We never get tired of talking about the beautiful region of Piemonte on this blog. Being off the mass tourism radar it appeals to the travellers who want to discover hidden gems in Bel Paese and opt for custom Italy tours to suite their tastes.
Casale Monferrato is a little gem located about forty miles away from Turin. It makes a great base for exploring the lower Monferrato area renowned for its excellent food and wine. The town is surrounded by rice plantations and beautiful hills studded with neat vineyards. Casale has been inhabited since ancient times and over the centuries has had its share of barbaric invasions and sieges. The impressive 15th century fortified castle of Peleologi sitting by the Po river is a testimony to the days when Casale Monferrato was the biggest and most important citadel of Europe. The patrol route and the underground areas beneath the west wing were reconstructed in the 18th century and make for a fascinating visit.
The old part of the city centre has not changed much in the last 200 years and maintains a Baroque look reminding about the days when it was home to noble families. Peek through massive old doors and gates to get a glimpse of ancient courtyards and pretty gardens. Stroll along the cobbled streets to see the spacious central square, Piazza Mazzini, and the stunning 12th century Cathedral of Sant’Evasio. There are many beautiful churches around the centro storico that are worth exploring: the elegant Baroque church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the 17th-century church of San Giuseppe.
The symbol of Casale is its Torre Civica, a 60-metre high brick tower erected in the 11th century and restored a number of times. The old Monastery of Santa Croce houses the Civic Museum of Casale Monferrato with a great collection of paintings, ceramics and wooden sculptures.
On Via Lanza follow the sweet vanilla whiff in the air and it will bring you to one of the oldest shops in town, the Krumiri Rossi bakery, that has been making the famous Krumiri biscuits since 1878. The locals enjoy them with a coffee, spumante or a small glass of grappa, join them with ours custom Italy tours.
Photos by: Stefano Pertusati, Jacqueline Poggi, Davide Papalini