Capriglio is “pink”: from Margherita Occhiena to Maria Luigia Agagliate, women protagonists in the town of the precious heart-shaped pepper.
The hilly landscape of Capriglio is characterized by the presence of large areas of woods, which cover 80% of the territory and allow long walks for oxygen therapy, embellished by the excellent quality of the water of the springs.
The town covers an area of 5.06 km² and has a population of about 280 inhabitants.
It is 30 km from Asti, the provincial capital.
Having Saint Martino as patron (with two churches dedicated to him) denotes the presence of a town in what is now Capriglio since the Carolingian age, around the ninth century.
We know, from discoveries, that the area was already inhabited in Roman times, but it is only since 1153 that we find Capriglio (or better Caprilji or Caprile) in written documents: Eugenio III Pope refers to it in an act requested by Bishop Anselmo (Caprile cum toto his committee).
It was then part of the Asti Committee to pass shortly afterwards to the ancient county of Cocconato, governed by the Radicati family.
Capriglio, like all the inhabited centers of the area, naturally had a castle, located in the place where now the parish church and the building called "the kindergarten".
The castle was destroyed (between 1400 and 1500) while its underground remains that are developed throughout the central area of the town.
Among the illustrious citizens of Capriglio are, in the Middle Ages, Willelmus provost of Saint Secondo in Asti and witness, on the Asti side, to the peace of 1292 (a plaque in S. Secondo is a must), and - in modern times - Mamma Margherita, mother of St. Giovanni Bosco.
Perhaps the most traumatic historical event for Capriglio was the siege and surrender to the Chieresi, which took place in June 1329.
The membership of the Radicati family ended in 1500, after - with the Savoy - the feudal lords were: Dentis (1688), Lodi (1692), Siriane Marquis of Pianezza (1699) and then Miglino (1722) and Maino (1772) to finish with Count Ferdinando Sapelli in 1839.
Today Capriglio is a mixed residential town having lost over time mainly agricultural and handicraft characteristics, however there are still some crops, including that of the local specialty "Peperone di Capriglio", organic crops and some renowned artisans who have gone to flank activities of the new economy such as the software house.
The main attraction, however, are the forests, which cover about 80 percent of the territory, with the paths in the narrow streets that develop for almost 20 kilometers.
Food and wine and typical products.
The absolute protagonist of the territory is the Peperone di Capriglio, the heart-shaped fruit grown exclusively in Capriglio for almost two centuries. The producers of Peperone di Capriglio are gathered in the association Un Cuore di Peperone.
Peperone di Capriglio is protected and safeguarded by Fondazione Slow Food.
For this reason, since 2010, the town has obtained the prestigious recognition of Slow Food Presidium.
Since 2002, Peperone di Capriglio has also been declared a traditional product by Regione Piemonte.
In Capriglio, zucchini and local wine, the Freisa, are also very popular.
To be seen.
In the town hall, as in some other private buildings, the plaster ceilings are preserved, evidence of a specific building technique of 1600/1700.
The parish church of Natività della Vergine Maria dates back to 1500; it was modified in 1860, with the lengthening of the single hall and the addition of a span.
In the cemetery area we find instead the Church of Saint Martino which preserves traces of the structure of the fourteenth century.
Capriglio is the birthplace of Margherita Occhiena, for all Mamma Margherita, mother of St. Giovanni Bosco: in Cecca hamlet is visible the house, where she was born on April 1, 1788 (now privately owned), while near the municipal palace can be visited the museum dedicated to her figure.
In the village there are several votive pylons, all included in the Maps section of the Capriglio website: the most interesting is undoubtedly the Pilon dla Cros, dedicated to Saint Rocco, so nicknamed for the position in which it stands, at an intersection road. Finally, in the Serra hamlet we find the chapel dedicated to Saint Sebastiano, in an elevated position, on an embankment with ten steps.
The municipal library is dedicated to the teacher Maria Luigia Agagliate: elected mayor of Capriglio in 1956, a position that she covered until 1975, was the first woman ever to play this role in the province of Asti and among the first in Italy.