In the mid-thirties, one art scholar defined with this words this beautiful villa:
‘Beautiful, placed on the hills in magnificent location, large, surrounded by large gardens, grandiose, with a beautiful porch to the city and a large central hall that occupies the whole height of the building, executed on an elegant baroque design, harmonious in proportions’
She hypothesized that the architect of the villa was the architect Count Francesco Ottavio Magnocavallo. In those years, in this zone, lived established architects such as Scapitta, Bernando Vittone, Benedetto Alfieri, Magnocavallo, Robilant, Vitali, Bertotti Scamozzi, all authors of works worthy of appearing in major residences. This fantastic villa is undoubtedly a piece of architectural heritage of the Baroque era and now, it would seem, for sale. This is called the Villa of the “one hundred windows”, the eighteenth-century historical residence on the hill of Sant’Anna now owned by the ‘Bianco Paolo e Daniele’. The real name is Villa Regina Apostolorum, and was built in the second half of the eighteenth century by the Marquis of Cereseto Vincenzo Stanislao Ricci who was the owner until the early nineteenth century, and later sold it to the Callori di Vignale. The fantastic villa also belonged to the Sannazzaro Natta of the Counts of Giarole and Rivalta, the barons of Ozzano, the Maistre of Castelgrana and, lastly, to the Lovara de Maria. Baroque and classic revival are the styles of the dwelling with refined stucco decorations, walls and frescoed inserts. Villa Regina Apostolorum has an area of 2000 square meters of which 500 for each of the four floors and is surrounded by a park of over 10,000 square meters. Typically of Baroque taste and derived from the late Renaissance villa are instead the creation of a second floor destinated for the servants’ quarters and the skylights with oval-shaped oculi. When Villa Regina Apostolorum was built in the 18th century, this area was totally suburban, in a splendid position overlooking the city, immersed in dense vegetation, woods, vineyards and cultivated land. The seventeenth century prints depicting the place, illustrate the field where the Spanish troops lodged, besieging the zone and, in 1706, the austrian-piedmonteses obtained, right on the hill of Sant’Anna, the crushing victory that changed the destinies of the Savoy, Monferrato and all of Europe. The Obermitto from Asti made of this, a residential area and the villa passed to the Marian Apostolate who set up welfare foundations there. Over the years, the Villa of the hundred windows has hosted musical, exhibition and commercial events and, with the exhibitions of nurserymen and exhibitors of the garden branch, has relived aspects of the ancient splendor. Now it is waiting for an aquirent that brings to dignity its elegant structures but it’s sadly abandoned.