Montafia

Along the avenue of the lime trees, between the sources of sulfurous waters and the Romanesque churches: Montafia, love at first sight.


Landscape.

The name Montafia seems to derive from Montà for the first part and from Alphaeus for the second part: its meaning should hypothetically be understood as the "ascent of Alfeo".

In 1268 the territory passed from the municipality of Asti to the bishopric of Turin.

In 1577 Emanuele Filiberto seized the feud, but for a short time, as Pope Gregory XIII ordered the bishop of Cervia to take possession of the territory.

In the 18th century, Prince Michele Imperiali acquired the fiefdom to rebuild his country residence on the ruins of the castle.

The town covers an area of 14.50 km² and has a population of about 930 inhabitants.

It is 24 km from Asti, the provincial capital.


History.

The two centers of Montafia and Bagnasco had their own history for a long time, and only in modern times were united in a single municipality.

An ancient tradition has it that Montafia was founded by a certain Alfia dei Variselli, and that the name of Mons Alfiae derives from it.

The center of the village is still dominated by the imposing ramparts on which stood the medieval castle, now disappeared.


Administration.


Food and wine and typical products.

In Montafia are produced the most important red wines of the Piedmont region, including: Freisa d'Asti, Barbera d'Asti, Barbera del Monferrato.

The typical recipe proposed by the local Pro Loco is the Mixed Boiled Meat.

Also in Montafia is home to Picolandia, the association that brings together the truffle hunters of the area.


To be seen.

The entrance to the village runs along Viale della Rimembranza, characterized by a splendid tree-lined of lime trees; before the curve that introduces the avenue, in the hamlet of Zolfo, the fountain of the sulfur source restored in 2005 deserves a stop.

The center of the village is still dominated by the ramparts on which stood the medieval castle, one of the most massive in the province of Asti, now disappeared.

Not far away we find the parish church of Saint Dionigi (1729), in neoclassical style, with a rustic eighteenth-century door, the Church of Saint Rocco, whose origins date back before 1695 and the Church of Saint Martino, ancient parish church of Varisella village, built in the twelfth century.

Also, to be seen in Piazza Camillo Riccio is the charming Art Nouveau building that now houses a pharmacy.

In the hamlet of Bagnasco are still visible the ruins of a splendid medieval fortress, with a valuable entrance arch. Staying in the area worth a visit the parish church dedicated to Saint Biagio and the cemetery church, of Romanesque origins, dedicated to Saint Giorgio.


Curiosity.

Montafia tree-lined dates back to April 1926 and was planted by schoolchildren to remember the fallen of the First World War.

Between 2013 and February 2014 some lime trees of the historic avenue were demolished cause sick as results from examinations carried out by the technicians.

The initiative triggered the protests in the village and a committee was created, “I nostri tigli di Montafia”, with the aim of replacing the fallen lime trees and protecting the avenue.

Meanwhile, the municipal administration started the request for recognition of considerable public interest to protect the area, obtained in 2016.

The lime trees were replanted on November 29, 2014.

In 2017, on the occasion of the European Day of Tree-lined, the committee “I nostri tigli di Montafia” was awarded with a certificate of merit in the first national competition, on the theme, organized by Legambiente.