After many a twist and turn, what a thrill it is to finally reach the top of the hill where the Cigognola Castle is majestically seated, dominating the valley below and offering a breathtaking view of the Oltrepò Pavese hills! Just one more set of steps and I’m finally inside the home where one elegant room follows another, a vast collection of mementos from the Arnaboldi, Brichetto and Moratti families. The first vestiges of the castle date back to the mid-thirteenth century when the feudal families of Sannazzaro and Visconti were in dispute over the fortress due to its strategic position between Piedmont and Emilia. During the Renaissance period, the Castle was subsequently transformed into a humanist court and then in the 19th century it was completely remodeled by the owner Don Carlo Arnaboldi Gazzaniga using a neo-Gothic style in accordance with the fashions of the time. Unfortunately, in recent times the house was largely destroyed in a devastating fire, and its subsequent reconstruction was entrusted to the architect Renzo Mongiardino by the owners Gian Marco and Letizia Moratti. The magnificent rooms that I was able to admire on my visit were recreated in a manner both reminiscent of and showing influences of classic decorations in line with the architect’s style. The steep land surrounding the Castle is planted with vines, with special attention given to sustainability. The different orientations allow the grapes to ripen perfectly to produce excellent wines. The agricultural estate is currently managed by Gabriele Moratti who can take you on a wine-tasting tour, when possible, of his wines and spumantes.
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