Guarene is located on the top of a hill to the left of the Tanaro. Its territory then extends into the plain of the river, in that part called “Vaccheria” (the name derives from “Gualcaria”, foreign army camp).
The town of Guarene has one of the most elegant and intact historical centres in the Roero. The hilltop village extends over the natural panoramic balcony overlooking the plain of the Tanaro river. The town is dominated by the eighteenth-century Roero castle, a Baroque jewel wanted and designed by Count Carlo Giacinto Roero.
Walking in the winding streets of the centre, admiring the churches, palaces and the many valuable monuments of historical and artistic interest is an experience to do: the audio guides of the Architinera project tell the historical centre in 11 stages.
The primitive settlement of Guarene was located in the Tanaro plain, on the slopes of the hill on which the current village stands. Archaeological finds from the Roman age suggest settlements in the first centuries after Christ: vases and coins in the regions of present-day Lavaj and Piove, where the existence of a church called San Giovanni di Villa was ascertained. Guarene passed into the hands of the Roero family, wealthy bankers from Asti, in 1379. The diocese of Alba, for financial difficulties, was in fact forced to sell some owned fiefdoms, including Guarene. The Roero, vassals of the Marquisate of Monferrato, passed in loyalty to the Duke of Savoy in 1631, which they maintained until the years of the French Revolution. Given the strategic position of Guarene, the fortified wall was, for centuries, an indispensable necessity, especially at the end of the XII century, with the opening of the hostilities between the Municipalities of Alba and Asti. The Paramuro, today a romantic walk, is actually the trace of this defensive system.
WHAT TO SEE
The church of SS. Annunziata
Valuable example of sacred architecture of the Piedmontese ‘700, the building has a Greek cross plan and is in Baroque style. The interior is particularly striking for the pictorial works that completely fresco the walls, the sails and the dome of the church. As an example we can mention the fake architecture, the marbling and an altarpiece depicting the Annunciation, a youthful work by the painter GuglielmoCaccia known as Moncalvo.
Piazza Roma and Palazzo Re Rebaudengo
The town hall building, built in the 1800s, overlooks the square, on the place where a vat or vat had already found its location, a room intended for the pressing and fermentation of the must in the vats, of the Roero family and, subsequently, a theatre provided of stages and stages, testifying to the passion of the inhabitants of Guarene for theatrical works.
Another element that characterizes the square is Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, the first seat of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation. The palace is an eighteenth-century historical residence, the result of successive buildings, which have changed its internal structure over time. It is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation. Inside this museum complex there are juxtaposed noble rooms used for exhibitions and new spaces intended for art workshops for young emerging artists.
The church of San Michele
It represents the oldest religious building in the country, mentioned in documents since 1379; in this place the contract of sale of Guarene to the Roero was stipulated.
The church has always been the subject of partial renovations, additions, renovations and interventions, without ever being completely demolished and rebuilt.
It is the symbol of the village of Guarene: this imposing building, built between 1726 and 1775 to replace the old fort, allows you to recognize Guarene from many points of the surrounding area, for its position on the top of the hill, well protected by a high embankment. To date, after a skilful restoration, the castle has become a luxury accommodation facility, but the main floor with the period bedrooms, the hall of honor and the Italian garden are open on Saturdays and Sundays for guided tours by reservation.
The service buildings of the Castle
Along the road that runs alongside the Castle, it is possible to see the entrance arch to a courtyard, surmounted by the Roero coat of arms. It was the entrance to the Counts’ riding stable, also used for visits by noblemen and high-ranking personalities.
Still along the same road, it is possible to see the ancient spinning of the Roero, or the building intended for the breeding and processing of silkworms.
It is the panoramic point par excellence of Guarene because from this place it is possible to obtain an excellent view both on a portion of Guarene and on the surrounding territory of the Langhe. It can be reached by walking the paramuro walk, the ancient system of defensive walls under the castle.