The landscape that frames Pocapaglia is one of the most evocative of Roero: around the town there are ravines, gullies and cliffs that form the “Rocche”, whose wild nature has favoured the spread of legends and myths.
The oldest part of Pocapaglia is completely perched on the ridges of the Rocche, and boasts some of the most spectacular views of the entire geological ridge. The famous writer Italo Calvino attributed a fairy-tale landscape to Pocapaglia: the Municipality is in fact located between hills, woods and suggestive cliffs. It is precisely here that the Fortresses offer the cues of greatest naturalistic and geological interest. Legacies of centuries past are the legends of “masche” (witches in local dialect), and the stories related to the dark and disturbing environment of the Rocche, to be explored along the thematic paths.
Its location on the edge of the Tanaro plain is at the origin of a continuity of attestations that start from prehistory and expand in Roman times due to its proximity to the city of Pollentia. In the twelfth century a new feudal class appeared, the “de Paucapalea”, while from 1304 the Falletti appeared in the feud, the family that would dominate the territories of Pocapaglia, with a changing policy that would lead them to clashes with the Marquisate of Saluzzo and alliances with the Acaia and Savoy, until 1784.
WHAT TO SEE
– THE ROCKS
In Pocapaglia the Rocche are the most typical landscape element: wild and labyrinthine, the myth has always usurped the place of science on their origin, which explains it with the fascinating episode of the “capture of the Tanaro”. A naturalistic heritage that can be discovered thanks to the Roero Path Network: ring routes that delve into the themes of local cultural identity.
– THE “ROCCHE E MASCHE” MUSEUM
Built in the historic cellars of the municipal building, it is a place of memory, where the traditions, crafts and legends of the Roero are preserved.
– THE CASTLE
The result of multiple reconstructions and additions, it is mentioned for the first time in 1197, a period in which it constitutes the fearsome stronghold of the “domains of Paucapalea”, on two sides overhanging the fortresses. The Falletti, who seized the Marquis Tommaso II of Saluzzo in 1341, rebuilt it in the middle of that century. In 1534 Giovanni Antonio Falletti transferred part of it to the Marquis of Saluzzo and these are perhaps the times when he was embellished with the magnificent external portal, formed by two full-bodied jambs of considerable artistic interest for the war-like high-reliefs, similar to those that adorn the facade of the palace Madama in Turin and which, according to tradition, should be attributed to Sansovino. At the beginning of the 17th century, the building overlooking the access was modified, which was later transformed.
– THE CHURCHES
Saints Giorgio and Donato: current parish church located at the head of the main square. It was built between 1663 and 1666 on the site of the existing church of S. Giorgio. It was restored at the beginning of the 19th century and rededicated in 1804. Inside there are valuable paintings and painted panels; the vault and sails are entirely frescoed. Remarkable is the wooden choir, finely inlaid, and the baptistery.
The church of S. Agostino, located under the castle, was built by the disciplines between 1742 and 1749, based on the initial project of Count Carlo Giacinto Roero, inspired by the lines of the Piedmontese Baroque; the interior, in the classroom, contains two large paintings depicting “The Last Supper” and the episode of “Washing of the feet”.
Behind the cemetery, in a dominant and oriented but increasingly degraded position, there is the church of S. Giusto, rebuilt from 1762 to 1769 under the direction of the master Carlo Traversa, decorated a few years later with stucco work by Barelli; the bell tower was built from 1788 to 1791. On a modest hill overlooking the Tanaro plain remains the Romanesque apse of S. Giorgio, the remains of a reconstruction of the church in the first half of the 12th century.