Cantarana: the queen of the waters who underwent the (small) glaciation...


The name Cantarana is probably of Celtic origin and refers to the presence of watercourses.

Water is still present in large quantities in the Bonoma locality, an important spring field that feeds various aqueducts.

The concentric is small and articulated around its main square, and farmhouses arranged on the extensive hilly territory formed by jugs that surround the wide valley.

Along the connecting roads there are numerous chapels and votive piers of historical and architectural interest.

The particular nature of the land built by marine deposits is evidenced by the presence of numerous fossils. The main agricultural activities concern viticulture, viticulture and livestock breeding.

Local craftsmanship is mainly active in the construction sector, in the engineering and carpentry, in the processing and trade of timber.

In the service sector, road haulage companies are important.

The town covers an area of 9.72 km² and has a population of about 1000 inhabitants.

It is 15 km far from Asti, the provincial capital.


Classical Age: Musanzia is born, the Maggiore river is called Cantarana. Probably the Torrazzo tower is built. Hypothetically born a village of probable Celtic origin called Bona (Torrazzo area), which is the true ancestor of Cantarana. The current Bricco Morra is the scene of a battle remembered until today by local place names.

X century: the ancient church of Saint Donato is built, the Serralunga Committee is formed.

XIII century: Villafranca is founded, the decline of Musanzia and the Serralunga Committee begins.

1356: for the first time the Malabaila are cited as lords of Cantarana, the name that will identify the municipality begins to spread.

1398: Abellone Malabaila leaves the testament in which he orders the construction of a church dedicated to S. Giovanni Battista in Cantarana, leaving the castle to his heirs (whose remains were found in 1995 by Marco Ferrero and Angelo Benotto).

1539: the King of France confirms the rights acquired by the community of Cantarana. In these same years: begins the small glaciation that will cause, together with human negligence, the swamping of the greater valley. Cantarana is mentioned in the map room of the Vatican museums (Villafranca is not listed). The castle and the primitive village are abandoned because of the swallowing; the Palazzasso and San Giovanni al Torrazzo are built. The old church of Saint Giovanni a Cantarana literally disappears.

1663: the parish of Cantarana is born with the first parish priest Don Veglio; Cantarana is devastated by war events.

1695: the present parish church is built by Antonio Casto (rich farmer from Cantarana) and dedicated to Saint Dorotea.

1702: Ninfa Rosa Malabaila Countess of Cantarana dies, the last of her family, will pass everything by succession to the Cacherano d'Osasco. Antonio Casto died drowned in a meadow of Cantarana.

1717: the reclamation work begins by Carlo Giovanni Battista Cacherano Malabaila Count of Cantarana.

1753: the church of Saint Sebastiano is demolished.

1759: Carlo Giovanni Battista Cacherano Malabaila finishes writing his family history and is, in fact, the first story of Cantarana. In these years he writes the history of Asti too (preserved in the Turin state archives) that is, also, the first in this case.

1769: Carlo Giovanni Battista Cacherano Malabaila dies.

1786: the church of Saint Nazario is renovated by Ercole Cacherano and assumes the current constitution.

1876: Don Giovanni Soria is parish priest of Cantarana

1891: the church of Saint Giovanni al Torrazzo is demolished and rebuilt.

1892: the church of Santissima Trinità is built.

1894: the church of Saint Pancrazio is built.

1895: the chapel of Consolata is built.

1898: the Cacherano d'Osasco counts abandon their possessions in Cantarana.

1914: Don Giovanni Soria builds the new bell tower of the parish by the architect Gallo of Turin, which is almost 50 meters high, becoming one of the most impressive bell towers in the province of Asti.

1916: Don Giovanni Soria dies on a carriage for cardiac arrest; the populace talks about murder. Father Luigi Cotto becomes parish priest.

1926: the ancient church of Saint Donato al Bricco Barrano is demolished due to a landslide situation and rebuilt on the opposite side of the road.

1929: Cantarana is merged with the municipality of Villafranca d'Asti.

1933: Giuseppe Bonaiuto writes and publishes the first story of Cantarana.

1947: municipal independence returns, mayor is Cesare Novara.

1961: Don Giovanni Rolfo is parish priest.

1976: the choral “L'Eco delle Colline” is born.


Food and wine and typical products.

Agnolotti and soused tench are the protagonists of the table in Cantarana: a festival in the month of August is dedicated to the two delicious dishes.

About wines, the productions of Barbera d'Asti and Freisa d'Asti are important.

To be seen.

The parish church dedicated to Saint Giovanni Battista stands on the main square of the village, where the municipal building is located.

The building, in baroque style, is characterized by the imposing 44 meters high bell tower, one of the highest in the province of Asti.

Also, worth seeing is the pretty church of Saint Nazario (14th and 15th centuries), on the Bricco Grosso hill, the Church of Saints Donato e Gaetano, demolished in 1926 following a landslide and rebuilt on the opposite side of the road, the country church of Santissima Trinità and the mural by Barbara Galizia, made in 2005.


In the Bonoma area there is the Aqueduct Città di Asti.

It was wanted by the engineer Luigi Medici del Vascello.

The plant brought water to the city of Asti on July 1, 1890. A splendid fountain was built in memory of the event in Piazza Medici, in Asti.