Frescoed fortress of Montalbano

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How to get

By car: from the A26 motorway exit at Romagnano Sesia in the direction Romagnano Sesia-Prato Sesia-Boca. From Boca follow the signs for Montalbano. Malpensa Airport is 36 km from Boca.
By train: the nearest railway station is Borgomanero, 7 km away.


Boca is a quiet little place in the province of Novara, in a setting of green hills and vineyards. Of the villages making up the administrative district, the most ancient and most picturesque is Montalbano.

During the Spanish rule of the area there used to be a fine building here, with terraces descending over vine-covered hills, on a sunny rise protected by the mountains to the north. It belonged first to the counts of Barbavara, later becoming the property of the Parruconi family, who built an oratory dedicated to San Marco.

Today Montalbano still conserves the remains of a 15th century castle; on the walls, which open out from the central body to form the courtyard, are some interesting frescoes depicting scenes of life as it was led in the fortress. On the courtyard walls you can see the siege of a castle; in the lunette of the entrance doorway, with the coat of arms of the Brusati Cavallizzi family, there is a picture of San Gaudenzio surrounded by angels holding a crown, a garland of flowers and an aspergillum (an implement used to sprinkle holy water).