The Doglianese architect Giovanni Battista Schellino (1818-1905) has been the single greatest influence on the countryside and architectural style of the Langhe territory in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Visualizza Schellino, il Gaudì delle Langhe in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori
The Gothic spires, Classic columns, immense cupolas, and Wagnerian set designs characterize the works of this histrionic city planner, who resembles the celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudì in his originality and flair. To analyze Schellino and to understand how influential he was in these Piedmontese hills, in the courtyard of the Town Hall in Dogliani is a placard (unfortunately half-hidden) recounting his greatest works, his biography, and interesting facts.
This itinerary is ideal for a car or saddled up on a Vespa; or, for the more fit and adventurous traveler, by bike. You’ll depart from Novello, passing through the birthplace of Schellino in Dogliani to a few town centers of the Alta Langa on the trail of the architect’s most important works.
Starting from Novello, commence your journey on the main road Via Umberto I, exploring this small, hill-top town. Don’t miss the magnificent view over the Langhe and Alps from Piazza Tarditi on the left. Up a gentle slope is the Novello Castle, created and finished by Schellino in the late 1880s. It’s constructed over the foundations of an ancient manse from the medieval era and built in Neo-gothic style with two lateral towers and an impressive central staircase. Today it houses a restaurant and hotel. A few kilometers from Novello is Dogliani, the architect’s birthplace. From Piazza Umberto I, admire one of his most famous works, the parish church of St. Quirico and Paolo, a Neoclassic construction with double bell towers, capped by the beautiful cupola that is so brightly azure it is visible from kilometers away. Turn into Via Savona and, after a few turns, note the complex, Neo-gothic building made of nine red spires: this is the entrance to the monumental cemetery of Dogliani, where Schellino now rests. From here, begin the course of the thirteen pillars of the Rosary, also created by Schellino, that depict scenes of the life of Jesus that the passing traveler follows, concluding at the Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie, a 15th century oratory restored by Schellino in 1874.
Continuing on the road towards Murazzano, after a steep climb and numerous hairpin turns reach Belvedere Langhe. Here, too, Schellino left his mark in the church of St. Nicola, expanded in Neoclassic style and decorated with a small spire; and also in the chapels of St. Margherita and Assunta.
Not long after quitting the town, enter Murazzano. Admire the magnificent view and taste the famous tuma, the DOP-certified cheese produced from cow’s milk and sold directly from the producers in many of the farmhouses. We suggest a visit to the farmer’s society, “Penta,” in the Mellea community, and also to the farmhouse “Cascina Soffietti", in the Rea community.
Continuing along the tracks of the great architect, move to the Frazione Rea, where you can admire yet another of his numerous works: the rectory next to the chapel of the Santissima Trinità.