For more than a thousand years, Masino Castle has overlooked the immense Canavese plain from high ground in front of the evocative morainic barrier of the Serra di Ivrea – an intact and seemingly endless landscape. The strategic location of the castle resulted in it being frequently attacked, but the noble Valperga dynasty, whom, legend has it, are descended from Arduin of Ivrea, the first King of Italy, retained ownership of it right from the very beginning, documented as far back as 1070. Over the centuries, the illustrious family converted the castle into an aristocratic residence, and then into an elegant holiday home. This glorious past is recounted by the halls themselves, which are adorned with frescoes and ostentatious furnishings, and by the bedrooms used by visiting ambassadors, the private apartments, the lounges and the panoramic terraces. It all adds up to a refined embodiment of 17th and 18th century culture, which was also expressed in the rooms dedicated to the celebration of knowledge, such as the priceless library, which plays host to more than 25,000 antique volumes.
Outside the castle, there are monumental, romantic grounds, featuring one of the largest mazes in Italy, a majestic tree-lined boulevard, large clearings and picturesque corners that, in spring, are inundated by beautiful blossom. A trip to Masino is an ever-changing experience: from visits to the castle, taking different routes round it each time, to a day in the open air to savour the beauty of the grounds, or participation in any of the numerous events organised throughout the course of the year, perhaps including a coffee at the panoramic cafeteria. Masino is perfect for kids, who will have great fun playing with their families and friends with all the activities we designed for them.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.