History

caveiaokMost of the early history of the edifice that has become Ca’ Veja is gleaned from research carried out by Bevione, Molino and Valsania in preparing their invaluable work, “Between Earth and Sky: Living Colours of Montà. Plan in Colour of the Municipality of Monta.”
They determined that the building likely already existed in the early 19th century, located just within the external fortifications and close to one of the oldest gates to the town, the current Vicolo San Giovanni. At that time, a line of compact and solidly constructed buildings stretched above the cliffs (rocche) along the Contrada Maestra, the Main Road that, as Via Cavour, continues to provide an important connection for Montà with the cities of Turin and Alba.
The property was thought to have been used originally as stables and osteria, due to its strategic position close to the town gate. This theory was confirmed by the sign painted on the façade fronting Via Cavour that was revealed during the restoration work of 2005.
With the growth of a new middle class of small landowners, shopkeepers, and professionals in the late 19th century, the use of the building changed. In 1881 the so-called “Agricultural Workers Society” chose to establish their headquarters here, again because of the strategic location, close to the Town Hall, the weighbridge, the tavern, and the shops surrounding Piazza San Michele, as well as the church itself.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the building was converted to residential use. The construction of the Palazzo delle Scuole (the school building), completed in 1891, represented a dramatic innovation in the town’s public and private architecture. Because of its proximity to the school (about 100 metres), Ca’ Veja soon was chosen as a residence for the elementary school teachers.
In those days, especially in rural villages such as Montà, teachers held an important social position. To honor their presence and in response to the new aesthetic of the school building, Cà Veja was partially restored and acquired that composed air, austere but elegant at the same time, that still distinguishes it today. Notable is the regularity of its proportions and the interplay of line and space. The interiors, enriched with unusual refinements compared to the simplicity of traditional Roero rural buildings, were the real innovation. The building was even equipped with toilets on the balconies, a symbol of comfort and distinction for a late 19th century house.
Since the 1980s, Cà Veja has been owned by the Marchisio family. The restoration of the building conducted in 2005 was done with thoughtful care and respect for the important role it has played in the history of Montà.

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