Roero land: Baldissero d’Alba

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Baldisserod’Alba is 60 km from Cuneo, 16 from Alba and 50 from Turin.

The name of Baldissero derives from the widespread presence of woods (the western area of ​​the territory was included in the ancient “silvapopularis”), from “vauda” or “bauda”, vulgarization of the Germanic “wald”: wood.

Baldissero is one of the settlements formed near the path that crosses the “Rocche”, particularly spectacular behind the Baldissero castle and towards Montaldo, which constitute an environmental peculiarity from a geological, morphological, floristic, faunal and landscape point of view.

Most of the soil, sandy of marine origin, rich in fossils, almost devoid of limestone and tending to arid, is particularly suitable for the production of Roero Arneis DOCG.

Included after the year 1000 in the fief of SommarivaPerno, Baldissero is sold half by the Lords of Sommariva to the marquis Federico II of Saluzzo at the beginning of the ‘200. The total detachment occurs around 1268: two years after William, who had obtained Baldissero in the division between the “domains of Summaripa”, is already called “de Baudesseto”. In 1487, during the war for the Marquisate of Saluzzo, Baldissero was conquered by Charles I of Savoy, later returned to the Colonna family (surname that the local lords had given themselves – mid ‘400 – boasting false origins from the Roman Columns).

The Marquisate passed to France in 1548. In 1588 Giovanni Alberto Colonna adhered to the reformed religion and Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy conquered the Saluzzo marquisate. The share of Giovanni Alberto Colonna’s fiefdom was given (1593) to Don Gonzalo Salinas y Hermosa, field master general of the duke. Then in 1618 to the ducal president Ludovico Zoello, in 1619 to Conreno Roero, in 1629 to Don Felice di Savoia and in 1644 to the Carron of St-Thomas. The Colonna family died out in 1846; the properties are inherited from the counts Moffa di Lisio and Icheri di Malabaila.


Colonna Castle

Already existing in 1268, it endured Savoy sieges in 1389 and 1487 and was the subject of various modifications between 1585 and 1617. Mainly owned by the Colonna family, it passed to their extinction to GuglielmoMoffa di Lisio, patriot and braidese politician who, around 1870, he rebuilt it almost entirely in neo-Gothic forms. It retains parts of the walls with tower and turret of the previous seventeenth-century construction and inside the remains of the ancient Gothic chapel with frescoed walls. The castle is private and outside is still visible a part of the city wall with the tower of the “deiColtelli”.

Church of Santa Caterina

Parish church located in the centre of the “villa”. The first mention appears in the land register of 1507 kept in the municipal archives. The current building is the result of the reconstruction, in Baroque forms, which took place between 1711 and 1712 by the Lugano masters Michele and Domenico Pianca. The bell tower was raised in 1771, while the facade was completed in 1854. The interior has a single nave. The organ, a Collino from 1854, was restored a few decades ago and returned to its former glory.

Roccolo ornithological observatory

From the hamlet of Baroli, a road branches off which leads, after about 1.5 km, to Cascina Serralunga and the Ornithological Observatory located inside, close to the borders with SommarivaPerno. It is a fixed station camouflaged in the greenery, which has the purpose of attracting sedentary and passing birds and allowing their capture and ringing for study and teaching.

This structure – active since 1977 – is located in the last large Piedmont plain forest which is what remains of the ancient silvapopularis, extended from Bra to Pralormo. In this dense vegetation special nets are placed in which the birds get caught, immediately observed and surveyed by the staff. These surveys are important for studying the migration of European birds and the extent and characteristics of the species. Il Roccolo is open by reservation for schools and groups.

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