MUNICIPALITY OF tortona
(Province of Alessandria)
m. 210 s.l.m.
27104 (685 nel borgo)
Vho is a small hill borgo with panoramic views of cultivated fields and vineyards. The beauty and uniqueness of the village lies in the position and landscape that surrounds it. Here the countryside is a patchwork of green, with parallel vines and crops. On clear days, the view sweeps from the nearby Ligurian Apennines to the Piedmontese Alps. The old town developed around the castle, which was surrounded by a moat and was accessed via a drawbridge. Walking in the streets, it is easy to come across the historical highlights of this past: Via del Fosso (once the moat), Via di Castel Zenone (the owners of the castle in the 18th century) and the Strada del Pozzo (street of the well). Parts of the original settlements are still visible including the entrance arch and some restored houses. The borgo has two churches: in the centre the Church of San Salvatore, next to the castle, the 17th century Chapel of Madonna della Purità, at the gates of the village.
• The Church of San Salvatore: the first record of the church dates back to a document of 1326. Reconstructed in 1711, the floor is made of polychrome marble slabs.
• Il Divisionismo Art Gallery is a permanent exhibition that documents the talian artistic culture between the 19th and 20th centuries.
• The Archaeological Museum in Palazzo Guidobono is a collection of more than 2000 artefacts from Tortonese excavations, from prehistory to the early Middle Ages.
• Atelier Sarina is dedicated to the puppeteer Peppino Sarina, one of the greatest exponents of the puppet theatre, who lived and worked in Tortona in the first half of the 20th century.
• The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art collects works from the Bishop’s Palace, the Seminary, the parishes of the diocese, as well as from the civic collections.
• Palazzo Scarampi stands on the ruins of an ancient castle, documented in 11th century texts but no visible traces remain.
• Vho Carnival, Shrove Tuesday: dating back to the 18th century the traditional picnic in the countryside became the Carnival. Polenta, made with local corn flour and salami are distributed to all, every year in the town square.
• Agnolotto Festival, late-summer:a celebration of the borgo’s specialty, the agnolotto.
Local products include excellent wines: the renowned Derthona Timorasso gold-coloured white wine made from a recently rediscovered native grape variety. The local specialty is agnolotti: round ravioli filled with beef slow-cooked in red wine.