25 January 2016

New Post for a New Year - Nearby Manta Castle

Manta Castle
Here it is past the middle of January and time's awasting.  I must make haste to keep up with some very modest goals I have set forth for myself and my blog for this year. I noticed that when I was writing a roundup of things to do in this area on my last post, that there were many interesting attractions noticeably missing from my lists.  I have been meaning to get around to writing about a few of them for a long tim. Others I thought I already had written up, but couldn't locate them perusing through my back posts, so I thought I would make it a goal to post a least once a month about some of the local attractions that we send our guests off to see and usually have taken in ourselves at least once if not a few times.
One such glaring omission is splendid Manta Castle (Castello di Manta), just past and overlooking the charming town of Saluzzo that sits where the base of the Cottian Alps (Alpi Cozie) and Po river plains unite, in the neighboring province of Cuneo.
Monviso of the Cottian Alps meets the Po river plains
Manta boasts a small castle perched on its hillside that has been returned to its former glory when the Lords of Saluzzo called it their home. The original building dates back to the 12th century and over the years the building grew with expansions and richly decorate with various additions of masterful and fantastical frescos whose handiwork still remains anonymous.  The current family descendants  enlisted the help of Italy's preservation society, FAI to help raise funds to restore the deteriorated  paintings, replace furnishings that had disappeared over the centuries and breath life back into the castle. These frescos are said to be a rare treasure of late gothic paintings still found in northern Italy. They really are worth a visit as they are so well preserved and magnificently interesting.
Héros, Heroines, and the Fountain of Youth Frescos
In addition to the main castle they have also restore an adjacent church and plans to continue to restore other surrounding buildings in the neighborhood. They really have done a fine job. I especially like that included with the very modest entrance fee of around €7.50 adults and €3.00 for children (2016 prices) is the use of complimentary headphones to insure you get the most out of your self guided visit. There are a number of different languages offered and they do periodically update the narration to reflect the ongoing historical discoveries or completion of nearby ongoing projects. 
Manta Castles' Church
 The castle is of a manageable size so that it makes for a great half day visit and suitable for children, who will enjoy the artifacts and furnishings as it is not only the paintings and church that are of interest. Nearby Saluzzo is another great place to stop also for a bit of shopping, sight seeing or eating, naturally. The grounds are peaceful and would make for a lovely picnic setting. You can also walk up through the woods or park closer and take a more direct route.
Castle life
Whatever you do, when you find yourself in northern Italy, you will want to make sure and not miss out on this local treasure, when you visit our slice of Piedmont, preferably when you come and stay with us.  We'll be waiting for you with many more suggestions.

The castle is open Tuesdays - Sunday, closed Mondays (unless it is a holiday in which they say they are open. Always good to check)
10:00 - 18:00 March 1 through the end of September and
10:00 - 17:00 October through 27 of November.
Last entrance 1/2 before closing
Closed December through February.

Directions to Castello di Manta from Bella Baita B&B and Italian Alps Retreat

No comments:

Bookmark and Share