Castello di Perno: Art, Literature and Wine in Langhe

I first visited Castello di Perno more than twenty-five years ago, when I was working as a connoisseur at Finarte. The Giulio Einaudi publishing house, which owned the castle, had a prestigious art collection that it found itself forced to sell, including masterpieces by Gaetano Previati, Gastone Novelli and Pino Pascali.

Perno Castle’s entrance hall and a work by Patrizio di Massimo

During that first, brief visit, I was enchanted by the beauty of the landscape around the building: rows of grapevines climbing up the hill and a view as far as the eye can see in every direction. While we were emptying out the rooms, transporting the enormous canvases with care, I wondered what would become of the place. It was the end of an age that had been dominated by Giulio Einaudi, father and godfather of postwar Italian publishing. Everyone had visited the castle: Primo Levi, Italo Calvino, Massimo Mila, Leone Ginzburg, Norberto Bobbio.

Fumoir and a work by Maurizio Donzelli

I was very happy when I found out that my friend Gregorio Gitti had taken over this property. The castle got a second life, not just in terms of its agricultural activity, but also as a cultural centre. Proof that every place has not just a history but also a destiny, what the Romans called genius loci. It had clearly never left Castello di Perno. Indeed, it had reached all the way to Brescia, and inspired Gregorio to come to Langhe. Once there, he was seduced by the same sirens that had first enchanted Einaudi.

The village of Perno, Monforte d’Alba (CN)

Castello di Perno

Castello di Perno dominates the village of the same name, an hamlet of Monforte d’Alba since 1932. The Castle was built in the Middle Ages by the Falletti family as a defensive castle. At the end of 1970s, the Castle was bought by the most important Italian publisher Giulio Einaudi who made it its secondary …

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