Located almost 900 metres above sea level, Mombarcaro is commonly known as “the roof of the Langhe”.
The name probably derives from the Latin: Mons (mountain) and Barcari (barbarized from the word for boats), in other words the mountain from which sailboats or large ships could be spotted. The Ligurian Sea can indeed be seen from the top of the village on clear days.
An initial settlement here dates back to the Roman era (1st century AD); a funerary stele for the soldier Marcus Valerius is preserved in the local historical and ethnographical museum.
Traces of Mombarcaro’s medieval history can be seen in the remains of the entrance gates located along the main street.
The village and its fortifications were destroyed for the first time in the 13th century, rebuilt the following century and then again razed to the ground during the 17th-century wars.
The curtain wall and the castle have been effectively lost, but the two entrance gates remain, and can be found along the main street that crosses the whole village. One of these is in excellent condition: rectangular in shape and constructed from uniform stones, it has a central barrel vault and a pointed arch.