Municipalities of the Alta Langa: Prunetto

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Prunetto is located lower than the fortress on which the medieval town stood.

The village is perched on the ridge that separates the Uzzone torrent from the Bormida di Millesimo. The strategic position and the height offer an admirable landscape that ranges from the Ligurian Apennines to the Cottian Alps.

Prunetto is located lower than the fortress on which the medieval town stood, and the area located on the ridge that divides the Bormida valley from the Uzzone valley is home to one of the most important historical-architectural complexes in the Alta Langa.

Of the ancient historical events remains the castle of the Scarampi which with its size immediately attracts the attention of visitors and dominates the underlying houses imposingly. At its feet there is still, in excellent condition, the arched stone door that gave access to the village and which, like the adjacent house, is covered by the characteristic stone roof typical of the old buildings of the Alta Langa.

The castle, in an elevated position, dominates the whole town and develops on a trapeze-shaped structure.

Today it is entirely open to visitors.

Property of the Marquis Del Carretto in medieval times, the structure, built in the thirteenth century in local stone, has a rectangular shape, with square turrets on the sides and a circular tower. The entrances consist of two arched structures, a narrower one, for the pedestrian passage, a wider one.

In the 15th century some transformations were made to adapt it to a civilian residence. The main room of the castle is represented by a double-height hall located in the west wing, with evident nineteenth-century modifications.

Next to the castle is the sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine, an ancient parish church. Located near the castle built by the Scarampi, it was once the parish church of Prunetto with the title of S. Lorenzo.

Built in local sandstone probably in the fourteenth century, with three naves, with two powerful round columns absolutely unique, it was certainly one of the largest churches in the area. The interior was to be entirely decorated with numerous cycles of frescoes, from different eras.

Long periods of neglect and some static problems pushed the inhabitants of Prunetto in 1904 to build a new parish church (which retains the title of S. Lorenzo) and, after renovations, to transform the ancient church into the sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine .

In recent years the roof has been restored and, after the 1994 flood, the entire building has been consolidated. The remaining frescoes have also been restored.

Particularly interesting are those in the third bay of the left nave, dated 1478 and signed by the painter Segurano Cigno, of which works remain in the Monregalese area.

Noteworthy, in the right aisle, the scenes that describe the temptations of S. Antonio Abate.

The patronal feast takes place in September in honor of San Matteo.

Legend has it that on the hill, where the town stands today, there were large expanses of thorns and that therefore its name derives from the dense presence of this tree.

In 967, with a special diploma, Otto I donated Prunetto to Aleramo, progenitor of the dynasty of the Marquis of Monferrato: this shows how far the origins of the country are.

The Prunotto vineyards extend for about 65 hectares in the Langhe and Monferrato area, divided into small plots and individual vineyards from which great red wines are born. In accordance with Piedmontese traditions, wines from white grapes such as Moscato d’Asti and Arneis are also produced, to which an innovative rosé and the two grappas of Barolo Bussia and Barbera d’Asti Costamiòle are added.

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