A few kilometres from Acqui Terme, Morsasco castle rises majestically from the houses of the ancient ricetto (fortified refuge) accessed through an ancient gate, cut into the base of the bell tower still showing traces of a drawbridge. Once across the threshold, a small paved lane leads to the 16th-century parish church dedicated to San Bartolomeo.
The castle, mentioned in records from the 13th century, has passed through the hands of the Del Bosco, Malaspina, Lodron, Gonzaga, Centurione Scotto and Pallavicino families.
Over the course of the centuries it lost its original military characteristics and is now a refined noble residence, with grand halls and beautiful rooms as the result of 18th-century expansions. Of great beauty is the stone fireplace in the “Salone Nuovo”, the new hall, built by the Lodron family in the early 16th century, and the pallacorda gallery from the early 18th century. The internal chapel, constructed on top of the inner courtyard’s well, dates back to the early 18th century and is dedicated to Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of the Centurione Scotto princes. Illustrious visitors to the castle include Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.
The park offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Monferrato hills.
The castle is known for its falconry school and display, normally held in April.
Tours start from the entrance to the ancient refuge and continue into the castle’s courtyard before moving up to the castle’s main floor. Visitors descend into the cellars and then continue on to the granaries, where a collection of household tools from the 19th and 20th centuries is on display. The visit finishes in the winery, among the enormous barrels (400-300 “brentas”). Tours are usually led by the owners.
Hire for events, weddings, company functions, meetings, etc.
Local sights: parish church of San Bartolomeo, chapel of San Vito
In the area: Acqui Terme thermal baths, Alto Monferrato castles, wineries
Typical products: wines (Dolcetto d’Ovada and d’Acqui, Gavi DOCG, Cortese del Monferrato, Moscato d’Asti, Brachetto di Acqui, Passito di Strevi) Roccaverano Robiola cheese, Ponzone Filetto Baciato salami, white Alba truffles
Sport: tamburello, five-a-side football; nearby: horseriding, outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts
Events: patron saint’s day (third Sunday in August), “Castagnata” (October), falconry school and “Cavalieri Alati a Morsasco” event (April)