HISTORY OF THE PALACE
“A few evenings ago, his lordship the Count of Magliano, in the company of his lordship the Count of Castagnole, came to observe construction and said that in comparison with this palace, theirs were no more than mere houses.”
A castle or palace has dominated Guarene from its hill for seven centuries.
In the Medieval era a fortress stood on this site. In the 18th century a new summer residence was designed and built here for the Counts of Roero by Count Carlo Giacinto – the most well-known member of the family lineage and an important figure of the 18th-century Piedmontese aristocracy. The palace is an impressive three-storey edifice, reaching 25 metres in height and surrounded by extensive and elegant gardens landscaped in the Italian style in the first half of the eighteenth century.
It commands an unequalled panorama of the whole chain of the Langhe hills from Monferrato to Verduno – this landscape, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is covered with renowned vineyards and dotted with castles, towers and villages. In the other direction, it looks out onto the Roero heights and towards the distant Alps.
Across the generations, the palace has been home to the Guarene, La Vezza and Piobesi branches of the Roero family, which occupied a position of high status in the Piedmontese aristocracy. In 1889 it was inherited by the Provana family from Collegno. Its long history is documented in an extensive archive and displayed in a museum of architecture, painting and decorative arts. In 2011 Castello di Guarene came under new ownership, and was destined for a new role combining top-level hospitality with continued respect for its value as a unique piece of heritage. Three years of restoration and conversion followed.
A central figure in the palace’s history, Carlo Giacinto Roero di Guarene was an amateur architect who worked alongside court architect Filippo Juvarra, responsible for the design of the façade. From the laying of the first stone at 8.30 in the evening on 13 September 1726, Carlo Giacinto directed all the construction and interior furnishing work – which would not be completed until after his death in 1749 – either on site or, in the winter months, by means of minutely detailed instructions sent daily by letter from Turin to the master mason in charge.
Castello di Guarene can therefore lay claim to the distinction of being a palace built “via correspondence”. This grandiose project was finally completed in the second half of the century by Roero’s sons Traiano and Teodoro. King Vittorio Amedeo III of Sardinia and the queen paid a royal visit in 1773, and the palace is full of mementoes of the occasion.