Castello di Tagliolo
Tagliolo, strategically located along the old Salt Road, was an outpost at the time of the Saracen invasions. The word Tagliolo derives from the deforestation that took place in order to allow agricultural activity. Emperor Ottone I gave the land to Aleramo, after which feudal rights passed to the Marquis del Bosco, the Malaspina and the Sforza. It then came under the control of the Republic of Genoa which held it up to 1760 when the House of Savoy bequeathed it to the Pinelli Gentile. The castle is built on the top of a hill with a complex architectural layout inside a wall which forms part of the actual castle itself, with a series of connected towers and buildings together with a number of old houses, the church, and the buildings like the Agenzia (originally used for the management of the land and the crops and now the wardens’ home) and the Bigatteria, used for breeding silkworms. This is effectively a fortified village with three distinct phases of construction. The oldest part dates back to the mid-13th century and is limited to the central tower which functioned as a powerful dungeon, the second phase comes from the late 1400s with the building of the gateway (in effect the tower which incorporates the entranceway) and the completion of the buildings on the south side. The other important building works, before the renovation work undertaken by D’Andrade and the restoration of the upper part of the central tower in the 1930s, were carried out between 1600 and 1700 when the castle was deemed to have fulfilled its purpose as a military stronghold and was turned into a stately home. The castle, architecturally speaking, is extremely interesting and attractive with pleasing contrasts between built-up sections and open areas, with a layout that is at times uniform and then haphazard, the surfaces vary continuously, buildings that vary both in size and height and a two-coloured effect in the walls provided by the incorporation of both tuff stone and brick sections. The interior of the baronial palace has the characteristics of a stately home with decorated rooms, fine furniture, a library and rich archive, a collection of weapons and precious cellars.