The name derives from the presence of ancient fortified walls that in the early Middle Ages, surrounded the village and protected the castle. It is a municipality in the province of Cuneo, famous for the production of a fine Barolo wine and with an intense gastronomic tradition. The oldest part of the center, characterized by narrow and steep streets, is concentrated around the steeple of the parish of Santa Maria, whose existence was already attested in the XIII century, but demolished in the XX century. The Bell tower is what remains of the building, used as a watch tower, it was incorporated into the church in later ages and has undergone numerous renovations over the centuries.
The discovery of traces of settlements and other findings evidence that the center has been inhabited since the Neolithic Ages. In the later centuries also the Romans settled here. In 1028 the castle was attacked and captured by the troops of the Archbishop of Milan with the intention to stop the spreading of the anti-Catholic ideology of Cathar. In the XIII century it became a possession of the Marquis Del Carretto followed by the Scarampi. In the early XVIII century it became part of the Kingdom of the Savoy family.
Not to miss:
- the Parish Church of Santa Maria della Neve, dating to the early XX century, built in neo-Gothic style and features a Latin cross plan. The Baptistry is enriched with stucco decorations and wooden statues from the Sanctuary and houses a marble altar and frescoes dating from the XVIII century, artworks of the artist Morgari and decorations of Finati. The Bell tower features mullioned windows and is surmounted by a dome;
- the Church of St. Augustine, probably dating from the late XVII century, is in Baroque style. The façade is punctuated by columns and topped by a gable in brick;
- the Chapel of St. Joseph, whose existence was attested already in the early XVIII century;
- the Chapel of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, which has XV century origins, but was rebuilt in the XVIII century and restored in the second half of the next century. Inside it preserves a precious Baroque altar and exquisite decorations;
- the Church of the Assumption in the district of Castelletto;
- the Oratory of St. Elizabeth in Baroque style;
- the XIX century Chapel of San Martino;
- the Church of Santo Stefano in Perno;
- the Chapel of San Sebastian;
- The Palazzo Scarampi, which was built by the Marquis Del Carretto in the XVIII century, where once stood an pre-existing castle.