The high ground of the General
General Daniel Richard had been seriously damaged in the Battle of Marengo, happened on June 14 th 1800 between the Austrian and the French Army driven by Napoleon. Along his convalescence, walking through the hills of Asti's countryside, at the end of the day, he entered a white sand path toward the ridge of the hills. After he passed through a group of cottages he felt captured by an unusual view of the nature: the sweet hills surrounding him on the right and on the left, delicious but steep as a crown over the valley covered by the vineyards, fruit trees and on each top a small factory. It was a gorgeous sunset over the hills skyline and the sky was so clear to allow him seeing the Alpes, the Monviso and the Monte Rosa in deep distance. Walking slowly he could felt the smells of early summer, the sounds of the woods and the light colours surrounded by the early long shadows.
The General felt so captured by that show that he decided not to go back to France but to built up his new residence on the top of one of that hills. He designed a project for a big house with three floors with a big cellar and, reminding his glorious past as an officer, he designed also a secret passage useful in case of attack .
His property became nice and nice everyday more by his cares but he never wanted to modify the panorama and the surrounding fields in order to preserve that first impression he had of that places on the summer sunset during his convalescence.
He took care of the vineyards and of the other country duties such as the seasoning of cheeses and pork products. He found his real satisfaction in such simple works moving his designed life as an officer to this new entertainment. He started having long horses walks, hunting taking care of his trees, his fields his fruits. Sometimes he spent the whole day seated in the garden looking the valley and the hills all around searching for the sunset light with the intense sensation given by the country.
A long time has passed from that period, but on the top of that hill nothing has changed. The white sand path is made in asphalt nowadays but it still follows the shape of the hill. The vineyard cultivated with Barbera grapes still remains and the house is there all along facing the winds and the times. There is still the old horse chestnuts tree shading the house and the birds life. The same silence and the same wood sounds remains and also the flower smells and the smoke of the fireplace.
Nowadays the high ground of the General is a modern Bed & Breakfast which preserves, beside each comfort, the atmosphere and the appeal of the places which fascinated General Richard.