Pictures (4)


21/03/2024 - 06/10/2024
Via San Lorenzo 21, Palazzo Monferrato, Alessandria


The exhibition Alessandria Preziosa. Un laboratorio internazionale al tramonto del Cinquecento (21 March - 6 October 2024), Palazzo del Monferrato of Alessandria), in association with the Uffizi Galleries, is focused on the city of Alessandria and the surrounding area and reveals its creative civilization between the 16th and early 17th century, focusing on sumptuous arts, close to the advent of international Mannerism in the years of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. The exhibition does not end inside the halls of Palazzo Monferrato; it travels and extends to other cultural venues of the province of Alessandria, whose artistic heritage, coherent with the theme of the exhibition, has not been moved to be exhibited but, rather, recommended as the subject of an ad hoc visit to all visitors of palazzo Monferrato.


Day 1

Arrive in Alessandria in the afternoon and time to visit the exhibition Alessandria Preziosa at Palazzo Monferrato.

Alessandria Preziosa is divided into seven sections composed by close to eighty works, in which the protagonists are the precious metal sculptures, highlighting the decisive role played by the sumptuous arts, from goldsmithing to metalworking, from the art of armourers to the carving of semi-precious stones. The goal of the exhibition is two-fold: on one side to outline the advent of international mannerism harbinger of a new sense of reality and shape, through a selection of jewellery and objects in metal, but also canvas and panel paintings and sculptures in wood and marble which better dialogue with the precious arts; the second focus of the project is that of displaying and showing how the current territory of the province of Alessandria was a place where strengths and different cultures converged, which did not pale in comparison with other more glorious cities of the Po Plain, but rather represented a happy exception, in which Nordic influences measured themselves against those from Florence and Rome.

The exhibition Alessandria Preziosa, un laboratorio internazionale al tramonto del Cinquecento, continues its itinerary in Alessandria inside Palatium Vetus, the ancient town hall of the medieval city, currently seat of the Fondazione CRA. Independently, or through guided tours, the visitor can discover a museum with representative and interesting paintings of the local territory contemporary to the works on show in Alessandria Preziosa, just a short distance from Palazzo Monferrato. In particular, on the top floor of the Broletto of Fondazione CRA, the paintings which have been part of its collection from the middle of the 16th century to the early 17th century dialogue with the masterpieces of the exhibition, offering the opportunity of a free visit to the many precious artifacts, some of which granted on loan for the exhibition of palazzo Monferrato, such as Santa Margherita or the devoted image of Our Lady of Crea, both by the painter Guglielmo Caccia aka il Moncalvo. From Gaudenzio Ferrari, with his depiction of Christ and the Samaritan Woman, a precise iconographic choice with respect to the religious crisis which will result in the Council of Trent, continuing with the panels by Defendente Ferrari, Bernardino Lanino to the works of Moncalvo and the large altarpiece of Crivelli commissioned for the Church of San Marco in Alessandria, it will be possible to take a walk in art and embark on a journey through time in Alessandria, a crossroads of different identities and cultures.

Followed by a walk in the historic centre of the city and Wine Cocktail Experience to discover one of the 5 drinks made with the most famous wines of the province of Alessandria: Dolcetto di Ovada, Derthona Timorasso, Cortese Gavi, Grignolino and Brachetto d'Acqui (in association with the Regional Wine Bars of the Province of Alessandria).
Dinner at leisure and overnight in 4* central hotel.

Day 2

After breakfast transfer to Tortona and along the way stop in Torre Garofoli where (by booking) it is possible to visit the Church of S. Giustina and the pictorial cycle of the Life of Sant' Agnese by Camillo Procaccini. The construction of the Church of Torre Garofoli began in 1590 at the behest of Giustina Garofoli, descendant of an ancient and noble family of Tortona. The construction of the Church of Torre Garofoli was not the only sign of greatness of Giustina; in the same Church of Tortona in which Princess Cristierna of Denmark had wanted a chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Mary, she had a magnificent one built entitled to Sant'Agnese, availing of her relations with the Milanese environment in which the major artists of those years worked. They were close relations thanks to her second husband, Prospero Visconti, who was also a collector and an art merchant, so it is probable that she had contacts with Camillo Procaccini considered the crème de la crème of Milanese painters at that time: Giustina Garofoli decided to entrust him with the decoration of the Chapel of Sant'Agnese.
These paintings were transferred to the Church of Santa Giustina in Torre Garofoli after 1880, after important restoration work was carried out, at the behest of Vittorio Guidobono Cavalchini Garofoli, which gave the church its current appearance.

Arrive in Tortona and lunch at leisure.

In the afternoon visit the Cathedral and Diocesan Museum At the end of the 16th century the architectural renewal promoted by the Counter-Reformation led to the birth of many construction sites in the city, starting from that of the new Cathedral. Indeed, the ancient building which stood on the hill was destroyed in 1609, after it was englobed into the fortifications of the castle and transformed into a gunpowder store by the Spaniards. The new Cathedral was rebuilt in the lower part of the city starting from 1574 and consecrated in 1583 by the Bishop Cesare Gambara, in the presence of the Lady of Tortona, Cristierna of Denmark. The works currently housed in the mother church and in the nearby Diocesan Museum confirm that in the artistic production the figurative culture of Tortona was deeply influenced by the Milanese culture, starting from the altarpiece by Aurelio Luini depicting Our Lady with the child Jesus between the Saints Sebastiano and Rocco of 1592 (Cathedral, left nave). With the painting school of Camillo Procaccini and Giovan Mauro della Rovere aka il Fiamminghino, the city becomes a fertile atelier for images which respect the counter-reformed canons and are stylistically modern.

Dinner in one of the wine bars of the centre to discover the wine symbol of the territory of Derthona Timorasso DOC or in gourmet restaurant (with supplement). Overnight in B&B/

Day 3

After breakfast transfer to San Sebastiano Curone: the village was the centre of commerce between Genoa and the State of Milan, and its vocation can be seen in its urban conformation of narrow cobbled streets and tall multi-storey houses with artistic portals of sculpted
Visit the parish church named after Saint Sebastian which faces onto the main square of the village, surrounded by Liberty style buildings.
Inside, it is home to interesting works such as a side altar to the left, the grandiose Crucifixion altarpiece, in polychrome wood, attributed to Stefano Vil, a woodcutter of German origin, author of mostly wooden choirs. The altarpiece, made of sculpted panels on two perspective planes to create the illusion of depth, is enclosed inside a contemporary altar: it represents both the scene of the death of Christ on the Cross and the Compianto. Top centre is the figure of the Crucified Christ, the only moving part, sculpted in the round, and resting on a painted cross in raw fir fibre; in the background the representation of a sky where sun and moon co-exist and the reproduction of the walls and of a village, perhaps the same San Sebastiano. In the foreground, seven figures (Our Lady, St. John, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, three Marys) sculpted almost in the round.

Left San Sebastiano, the tour heads towards Fabbrica Curone to visit an important cheese factory which produces Montebore cheese, a tasting session is included. The story of Montebore begins in the 15th century, in 1489 to be precise, when Tortona celebrated the wedding between Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza, nephew of Ludovico il Moro, and ruler of the Dukedom of Milan. The Montebore is the only cheese served at this lavish wedding banquet, it is said at the behest of the master of ceremonies Leonardo da Vinci, who designed the cheese in the shape of a wedding cake.

By reservation, it is possible to continue the tour to discover the province of Alessandria with:
- Volpedo visit the places of Pellizza (Museum and artist's house)
- Visit the Church of Viguzzolo
- Visit Vho, one of the most beautiful villages of Italy
- visit the Sacred Art Museum of Rocchetta Ligure
- Castellania Coppi visit the House-Museum of Fausto Coppi and discover the legend of the great champion
- trekking itinerary in Val Curone or Val Borbera with environmental trekking guide
- rental of e-bike and tour of Val Curone with cycle-tour guide
- visit with tasting session to discover Salame Nobile of Giarolo
- aperitif in the Strette di Pertuso canyon and visit the Toy Museum of Borghetto Borbera

Alessandria preziosa. Un laboratorio internazionale al tramonto del Cinquecento will be housed in Palazzo del Monferrato in Alessandria and curated by Fulvio Cervini with the organisational design of Roberto Livraghi, Director of Palazzo Monferrato. The exhibition is promoted by the Chamber of Commerce of Alessandria-Asti, the Piedmont Regional Authority, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria, the Municipality of Alessandria, Council for the enhancement of the artistic heritage of the Alessandria area, in association with the Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape Office for the provinces of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo, Fondazione Slala and ATL Alexala.

A unique project realized in collaboration with the Uffizi Galleries, which will see loans from the Florentine Gallery, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and some of the most important Italian museums converge in Alessandria.

Information and Times

Exhibition Alessandria Preziosa at Palazzo Monferrato
Days and opening times
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment

Torre Garofoli (Tortona)
Parish of S. Giustina
strada Cerca, 7- hamlet of Torre Garofoli - 15057 Tortona (AL)
Parish priest of Curone Mons. Carlo
by appointment

Cathedral Parish
Piazza Duomo - 15057 TORTONA (AL)
Times: every day non-stop from 7:30 am to 7 pm

Diocesan Museum Tortona
Saturday and Sunday
3:30 pm -6:30 pm (October to May)
4 pm - 7 pm (June to September)

Parish of S. Sebastiano
Piazza Roma 1 - 15060- San Sebastiano Curone (AL)
Opening times: winter: 8 am -7 pm; summer: 7:30 am - midnight

Rates / Supplements

Price per person from:

€ 280,00 (groups of 2 pax)

The price includes:

One night in Alessandria in 4* central hotel and one night in charming B&B agriturismo close to Tortona, twin room and breakfast - admission to the Exhibition Alessandria Preziosa at Palazzo Monferrato and Palatium Vetus - visit the Church of Torre Garofoli (exclusively by appointment) - visit the Cathedral of Tortona and Diocesan Museum - dinner in wine bar in Tortona (excluding wines) - Visit the parish Church of San Sebastiano Curone - visit and tasting in cheese factory which produces Montebore - insurance

The price does not include:

Transfers, city tax, optional experience last day, lunches/dinners not indicated, extras and anything not listed under the price includes


Licensed tour guide euro 180.00 HD - per day


Holiday formula:

Groups, Individuals

Guided tour:

No, on request (with supplement)