Cravanzana stands on a small fortress, lying on the right bank of the Belbo at 555 meters above sea level. It is one of the most important centres in the production of hazelnuts.
The upper part of Cravanzana houses the historic centre which is grouped around the parish church of Santi Pietro e Vitale and the mighty medieval castle.
Every year on the 1st of September, an important trade fair is held in Cravanzana, known and frequented in ancient times.
The name of the village, between legend and history, has very ancient times.
Popular tradition says that a single goat remained after a pestilence that had eradicated the flocks (“crava sana” = healthy goat).
History tells that the Calventius aristocratic family gave the town its name, hence Villa Calventiana.
Today, the mighty bulk of the castle, which dominates the town and the valley below, has remained to testify to the town’s past.
The profile of the historic centre of Cravanzana is characterized by the size of the castle, which still seems to subjugate the houses of the village.
Founded by the Del Carretto family, it dominated the territory between the Belbo and Bormida valleys, lands of passage between the ports of Liguria and the plain of Piedmont; it thrived on the proceeds of the communication routes that ran through these hills and on the businesses that used them.
Documented from at least 1190 it was rebuilt and enlarged on numerous occasions.
Works are witnessed in 1630 and 1731, by the marquis Gian Giacomo Fontana, minister of Carlo Emanuele III, who gave it its current appearance.
The building, the current remake of older structures probably with more pronounced defensive characteristics, has the characteristics of a residential building, with the presence also of a garden and a harvested park.
The construction, based on the date engraved on the entrance portal, was completed in 1635.
Passed to the Savoy in 1726, further works were carried out when, in 1731, the marquis Gian Giacomo Fontana became the owner.
In the post-war period it was used as the headquarters of the Professional Institute for Agriculture of Cuneo, which held specialization courses on hazelnut cultivation, and was used as a summer colony.
In recent years, returned to private ownership, it has undergone significant restoration works that have brought it back to its former glory.