The Village

The Retorto hamlet is located on the edges of the Orba river, in the heart of the province of Alessandria.
Retorto is a clustered village with four rurral courtyards and a central manor with cloisters, a church and a private park.
In the past Retorto used to be a flourishing rural hamlet and more than a hundred people used to conduct a peaceful life across its fields, its rural houses, the elementary school and the church.
Despite being a closed settlement, protected from dangers from the outside, Retorto was extremely alive, a self-sustaining and sufficient village.



The first proof of existence of “Rivo Torto” was A 937 a.C. donation act signed by Ugo di Provenza king of Italy that assigned to his wife Queen Bertha of Schwaben several Courts, among which Retorto.
During the following centuries the hamlet and the fields have been mentioned in several documents and agreements. The estate was transferred to the Fruttuaria abbey, then to the Marquees of Monferrato (by decision of Frederick I Barbarossa).
In 1320 Retorto was assigned to the patrician family Lanzavecchia, which in 1380 received the feud as an investiture.
Subsequently the province of Alessandria became part of the domains of the Sforza family. In 1463 Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, granted Giacomo Dal Pozzo and his son Giovanni the feud of Retorto. The Dal Pozzo family sold and reacquired the hamlet multiple times over the centuries and has been its main owner until 1918, when Retorto was sold to Matteo Bruzzo; his family continues to be the Retorto owner and the custodian.



Retorto, which until 1950 used to host approximately 300 people, has slowly started to loose inhabitants due to the progressive mechanization of agriculture and the decreased need of workers on the fields.
Today the 200 Ha farm business is cultivated by 3 full time resources who take care of cereals and tomato productions.
A master restoration plan was recently developed and signed to give new life to the hamlet. The plan will allow the change of use of some of the buildings from rural to hotel, residential and commercial spaces. The architectural project will keep the rural soul of the hamlet.
The master restoration plan and the urban agreement executed with municipality provide a well-defined urban plan, ready for renovation; at the same time these documents allow maximum flexibility for any changes.