Farmhouse & Educational Farm

Biological farm
FarmhouseOffer 2021

Who we are

The Merlanetta farmhouse is a biologically run farm overlooking the left bank of the Orba stream: the farm’s production is cerealitic – fodder but there is also an orchard made up of fifty ancient varieties all typical of lower Piedmont.
A large part of the company falls within the SIC area (site of community importance) and in the “SPECIAL NATURAL RESERVE OF THE ORBA RIVER” where the Piedmont region has identified the only area authorized for the search for gold for amateur scientific and educational purposes, considering that the sands of the stream are notoriously auriferous.
At the Merlanetta farmhouse there is the historical and interactive museum “ORO DELL’ORBA” and through the didactic activity it is also possible to carry out courses to learn the use of the various gold research techniques and then try their hand at this activity directly on the bed of the stream.
The Merlanetta farmhouse also offers a hospitality-only service in an apartment with a kitchen and all other comforts and also offers three motorhome parking areas equipped with all services.

The company

Environmental enhancement was also achieved through the planting of a triple row hedge, as part of operation 4.4.1 – “Natural elements of the agro-ecosystem” of the Rural Development Plan of the Piedmont region. This Operation supports non-productive investments which include the introduction, restoration or expansion of shrub and tree formations aimed at promoting biodiversity, improving the quality of the agricultural landscape and in general the achievement of agro-climatic-environmental objectives.

The hedge was built with the financial support of the European Community using more than 1,650 specimens of English oak, hornbeam, dogwood, field maple, blackthorn and hawthorn.

Still with a view to enhancing the environment, a permanent forest was created, as part of operation 8.1.1 – “Afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land” of the Rural Development Plan of the Piedmont region. The Operation 8.1.1, in implementation of art. 22 of Reg. (EU) No. 1305/2013, supports the afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land, with the use of wood species suitable for the location and climatic conditions of the area concerned, in compliance with specific environmental requirements and pursues ‘goal of spreading agricultural and forestry practices suitable for increasing carbon sequestration, restoring, maintaining and improving natural and agricultural biodiversity and landscape.

This intervention was also carried out with the financial support of the European Community, planting on about 3 hectares of land more than 2,500 specimens of white poplar, black poplar, ash, cherry, hackberry, hornbeam, blackthorn, dogwood, evonimo.

100% Biological

Another 3ha, always within the protected area, have been used as a stable lawn with polyphite essences for wet areas and irrigated with an innovative sub-irrigation system so as to reduce water consumption by approximately ¾ and at the same time produce hay from above value, not only nutritional but also ecological.

In compliance with the strict regulations for organic agriculture, the other farm productions are alternations of cereals (barley, spelled, wheat), oilseed crops such as rapeseed, sunflowers, soybeans and maize alternated with interleaves which are able to preserve the land from erosion and at the same time provide the soil with the necessary nutrients for an agriculture where chemistry is banned

Square meters



Plant species


from “Un anno in Piemonte” of  Beppe Gandolfo

Looking for gold nuggets in Monferrato

from “Tendenze di Viaggio” of  Cesare Tamborini

Discovering the Casal Cermelli Klondike

from “Il Secolo XIX” of  Daniela Terragni

Gold Rush

from “Caravan Camper Granturismo” of  Marina Cioccoloni

In search of gold in the clear waters of the Orba stream

from “Vita in Campagna” 2/2020

A unique experience at cascina Merlanetta

from “Campagna Amica – Vinitaly 2019” di Luisa Bo

At Cascina Merlanetta in the Orba valley a museum and five tanks in which to practice and discover history


from La Stampa, di Daniele Prato

Ottanta ardimentosi hanno cercato l’oro sulle sponde dell’Orba per una Pasquetta alla Jack London


da La Stampa, di Daniele Prato

"Saturday in the villages" in Predosa and Casalcermelli


from RadioGold

Experiential tourism proposals

Gold museum

Visiting the exhibition of Merlanetta farmhouse you immerse yourself in the history of gold research along the course of the Orba stream.
Finds, documents and equipment, everything leads to discover an activity already carried out on site by the Celtic-Ligurian tribes and the ancient Romans up to the present day.

Educational farm

By participating in the courses of the educational farm, you can learn the various techniques of searching for gold in gold sands.
Using the classic manual equipment already in use in antiquity, you can sift the sands of the clear waters of the Orba stream and retain a safe booty.

Where we are

Via Ovada, 42
15072 Casal Cermelli (AL) Piemonte, Italy

Tel. +39 0131 279 392
Cell. +39 335 806 5449

P.IVA: 02524740061


Diventa nostro Amico e seguici!