Among nobles and bishops

It was 1041 when the wheels of time were set in motion: Henry III bestowed Monte Acuto upon the Bishop of Asti. The King, however, did not live to see the castle finished; it wasn’t until 1152 that Guido Biandrate completed its construction and claimed ownership. In 1299 the Castle, under its ancient name of Mons Acutus Rotarium, was sold to the Roero family for what was an astronomical sum at the time: 48,000 florins.

From century to century

When visiting the castle, the various ages to which it has been silent witness come together and permeate one other. The first space we see is the inner garden, where the capital bearing the coat of arms of the House of Roero leaves no doubt as to its date: the 14th century, the beginning of the Roero rule. The interiors transport us to the late 16th century, with their frescoes depicting the Myth of Daedalus and Icarus, the Myth of Phaeton, the Myth of the Hours and the Allegories of Day and Night.

Moving into the drawing room, the Virgin frees Bonifacio Roero, taken prisoner during the Crusades. Right next door, a small, consecrated church takes us back to a time when the human and the divine journeyed side by side. The library is home to ancient knowledge. Old recipes featuring game, herbal decoctions with miraculous properties, refined philosophical expositions transcribed by patient hands from bygone centuries: history dwells within history.

A Hidden Treasure

Some years ago, while rearranging some books, Baron Winterman’s librarian noticed that the upper part of the cover of the binding of one volume was twice as thick as the lower part. He decided to cut through the leather to investigate, revealing a sheet of parchment covered with incomprehensible signs.

He translated the mysterious language and discovered that a group of Spaniards had hidden some treasure on a hill, between four oaks and a tower, while fleeing the Monferrato region. Baron Winterman began searching for it and found Monteu Castle. Unfortunately, he was forced to abandon the excavations before completion due to economic reasons. Legend has it that the Spanish Treasure is still buried somewhere, under the foundations of the Castle, waiting to be found.

A living history

Legends merge with reality, the stillness of the present unites with the clamour of the past: the rattling of swords, the shouts of soldiers, stories of intrigue, passion and torment. Years of splendour, of nobles and palace games, gala evenings and days of sieges that seem never to have passed and still exude from walls that are centuries old: a heritage too great to be kept hidden.

Hence, in 2012, the idea to purchase the castle and reopen it to visitors. Today, the Bel Monteu cooperative organises guided tours, exhibitions and open days. It opens the castle doors to the people of Monteu and to tourists, captivated by its never-ending story. To celebrate the purchase, a range of products dedicated to the frescoes of this magical place has been created: “Il Monte Acuto” a grappa made with Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis and aged in small casks; and “Il Mito delle Ore”, a grape distillate.

Monte Acuto, the ancient name for Monteu Roero. A fortified village, perched atop a tall, craggy hill, surrounding an impregnable fortress. Monteu Roero Castle.