The High Monferrato: Ovada
Ovada and its territory are well noted for its many well conserved castles and high fortifications, many of which can be visited.
Here the vineyards are framed by woods that are rich in chestnuts, mushrooms, fruits of the forest and game.
History and arts
Ovada is located where the torrents Orba and Stura meet. The ancient name “Vadum” suggests that this was a fording point during the Roman period. The town’s historic centre shows distinct Ligurian influences with narrow streets, painted houses and medieval towers.
Heading westward one arrives at Cremolino with its XIV century Malaspina castle and Santuario della Bruceta.
Trisobbio to the north has a XII century castle with elegant double arched windows and a high crenellated tower. The town’s historic centre is a maze of alleys and lanes which underpass the red tiled houses above. Onwards one passes through Montaldo Bormida, a commune surrounded by hill vineyards and reaching Carpeneto (castrum carpani to the Romans) with its low medieval manor house.
Following the valley of the torrent Orba westward one reaches Rocca Grimalda, whose XIII century castle with its cilindrical tower still belongs to the noble Genovese house of Grimaldi.
The Mask Museum is the only Italian Museum expressly dedicated to the historic masks that are still used for the festivities of the traditional Italian and European calendar.