Un maniero del 1400 immerso nella collina vicino al Marchesato di Saluzzo e ai piedi della Valle Varaita
With history and fairy tale behind it, a centuries-old forest that with its grandeur surrounds and protects… Welcome to the history of Castello Rosso of Costigliole Saluzzo. Built on the ruins of the ancient Castello of Costanzia (destroyed in 1487), the Castello Rosso was finished around 1625 by the Counts Crotti. At the end of the century, in 1693, the French army retreating towards Turin, after the useless siege of Cuneo, practically destroyed Costigliole Saluzzo, leaving only six buildings untouched; the country will suffer from the consequences of the passage of French troops until the early 1700s.
Central body of three castles, the Castello Rosso was the residence of the lords of the village, while the other two, the current Castello Reynaudi and the Castellotto, represented the defence complex which, with two bulwarks stretching out towards the plain, protected the village below, mostly still lying on the hill.
This adaptation to a noble residence dates back many years, in fact, some parts that were saved from the destruction of the Savoy still show a precious fresco attributed to the Master of Elva. In honour of its “castellana”, the park has been arranged in the French style and, in honour of the past of the region and the family, the complex has assumed a medieval shape with towers, curtains and bertesques, carefully reproduced on the example of historical buildings.
The restoration works, completed in 1997, have tried to gently slide between the different eras that separate the original building from the present day, obtaining the desired result, an ancient castle with modern clothes.
Today the structure includes the Hotel, the Restaurant, the Meeting Center and the Wellness Center. Inside the castle there is a rare fresco attributed to Hans Clemer, known as the Master of Elva, other areas of the structure are enriched by frescoes dating back to the beginning of the 800.
Art and Nature
The Master of Elva
On the second floor of the Castello Rosso, between the mysterious staircases leading to the towers and the precious rooms in antique style, there is a rare fresco attributed to Hans Clemer, known as the Master of Elva. This painting, which is dated to the end of the 15th century, depicts the Madonna with the Child, Mary Magdalene supporting a pissis and St. Catherine.
AFresco on the 2nd floor of the Castello Rosso
Hans Clemer, known as Master of Elva (Flanders, ante 1480 – Piedmont, post 1512), was a French naturalized Flemish painter active in the Saluzzo area of Piedmont. He was an exponent of Gothic-Flemish painting, but there are few documents concerning his birth. Hans Clemer’s artistic path is very articulated, careful to innovative technical solutions, that were very avant-garde for the time. Around 1490 it appears to be already operating in the valleys of the Marquisate of Saluzzo and, in particular, in the Maira Valley. A destination for many art lovers is the Parish Church of Elva, where you can admire the cycle of frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Mary and a majestic Crucifixion, dating back to 1493. This masterpiece earned him the title of Master of Elva but the artist’s presence, widespread throughout most of the territory of the Marquisate, is evidenced by a series of works ranging from religious subjects to historical-mythological depictions.
“La Pala della Madonna della Misericordia” (1499/1500) Saluzzo, Casa Cavassa
In the same period he was called to work in the capital of the marquise: Saluzzo. Here Hans Clemer made his last works, commonly dated by 1511-1512. In addition to the paintings on the facade of the Cathedral of Saluzzo, he also painted the “à grisaille” decoration on the facade of Casa Cavassa and “La Pala della Madonna della Misericordia”.
The frescoes on the staircase of the north tower
From the fourth floor of Castello Rosso, there is an access to the small staircase leading to the North Tower.
The walls of this ascent are enriched with frescoes dating back to the beginning of 800 of which we do not have certain news. These paintings depict friars. The atmosphere is magical step by step and leads to the top of the North Tower which, overlooking the infinite plain, leaves you breathless by the beauty! What can I say . . . everything to discover!
The Belvedere Church
A few hundred steps from Castello Rosso, part of the estate, is the Belvedere Church. This building is an authentic work of art built at the same time as the castle. Originally intended as a funerary chapel for the Crotti family, the Belvedere Church is now an example of rare and refined architecture. Still to be restored, but an integral part of a future project, today it can be admired in all its ancient original beauty.
The Griffon of the Crotti family
To protect the castle and its guests, strategically located on the roof, stands a huge copper griffon, an ancient coat of arms of the Crotti dynasty. This mythological figure, perched on the highest part of the manor, in addition to its obvious symbolic value, is intended to testify to the centuries-old art of working iron, metals, bronzes and wood, typical of the Varaita Valley. The awakening from the rooms on the second floor of the castle, which at dawn receive the first good morning from it, the silent guardian of the whole history of the manor.
The tower of the Thought
On the corner of the Castello Rosso park, which overlooks the nearby Castello Reynaudi, you can discover a delightful Tower. Unfortunately, the historical information about this small building is shrouded in mystery but. . . we, at Castello Rosso, like mystery and fairy tales. The Tower today has the task of making unforgettable magical romantic moments for couples who want to dream, secluded by candlelight, with excellent wine and food . . . together with a breathtaking panorama. On the second floor of the Castello Rosso, between the mysterious staircases leading to the towers and the precious rooms in antique style, there is a rare fresco attributed to Hans Clemer, known as the Master of Elva. This painting, which is dated to the end of the 15th century, depicts the Madonna with the Child, Mary Magdalene supporting a pissis and St. Catherine.
““You will find more in the woods than in the books. The trees and the rocks will teach you things no teacher will tell you.”
Bernardo di Chiaravalle, XII century (cistercian monk)
It may be because wood has always been one of the main means of sustaining of these lands, it may be because we live in the conviction that nature is art, and the trees and the fruits of nature are nuggets of gold or, it may be the concreteness of our rural roots but nothing seems more beautiful and stronger to us than our Park in the Forest of Castello Rosso: pure energy. This is what we offer to our customers, the energy of centuries-old trees that have proudly watched the same sky for hundreds of years. Walking in our park will make you understand these words… The Forest.