At the foot of a castle

An inaccessible place. The best place to take refuge from raids during the dark times of the Middle Ages. Montegallo, built in the 7th century and baptized “Castello di Santa Maria in Gallo” (meaning Castle of St Mary in Gaul), was originally just that: a castle in the hills with strong walls and a church with a tall bell tower which, for four centuries, housed the inhabitants of the entire valley and gave the warning signal to to fend off bandits. Then, in the less dangerous times of the 16th century, the inhabitants moved further down the valley, re-using much of the sandstone of the castle to form the modern-day hamlet of Balzo, the main town of the municipality. MORE DETAILES

TO VISIT On the right hand side of piazza Taliani (1) stands an unusual circular palace named La Rotonda (2) , dated 1883. On the left are the Town Hall (3) and the adjacent Taliani Palace (4)built in 1834. On the façade of the Town Hall you can see the bronze and marble monument to those who died in the First World War. The elegant little Branconi Palace(5), erected in 1640, displays a striking inscription carved into the architrave of the entrance doorway reading “Invidia Dio e non compassione” (“Envy God and not compassion”). At the end of the street is piazza Bonelli (6) , overlooked by the 17th century Romanesque church of St Bernard (7)Inside are some beautiful monolithic pillars of local sandstone, a marble altar, a large painting of St Bernard from Siena and a plaque commemorating Cardinal Emilio Taviani. Outside the church, a path leads to the scenic walkway (8) and then descends to the Taliani pine wood (9).

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