1630 - today: from the annus horribilis to the rebirth on the seven hills. Ferrere capital of honey and artisan salami.
Ferrere shares a particular characteristic with Rome: as the Capitoline city also stands on seven hills, one of which was the object of valorization in December 2018 with the creation of an equipped panoramic point (see Belvedere of Saint Secondo).
The village is about 20 km from the provincial capital, Asti, 40 km from Turin and 25 km from Alba: it is located on the border with the territories of Pianalto, Roero and the provinces of Cuneo and Turin.
It covers an area of 13.93 km² and has a population of about 1600 inhabitants.
The territory of Ferrere (formerly known as Ferraria) appears for the first time in a document in 1034: it is indicated as belonging to the count of Pombia (province of Novara).
In 1100, Ferrere was assigned by the Bishop of Asti to the noble family Garretti, who became lords for several centuries and here they built a first castle, then semi-destroyed and rebuilt higher: it is the Castelvecchio that now houses the schools, the town hall and the civic library.
The current appearance of the village, spread over the hills, derives from the events that characterized the village in 1630: before the invasion of the French and a bloody period of war, then - again in the same year - a disastrous flood invaded the whole valley. The annus horribilis of Ferrere ended with the outbreak of the plague that struck a large part of northern Italy.
Sequence of nefarious events led many inhabitants to move from the valley to the surrounding hills, considering them to be safer places.
This led to a pulverization of the original nucleus of the village and the creation of many small communities, with as many churches, on the seven hills: it was in this period, in 1642, that the parish church of Saint Secondo was inaugurated.
The counts Garretti remained lords of Ferrere until 1851 (ie for 750 years): between 1780 and 1785 they built a second castle on the territory, without fortifications: it is the Castelrosso, now used as a retirement home for the elderly.
In 1851 all the properties of the Garretti passed to the Counts Gromis of Trana and then to Emanuele Montalcini, paternal uncle of the Nobel Prize Rita Levi Montalcini, who spent part of her youth in the village.
Montalcini finally sold its properties to the ferraresi keeping only the Castelrosso and its immediate adjacencies.
Food and wine and typical products.
You say Ferrere and think of honey: the precious food is celebrated in the Ferrere Miele event, much appreciated by the ferreresi and tourists.
Ferrere is also known for the production of cured meats and beef; typical dish is the Piedmontese mixed fry.
The town is home to the Associazione dei Produttori di Salame Cotto Monferrato.
To be seen.
Ferrere is dotted with chapels and churches scattered throughout the territory.
Among the most valuable buildings are the parish church of Saint Secondo, built in 1642 on the ruins of a former church destroyed by the flood of 1630, the deconsecrated Church of Confraternita dell'Annunziata, built in the sixteenth century and which today hosts cultural events, the Chapel of Saint Defendente (eighteenth century), that of Saint Rocco (seventeenth century) and still the church dedicated to Saint Secondo Martire, with adjacent belvedere.
The core of the village is Castelvecchio, a medieval structure that was initially turned into a silk spinning company and which today houses the schools, the town hall and the civic library.
Also, worth seeing is the Castelrosso, so called because probably painted red in the past, now used as a residence for the elderly.
For lovers of nature and relaxation it is a must stop at the Belvedere of Saint Secondo: inaugurated in December 2018 is characterized by the installation of the work of art "Ferro del Mare Padano" by Sergio Omedè.
Ferrere boasts the supremacy in the Asti region for the highest ratio of inhabitants to the number of hives.