.
If you are in the ancient capital of the marquisate, do not miss the opportunity to taste typical dishes, including the mixed fry, and sip a glass of the Pelaverga, the wine AOC, produced on the Saluzzo hills.
Saluzzo is also a very lively city: in fact it offers a calendar full of events related to culture, art and traditions.