Ricetto di Candelo: the medieval Pompeii of the Biella Area

Ricetto di Candelo
Ricetto di Candelo

Things to see

The Shelter is a collective fortification which the initiative of the people of Candelo in the years between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

is the most intact of all the recipes of Piedmont and represents the memory of the people of Candelo, who used it as a warehouse for agricultural products in peacetime and as a refuge in time of war or danger. It has been preserved thanks to its peasant, in fact until a few years ago in the “cells” to make the wine and for the safe storage of their land.

The shelter is a pentagonal plan, with a perimeter of about 470 meters and an area of ​​13,000 square meters, is 110 meters long and 120 wide. In these tight space there are about 200 cells, almost all privately owned.

Ricetto di Candelo Walls

The walls go around the entire perimeter with the exception of the south side, now occupied by the Town Hall built in 1819 in neoclassical style in stark contrast to the medieval architecture of the shelter.

The walls are covered in pebbles in a herringbone pattern with a crenellated. All around ran the rampart walk.
The corners of the shelter are protected by four round towers, all of which originally opened inward to facilitate the operations of the defense. The terracotta coping with decorative brick places to climb, from later periods.

Ricetto di Candelo
Ricetto di Candelo

The only entrance was protected at the south by a large tower-gate, and at the center of the north side, between two round towers, is still the curtain tower, built almost entirely of large square blocks.

Crossing the tower-gate, there is a small square paved with rounded stones from the nearby stream.
The largest building is the palace of the prince, built by Sebastiano Ferrero in 1496, when he became lord of Candelo.

Ricetto di Candelo
Ricetto di Candelo

The palace has a stronghold structure, through various interventions at a later date.
The rue – the French word called the streets – are paved with cobblestones slanting toward the middle and with a gradient from south to north to allow the flow of surface water toward the curtain tower. The street network is composed of five east-west, intersected by two perpendicular.

The main rua, center, was calibrated according to the traffic of the wagons are narrower side rue.
The buildings consist of a series of individual, non-communicating, are grouped into nine blocks.

Ricetto di Candelo Walls
Ricetto di Candelo Walls

The ground floor room (caneva) has a cellar with a dirt floor, intended for wine and related operations, which is accessed from the street through a portal. The room on the top floor (solarium) is a dry environment, ideal for storing grains, and is accessed directly from the rua through the homburg, a wooden balcony that rests on the beams separating the caneva and solarium.

The two rooms are not communicating to minimize thermal excursions. The best preserved lobbia is near the council chamber.
From the shelter, walking down the stretch of grass to the left of the tower of the south-west, we reach the church of S. Maria through a path that runs along the canal Marchesa, the channel since 1561 gives water to the surrounding countryside and the rice fields of Vercelli.

Ricetto di Candelo
Ricetto di Candelo

In these soils, to the plain of the river Cervo, were the pits for the maceration of hemp cultivation abandoned in the early twentieth century.
The church, variously altered, is mentioned for the first time in 1182 and preserves a Romanesque façade built with river stones arranged in a herringbone pattern. Inside, are valuable capitals of the columns fifteenth century, the frescoes of the late fifteenth century and the pulpit in the middle of the seventeenth.

Ricetto di Candelo

The local products

It’s a sausage in fat called salam ‘dl’ula.
Typical desserts too crispy Ciavarin.

The local dishes

The headstock Candelo is a sausage made ​​from pork shoulder blade degreased and trimmed, salted and massaged by hand and produced in limited quantities according to tradition.

Where to stay in Biella

Hotels, B&Bs, Condo Hotels and Apartments: search and reserve here.

Piemonte: The most beautiful villages