In 1820, Risorgimento writer and patriot Silvio Pellico stayed in the Castle of Masino, located in Caravino (in province of Turin, Piedmont) – which he declared was “one of the most beautiful towns in the world”. Before him, the great playwright Vittorio Alfieri, beacon of Italian intellectuals during the Risorgimento, had stopped in the “beautiful Castle of Masino” in 1783; his favorite part was the castle’s prestigious library, home to twenty thousand precious and historical books.
The splendid building, originally a residence of the Count of Valperga, is now managed with laudable care by Fondo Ambiente Italiano. Surrounded by a huge park with an outstanding maze of hedges, the castle was first built in the 11th century, but was destroyed and rebuilt in the 1500s with impressive fortifications.
“The Castle’s chapel,” “Alla scoperta dell’Italia con il Fai” explains, “holds the ashes of Arduin of Ivrea, who was proclaimed King of Italy in Pavia in 1002, and was thought to be the founder of the Valperga dynasty […]. In 1764, the ashes were placed inside a sacellum, protected by a marble headstone.”
It seems the Castle was there all along, as Italy traveled the long path that culminated in the country’s unification.