The Castle, recognizable from afar by the presence of an imposing nineteenth-century iron observatory, is surrounded by a large park with centuries-old trees. The main access to the property is located in the square of the Parish Church of S. Giacomo. Walking along a shady avenue, you leave on the right the large building of what was once the Fattoria del Castello and the Casetta del Giardiniere. After about 300 meters you will reach the gate of the Castle.
Around the XNUMXth century we have the first news regarding Robella, while the historical sources relating to the castle attest to a first fortified construction, polygonal in shape, dating back to the XNUMXth - XNUMXth century. The building had a courtyard in the center, scarp walls and a square tower, crowned by Guelph battlements. The original masonry and, in one wall of the internal courtyard, the two-tone arched Romanesque openings are still recognizable in the main facade and in the impressive cellars.
From fortress to stately palace
Starting from the sixteenth century the building has undergone major extensions and transformations, increasingly assuming the appearance of a noble residence. The destruction of the square tower, for example, could have occurred in the 1625th century, perhaps at the time of the Spanish siege (XNUMX).
The construction of the “sala magna” on the ground floor, characterized by an imposing coffered ceiling, should date back to the same period. In the second half of the XNUMXth century, with the construction of the north body, based on a project by the architect Filippo Castelli, the building assumed its current dimensions.
Castelli expands the building and at the same time gives it an elegant character, on the model of city buildings; the «midnight» façade is characterized by symmetrically arranged windows surmounted by projecting lunettes, while the terrace hides the driveway to the cellars.
In the first decades of the nineteenth century, the engineer Carlo Bernardo Mosca added a scenographic touch to the main entrance of the castle with the construction of the two-flight staircase and in 1823 he designed and built, in line with the south-west facade, the specola, a masonry tower surmounted by an iron structure intended for astronomical observation.
In the decoration of the balustrade of the specola you can read the initials ŒRI, a declaration of commission: Eustachio Radicati Iussit. The initials KMD instead indicate the engineer who designed it: Karolus Mosca Delineavit.
The specola is a unique example in Piedmont of iron construction from the early nineteenth century. From the 436 meters above sea level of the specola, the view sweeps 360 ° over the Alps, from Monte Rosa to Monviso, from the Apennines to the Po valley, offering, on clear days, a unique and absolutely spectacular view.
The castle is surrounded by a large shady park that occupies the top of the hill. Made starting from a drawing by the eighteenth-century architect Filippo Castelli, it is characterized by three circles of tree-lined avenues (lime trees, horse chestnuts and elms) marked by the box hedge. Some large cedars and a century-old ginkgo biloba stand out in the park.
Robella castle is one of the many castles in the county of Cocconato. This powerful county of the ancient feudal family of the Radicati manages to carve out a space of independence between the neighboring powers (the Marquisate of Monferrato, the Municipality of Asti, the Duchy of Savoy, etc.) until the mid-1500s when it had to accept submission to the Savoy.
The Robella castle belongs to one of the three main branches of the family of the counts of Cocconato, the Radicati di Robella.
The last descendant of the first-born branch of the family, Rosa Radicati di Robella marries Carlo Gabriele Nicolis di Robilant, Carlo Alberto's squire. The Russian branch of the Zubovs, descendants of one of the first great Russian industrial and mining entrepreneurs of the 700th century, A. Turchaninov, and of the mathematician Leonardo Euler then merged into the family.
By female succession the castle passes to the current owners, thus remaining in the family for more than seven centuries.
Among the events that characterize the history of the castle we can remember the siege of 1625 during one of the wars of Monferrato, a trial for witchcraft in the early 600s and the sack conducted by Nazi troops in the Second World War for the involvement of the young owners. in the war of Resistance.
Sleeping in the castle
Monferrato is a land rich in history and traditions that deserves to be explored in depth.
It is possible to live the unforgettable experience of staying in the Castle. The “Camera Rosa” apartment can accommodate up to four people; it consists of a large double bedroom, an en suite bathroom and a dressing room, a kitchen, a living room with a sofa bed and a second small bathroom.
The apartment, furnished with period furniture, is located in a seventeenth-century wing of the castle and has a private entrance from which guests can access the castle park.
Events and Meetings
The large halls and the medieval courtyard are the ideal spaces to host private events for up to 140 people. It is possible to organize cultural meetings, artistic events, workshops or ceremonies.
The castle and its park are regularly open to the public on the spring day of theAssociation of Italian Historic Houses . Guided tours of the interior of the castle are organized by reservation for groups of up to 25 people.