This castle was erected when the army of Asti razed the castles of Frave, Vaglio and Vene and the village of Lanlonzo to the ground in 1275, in retaliation against Alba, having suffered a humiliating defeat in the open field at Cossano Belbo on Palm Sunday, 24 March 1274.
The three towers that appear in the municipal coat of arms bear witness to this event in history. The name Frave appears in many medieval documents as Fravega, Fauriis, Fabreis, Fabricas and Fraeis. It occupied a strategic position on the "Magistra Langarum" road which linked Alba to the coast, passing through Trezzo, Frave, Rocchetta Belbo, Castino, Cortemilia, Scaletta and Cairo.
This was possibly the old Roman road that ran from Finale to the senate house of Orco and Mallare, then on to Scaletta and either Spigno or Cortemilia up to Frave and Alba.
A route that left its mark in the local food and wine culture: grapes and wine travelled from the Langhe vineyards, fish, salt and oil arrived from the coast. This is one reason why the Regional Enoteca of Moscato, housed in the castle, has been twinned with Western Liguria, particularly with products from the Ligurian hinterland and Dolceacqua, famous for its hillside vineyards. The aim of this regional scheme, inspired by the story of the mythical knight Aleramo, is to underline the connection and promote three typical products: moscato, hazelnuts and olives.
The present-day building stands on the site of a fortalice built in the late 13th century for an eminently strategic purpose, with all the characteristics typical of that period: secret passages leading out into the open countryside, prison cells, torture rooms, wells for disposing of resolute, dangerous enemies.
THE CASTLE TODAY
Today the castle is Mango's show-piece. For centuries it was the summer residence of the marquises of Busca, with its luxurious furnishings and gardens renowned for their ornamental plants and flower beds. The "Colline del Moscato" Regional Enoteca is housed on the ground floor of the castle.
Mango is famous for its mixed marriages between local farmers and girls from southern Italy moving north to revive the faming community. In the wake of this phenomenon (which inspired the carnival masks of Stangon, the archetypal sturdy, coarsely-mannered local young man, and Concetta, the bride from the south), in the 1960s the municipal tourist board set up an association of "bacialé" (matchmakers) and re-launched the traditional figure of the wedding arranger.
Piazza XX Settembre, 19
12056 Mango (CN)
Monday to Sunday 10 am-7 pm;
Tuesday is closed.
January and on Tuesday
For informations and bookings
ENOTECA REGIONALE COLLINE DEL MOSCATO
P.zza XX Settembre, 19 - 12056 - Mango (CN) - Tel.: 0141 89291 - Fax: 0141 839914 - firstname.lastname@example.org