The Castle of Gabiano, ecstasy in the Po valley
“Always ecstatic, I admire the immense Po valley, the Alps that surround it, and all the villas and hamlets I can make out, from the Castle of Verrua to the dome of Novara’s San Gaudenzio”: this was Giuseppe Niccolini’s “ecstatic” description of his view from an open window in the Castle of Gabiano, near Alessandria, in his 1877 “A zonzo per il circondario di Casale Monferrato”.
This 19th-century “reviewer” did not skimp on criticism against the state of abandonment of the medieval fortress at the time, but also mentioned without hesitation its “wonderful halls”, “princely rooms”, “delightful bathrooms” and “classic paintings covering the walls of the family apartment”.
While the oldest sources show records of the castle as far back as the 8th century, and a 1164 document states it was a gift from Frederick Barbarossa to Guglielmo II, Marquis of Monferrato, perhaps the 21st century is its true moment of glory. After thorough renovation in the early 1900s – with the famous maze and wonderful historical garden being created in the 1930s – the Castle of Gabiano is now a beautiful luxury hotel, where guests can relax and enjoy local specialties such as white and black truffles and Gabiano DOC wine.