A fascinating location, wrapped up in a delicately mysterious atmosphere. Discover Barengo, and the story of its famous castle.
We came across this small town through a friend who is passionate about history, culture and legends. He took us to visit this castle and told us all about it.
We decided to name our signature credit card holder Barengo. Metaphorically, both our credit card holder and this town have the same essence: they look plain and common when looked at from far away, but when you get closer and closer you will discover the beauty that lies within. The secrets of the scent and feel that will bring out all the magic of the Italian history and passion about making things with love and care.
The Barengo Castle is built on the soft hills behind the town, over-guarding it. You will be able to see it from a far distance when coming towards the area, as it dominates the area like a proud guardian.
There are no certain sources about its original building, but the first documentation regarding a fortified structure in Barengo dates back to 1300, when the whole town was moved from the banks of the Agogna river towards the hills.
The town was then fortified, this being fundamental in making it resit the attacks, ransacking and destruction of the wars between Giovanni II del Monferrato and Galeazzo Visconti, in the years between 1358 and 1362.
The construction of the fortress took place more or less at the same time as that of the close-by Castle of Briona, dating back to the second half of the 15th century, when the territories of Briona, Barengo and Maggiora became a united feud of the Tornielli noble family (1449). The count Giovanni Zanardo began building a new fortified residence within the castle of Barengo. His work was later on continued by his son Melchiorre.
This new building was completely made in brick and was imagined to be both a military point of reference (the west side had two towers for sighting which are now no longer there), as well as a pleasant countryside retreat. When Melchiorre died in 1487, the property of the Castle didn’t go to the eldest son, as happened with the castle of Briona, but was passed on and divided amongst the other cadet sons. The original structure went through many variations within centuries and by the beginning of the 17th century it was getting close to collapsing in ruins.
Shortly after the property went to count Gaudenzio Tornielli di Borgolavezzaro, who commissioned the restoration and renovation of the Castle strictly under Middle Ages’ stylistic structures.
Although the castle went through various hands and works, there are still many original items that can be admired, such as the walls, the base and some of the main entrance doors.
This place is very interesting and particular, now privately owned. We were lucky to have access to it and to be able to tour its fascinating rooms.
Now get on MadeToBe and take a look at the product that was born from this inspiring day. Italian tradition and history put together into a small credit card holder!