Between History and Vineyards

The Majestic “Castello della
Volta of Barolo

The Castle is today property of Marchesi di Barolo

The Castle of “La Volta” consists of a mighty building characterized by a central round tower that stands on a rise from which you can enjoy 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
Now owned by Marchesi di Barolo, for many centuries the Castle was inhabited and defended by the Falletti, the lords of the area.
«Neminem cognosco praeter Deum» This inscription stood above the door of the Castle of “La Volta” and was a matter of pride for the Falletti of Barolo who «never acknowledged any superior in the world», thus emphasizing that the Castle of “La Volta” and the one of Barolo were allodial, which is, in full ownership and not feudal, as they were received in concession from a Lord upon the provision of an oath of loyalty.

A crossroads of historical figures and culture

A prominent historical figure who characterized the history of the Castle of “La Volta” was Marquise Juliette Colbert (also known as Giulia di Barolo, wife of Carlo Tancredi Falletti di Barolo). A distinguished benefactress of the Turin at the height of the Risorgimento era, she enjoyed spending vacation periods at the Castle with renowned personalities, notable ones being the writer Silvio Pellico (well-known author of Le Mie Prigioni). When she died in 1864, Marquise Giulia, widowed and without heirs, established the Ente Morale Opera Pia Barolo, to which she gifted of all her properties to perpetuate her many charitable initiatives.

Silvio Pellico wrote from the very terrace of the Castle some of his most known pages.

The strategic location of the Castle of “La Volta” is such that, unlike the town of Barolo, the locality "Volta" is distinctly represented in the map «Pedemontium et Monsferratus» found in the imposing corridor - that leads to the Sistine Chapel adorned with maps: the Gallery of Maps, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII that was built between 1580 and 1585.

  • 1200

    Year in which the Castle was built, as indicated in Alba's Rigestum; there is mention of a Guglielmo Da Li Volta among those who swore loyalty to Emperor Frederick II in 1215.

  • 1400s

    The Castle became property of the Falletti family at the beginning of the 15th century and it remained so for nearly 500 years, until the death of Marquise Giulia di Barolo, wife of the last Falletti descendant.

  • 1500s

    The subsequent history of the Castle is intertwined with several attempts at demolition: according to some anonymous manuscripts preserved in the “Barolo’s Archives”, during the wars between Francis I King of France and Charles V Emperor of Spain, the French ordered the destruction of the Castles of “La Volta”, Barolo and La Morra. Yet, thanks to the intervention of Scipione Falletti, the demolition was stopped.

  • 1544

    The French governor of Cherasco, Giacomo De Perno, had part of the fortress dismantled, ordering "agli homini del luogo doversi rovinare et distrurre la torre et il castello"; but again Giacomo and Scipione Falletti repaired it, adding a chapel dedicated to St. Peter in Chains.

  • 1800s

    According to other documents, at the beginning of this century only half of the manor remained standing; nevertheless, members of the Falletti family, who had always had its fate dearly, transformed it from a fortress into a lordly residence.

  • 1864

    After the death of Marquise Giulia, the residential part of the Castle was no longer inhabited. Only less noble parts of the building remained for rent to settlers and sharecroppers.

  • 1944

    The Castle again suffered severe damage, from German artillery, and later, the lack of running water and internal services led to its decay and abandonment.

  • 1950

    In this year the Castle was purchased by Marchesi di Barolo, who never used it as a residence but are deeply attached to it because of its historical value.

Seriously damaged by bombing during the last World War, major consolidation and restoration works have been implemented by Marchesi di Barolo since 2016.

Part of the coverage was restored by focusing on the reuse of wooden materials in a good state of preservation, through analysis by taking micro cores.
Structural repair was carried out by partially emptying the perimeter wall by forming a "pocket" curb, in favor of the solidity of the support of the wooden downstands.
Attention was also paid to the conservative state of the late 19th-century plasters, which for some portions manifest decohesion phenomena. Restoration intervention using ethyl silicate injections, hydraulic mortar injections and punctual grouting was studied.