Cerro Tanaro

Cerro Tanaro, journey to the (geographical) Monferrato center.


Landscape.

The town of Cerro Tanaro develops following the fertile left bank of the river Tanaro.

Because of its position has suffered several floods throughout history including the disastrous in November 1994.

The town covers an area of 4.65 km² and has a population of about 600 inhabitants.

It is 15 km from Asti, the provincial capital.


History.

The first reliable data on Cerro Tanaro date back to the 12th century.

Built the village, the church, the abbey, the castle and finally the customs, Cerro reveals a knot of intense traffic between the Low and High Monferrato.

Monferrato island, the stronghold of the marquisate on the left bank of the Tanaro, is close all around by the Visconti domain.

After the initial changes of subjection, first to Annone and then to the municipality of Asti (act 12 December 1197), Cerro confirms, until their sunset, its belonging and loyalty to the Marquises of Monferrato.

We also have the first signs of a centuries-old struggle that opposes Cerro to Rocchetta, Annone, Quattordio and Masio for the definition of borders and beyond.

In the period between 1703 and 1708 Cerro, like all the rest of the Monferrato, also came to the Savoy House.

Aleramic soil, followed the vicissitudes and underwent the succession wars of the Marquisate of Monferrato, as well as its castle that hosted feudal lords, princes and lords of those dynasties, including Carlo Gonzaga, leader and then sovereign of Monferrato.

The property of the fief of Cerro often passed: we remember the Natta, the Isnardi, the Beccaria and again the Natta Guiscardi.

In 1459 Giorgio Natta is Count of Cerro: legend says he was born right here in the castle.

Known jurisconsult, his thought can be summarized in this maxim: “Justice is the hardest virtue of charity and is the most necessary science of medicine”.

Its doctrinal jurisprudence treatises are preserved in the most important foreign libraries.

His effigy is painted on the vault of the hall advising the Municipality of Asti along with that of Alfieri and other great inhabitants of Asti.


Administration.

Cerro Tanaro is home to the Comunità Collinare Via Fulvia, a union of municipalities established with the aim of promoting the development of the territory and improving the services provided to the community.


Food and wine and typical products.

Cerro Tanaro is a town in the High Monferrato with a strong wine vocation.

Typical wines of the territory are Grignolino, Barbera and Freisa.


To be seen.

The most important monument is certainly the parish church, dedicated to Saint Giovanni Battista.

It was built in the sixteenth and seventeenth century following the increased population, on a pre-existing chapel of the twelfth century dedicated to the same saint.

Once it was dependent on the Abbey of Pomposa.

The bell tower has undergone changes during the eighteenth century.

The wind vane on the top bears a date: 1754.

Inside you can admire: the main altar and the one of Sacred Heart, both in scagliola and signed by Francesco Solari respectively in 1760 and 1761; the nineteenth-century canvas of the Sacred Heart; the eighteenth-century balustrade and stoup.

Beautiful is the statue of Madonna del Rosario dating back to the second half of the 1700s.

The organ signed by Liborio Grisanti 1763 is also precious, recently restored with the supervision of the organs commission of the Superintendence for the artistic and historical heritage of Piedmont. A large canvas from the 1600s, placed in the presbytery, depicts Our Lady with Child and Saints.

The decoration of the church dates back to 1896 and is signed by the painter Giulio Musso.

A short distance from the parish church, the Confraternity of Santissima Trinità dating back to the 16th century. Flooded in November 1994, it has been restored and turned into a cultural center.

The medieval castle dating back to the thirteenth century, hosted feudal lords, princes and lords, including Carlo Gonzaga who became ruler of the Monferrato.

Legend says that the well-known jurisconsult Giorgio Natta, count of Cerro, was born there in 1459. It is now a private residence.

In the center of the village there is the Adorni Tower, a 16th century stronghold built by Adorni family (now a private residence).

In Piazza Libertà stands the town hall (once also home to elementary schools), built in the mid-twentieth century, which houses the municipal offices and the headquarters of the Comunità Collinare Via Fulvia.

On the first floor of the Rocchetta Tanaro-Cerro railway station, inaugurated in 1908, is the Sarachet Bicycle Museum (Museo della Bicicletta Sarachet) which houses the collection of historic bicycles, machinery and accessories linked to the production of bicycles by Guido Saracco called “Sarachet”.


Curiosity.

Cerro Tanaro is considered the geographic center of Monferrato.

The history of the village was written by the surveyor Domenico Testa.

Born January 21, 1914, in Cerro Tanaro, after a working life spent in the administration of State Railways back to Cerro to study its history and then expand its research to the entire Monferrato.

He is one of the founders of the Gruppo Ricerche Astigiane, an association of fans of local history; together with some of them he founded the cultural magazine “Il Platano”.

He bought the eighteenth-century house annexed to the Adorni Tower, in the center of Cerro Tanaro, and from here he continued his tireless research by self-taught who found publication in his most important work, the “Storia del Monferrato”, published by SE.DI.CO Libraria in 1996, two months before his death.