Agliano Terme, the source of wellness in the Monferrato area.
Agliano Terme it is located at the extreme southern side of the Monferrato.
It covers an area of 15.45 km² and has a population of about 1600 inhabitants.
It is 18 km from Asti, the provincial capital.
The hilly landscape, with soils of ancient formation, is characterized by the alternation of neat vineyards flanked by horticultural and cereal crops.
The international fame of Agliano Terme is easily deduced from its toponym: in 1770 in a field of Agliano, in the Vallata delle Fonti, a spring source was discovered that emitted a peculiar smell, deriving from the sulfur, then used by the inhabitants to cure the most disparate diseases.
Spa activity is flourishing today thanks to the presence of a modern wellness center, with adjoining camping and restaurant.
Waters of Agliano, the Fons Salutis and the Fonte di San Rocco, are today considered among the most complete to treat inflammatory diseases of the digestive system and, if inhaled, help to relieve the problems of the upper respiratory tract.
In Agliano Terme there are also the local Carabinieri station, the Maria Gianussi Municipal Music Band, founded in 1847 and considered the most ancient of all the Asti area (after that of the capital) and the Agliano-Castelnuovo Calcea railway station, Asti-Genoa line.
The first signs of the existence of Agliano Terme date back to 400 AD.
Agliano acquired renown in the Middle Ages for the famous Bianca Lancia, a splendid woman who was fascinated by Frederick II of Swabia (son of Emperor Henry VI and Constance of Altavilla): the two had a son, Manfredi, who was later King of Naples and of Sicily and who died, in 1266 in Benevento, fighting against Carlo d'Angiò.
The town was then a theater of war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and later it was aggregated to the dominions of the Savoy.
During the wars between the Duke of Savoy and the Spaniards for the succession of Monferrato, Agliano had to succumb to multiple disasters, including the destruction of its castle.
In modern times, Agliano distinguished itself for the fight against the fascist regime: for this reason, in 1998, the municipality was awarded the gold medal to the partisan value.
Food and wine and typical products.
Agliano Terme is a territory with a strong wine vocation.
Here are produced various fine wines, including Barbera d'Asti DOC, Barbera d'Asti, Freisa d'Asti, Dolcetto, Cortese, Brachetto and Chardonnay.
To “lady” Barbera are dedicated events of absolute appeal as the Barbera Fish Festival, dedicated to the encounter between the Norwegian cod and Barbera d'Asti, Barbera Unplugged and the Giornate della Barbera.
Agliano Terme is home to the Agenzia di Formazione Professionale delle Colline Astigiane, an important school dedicated to catering operators.
To be seen.
The parish Church of Saint Giacomo Maggiore is the oldest and richest of works of art in the municipal area. It was built between 1657 and 1753 on the site of a previous church, destroyed in the sixteenth century.
Also, worth seeing is the deconsecrated church of the Confraternity of Saint Michele, in Baroque style, the seventeenth-century Sanctuary of Annunciazione, which stands on a hill, surrounded by cypress trees, in the hamlet of Molizzo, the Tower of the ancient Castle of Agliano Terme (visitable), the last still visible evidence of the ancient castle destroyed in the first half of the seventeenth century, from the top of which you can enjoy a magnificent panorama.
Finally, we point out the wetland of the Paludo, a place of refuge for different species of birds, and the viewpoint of Bricco Roche are worthy of note.
In 1996, the name of the municipality changed from Agliano d'Asti to Agliano Terme.
Another curiosity is linked to the figure of Bianca Lancia of the family of the Counts of Loreto, among the most illustrious characters that Agliano Terme counts.
Bianca Lancia was the only woman who truly managed to conquer the difficult heart of Frederick II of Swabia.
The two met around 1225, a few months after their unfortunate marriage to Jolanda of Brienne: it was love at first sight.
Not being able to get married at the right wedding, the two maintained a clandestine but anything but secret relationship, from which two children were born, perhaps three: Costanza, Manfredi and, according to some, Violante.
According to a legend, during Manfredi's pregnancy, Federico, perhaps out of jealousy, kept his lover locked up in a tower of the castle of Gioia del Colle, where he had taken her.
The princess could not resist the humiliation; overcome by pain, she cut her breasts and sent them to the emperor on a tray with the baby. After that, according to the reporter, “she went on to another life”.
From that day, every night, in the castle tower, now called “Tower of the Empress”, her faint, excruciating lament is heard.