Immortalized in Beppe Fenoglio’s stories, San Benedetto Belbo is named after a monastery founded by Benedictine monks from the abbey of Santa Maria di Castiglione, near Parma, in 1035.

The local microclimate, created by the hilly altitude (636 metres above sea level), the presence of the Belbo river and the exposure have led to the development of an evergreen oak (Quercus crenata) and other rare plants in the woods and undergrowth.

San Benedetto Belbo’s medieval past can be seen in the remains of the defensive walls, erected during the 15th century. Still visible today are the remains of a gateway and a short stretch of curtain wall. The gateway has an ogival arch with freestone ashlars; the keystone is decorated with a diagonally banded shield. The walls are made from cleft stones, large pebbles and rough-hewn stones.

The other four openings were made in recent times.