Cerreto d'Asti: in the land of roses, you look at the sky while the stars light up its beauty.
The toponym of the town of Cerreto d'Asti derives from the Latin “cerrus” (cerro) with the addition of the collective suffix -etum to mean, in fact, the forest of oaks.
The town covers an area of 4.82 km² and has a population of about 230 inhabitants.
It is 25 km from Asti, the provincial capital.
The position of Cerreto d'Asti as a frontier land has left numerous traces in the local toponymy, as evidenced by the names of the places Sentinella and Nonplusultra.
Cerretum, as it was called in the early Middle Ages, was donated in 1065 by Adelaide di Susa to the bishops of Asti who held it for a century, until it passed, by Federico Barbarossa, to the Marquis of Monferrato (1164). In 1254, confirming a possession already held in as early as 1186, it was returned to the Monferrato in 1325 for a short period, to re-enter the territory of the Lords of Cocconato.
In 1530, it passed to the Savoy and since then it has always been under their high dominion: its borderland situation has left its mark in the local toponymy, where there is the name of Sentinella to indicate a place located in a strategic position.
The documentary sources attest to the existence of the village from the tenth century. Cerreto was donated in 1065 by Adelaide di Susa to the Bishop of Asti, until it passed, in the second half of the twelfth century by Federico Barbarossa, to the Marquises of Monferrato and subjugated to the Counts of Cocconato. In the sixteenth century it passed to the Savoy.
Fortified recollection, once collected on the spur on which today stands the parish church, today the town develops on the ridge along the main axis of the village.
Cerreto d'Asti is an interesting example of a linear town, whose morphology is strongly characterized by the development along the road-town, with its articulations in wide openings and short alleys.
Food and wine and typical products.
The wines protagonists of the territory (in particular Freisa, Malvasia, Barbera and Bonarda) accompany the typical dishes of the Piedmontese cuisine, among which we remember: bagna cauda, raw meat salad, agnolotti, gardener soup and walnut breadsticks.
Also, worth mentioning is the production of honey, maize, Turkish wheat and of course the precious white truffles.
To be seen.
Cerreto develops along the road-village of Via Inserra: along the way meet the parish church of Saint Andrea, probably built in 1164 and rebuilt between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Old Municipal Wood Oven used until after World War II by the inhabitants of Cerreto d'Asti to bake bread and other food, the Astronomical Observatory and the Church of Madonna, built in the mid-nineteenth century.
In the hamlet of Casaglio there is also a jewel of the Romanesque period, the Church of Saint Andrea di Casaglio: the oldest document attesting its existence dates back to 24th June 1008, at that time it was a monastery (monasterium sancti Andree de Casallo).
As mentioned, the town's toponym derives from the Latin “cerrus” (cerro) with the addition of the collective suffix -etum to mean, in fact, the forest of oaks.
Much of the territory of Cerreto, in fact, is covered by woods of various kinds.
Walking through the luxuriant green in which the village is immersed, we can encounter the long-lived Bagolaro: it can live for 500 years and is nicknamed the hackberry for its roots that can penetrate into the rocks. It was once used to build oars, rims and axles for wagons.
Cerreto d’Asti is also known as “The land of roses”.
Each door of via Inserra, the country road along which Cerreto develops, is in fact embellished with a different rose by species and colour.
The idea was born from Mirco Mosso, mayor of the town from April 16th 2000 to July 29th 2001, the day of his untimely death.
Since then, even today, the citizens and the municipal administrations that have followed have wanted to carry on this tradition.