Castle of Bardineto
Comune di Bardineto: piazza della Chiesa, 6 - Bardineto (SV)
Telefono: 0197 90 70 13
Fax: 0197 90 72 93
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Bardineto and its castle

The castle rises on flat ground, not far from the Town Hall and the centre of the village, and only four of its original 16 walls can be seen today.
The Del Carretto family decided on its construction in the 13th century, following the policy of strengthening the family property in the Bormida Valle.

The story of the small town certainly lived through a period of renewed vitality thanks to this important family, but the origins of Bardineto were rooted long before the family arrived. Various prehistoric stone tools were found in this area, confirming the use of the mountain caves as shelters during the paleolithic age and houses for the Neanderthals.

During the pre-Roman era, the territory was occupied by the Epanteri tribe which, even though hunters and sheep farmers, found themselves having to fight against the Romans during the colonisation of the whole region.
The history of the Bormida Valley between the end of the Roman era and the first centuries of the early Middle Ages is almost completely unknown.

The first archaeological proof of the period between the 6th and 7th centuries is the Byzantine-Lombard tower, useful for reconstructing the difficult passage from antiquity to the Middle Ages. The tower, to the south-east of the Church of S. Nicolò, was semi-circular in shape with very thick walls, and it seems to be part of a large fortified complex.

The castrum, which protected the roads that went into the Neva and Varatella valleys, had the characteristic position of a boundary military base, so much so that it is at the southern extremity of a signalling system that binds it to the whole Bormida Valley, and it could have been the cornerstone of the Lombard front during the Rotarian era.

In spite of its position, it is possible to imagine a Lombard military base, while the way it was built creates the hypothesis of a Byzantine watchtower; the castrum however is proof of that period of disputes between the Byzantines and the Lombards along imaginary lines of which we do not know the precise location.

With the change to domination by the Franks, the village was donated by Charlemagne to the monks of San Pietro Varatella, who held many small farms in the area. In the 12th century, following the division of the small farms of Marquis Bonifacio I del Vasto, even Bardineto joined the territories of the loyal ally of Frederick I, Enrico il Guercio, who retained power and passed it on to his descendants. Bardineto returned to being spoken about in the 18th century when the battle of Loano started between the Austrian-Sardinian army and the French; the roads for conquering the whole region were opened to the French.

The purpose of the intervention financed by the Regional Operational Programme (Priority 4) funds is to finish strengthening the walls of Carretta castle in Bardineto and improve the spaces so that they can be used as premises for organising cultural events and performances that are tied to the territory and its traditions.

The intervention

Part of the Development of the natural and cultural resources of Liguria project (Level 4 of Por Fesr 2007-2013), this project envisages the creation of an auditorium big enough to hold concerts and plays, using the higher sections of the castle as a proscenium.

In order to do this, there are plans to prepare the ground, clean inside the higher parts of the tower, create an upper floor equipped with removable fittings, seats and a stage and install a mobile tensile roof to provide shelter.

The restoration work will include street furniture, signage and lights illuminating the old loopholes and walls, as well as advertising and marketing campaigns, producing printed materials and a website about this particular restoration project.

The architectural design approach is the most innovative aspect of this project, as it allows us to make improvements that are entirely removable, both as regards the interior fittings and fixtures and the roof, minimising the impact on the building’s original architectural features.

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