Montaldo Scarampi

Montaldo Scarampi, the “roof” of the Val Tiglione, ancient fief of the Asti bankers.


Landscape.

Montaldo Scarampi rises on the hills that dominate the Val Tiglione, to the left of the Tiglione stream.

The village, of about 750 inhabitants, covers an area of 6.63 km² at an altitude of 258 meters above sea level.

It is about 17 km from Asti, the provincial capital.

In Via Binello there is the headquarters of the Local Police of the Comunità Collinare Val Tiglione e Dintorni.


History.

In 1018, in an act of the Bishop of Asti Alderico, the place where the castle stood with the surrounding area was called Mons Altus.

The foundations of the ancient fortress, probably built between 700 and 740, were found during the excavations carried out in 1928 in Piazza Romita. Today only a small part of the walls remains visible.

Over time Mons Altus became Montaldo, with a clear reference to the eminent position of the town: the addition of Scarampi came from when, in 1339, the Marquis of Incisa della Rocchetta sold it to the bankers Scarampi of Asti.

In 1142 Montaldo passed to Oddone Boverio, the last son of the Marquis del Vasto, and then to his nephews.

Near the 1200 Montaldo was ceded to the town of Asti, then to the Scarampi; towards the end of the fourteenth century the village, together with Asti and all the castles of the Val Tiglione, passed under the jurisdiction of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, duke of Milan.

In 1636 the town was violently looted by the Spanish cavalry.


Administration.

Montaldo Scarampi is home to the Comunità Collinare Val Tiglione e Dintorni, a union of municipalities established in December 2000.


Food and wine and typical products.

The economy of Montaldo Scarampi is mainly focused on viticulture: excellent production of DOC Piedmont and Monferrato wines (Barbera d'Asti, Barbera del Monferrato, Grignolino d'Asti, Freisa d'Asti).

Other typical products of Montaldo are artisan salami and honey.


To be seen.

The parish Church of Nostra Signora Annunziata is located in the town center, a few steps from the town hall.

The ancient church of Mons Altus, August 24, 1636, was occupied, stripped of furniture and set on fire by the Spaniards.

In the nineteenth century, the church was enlarged to accommodate the increased population of Montaldo, extending the part where now the altar and choir are located.

Later, in 1942, it was repainted and in 1970 the parsonage was also restored.

The last restoration dates back to 1996.

Also, worth visiting is the Church of Saint Martino, in the hamlet of Collina Forni, situated in a panoramic position with a private view of the valley.

Of great interest is also the Museum of Peasant Family (Museo della Famiglia Contadina), housed in the Church of Saint Nicolò, where important testimonies of the rural life of the past are exhibited.

In the premises of the municipal headquarters is also set up the Hall of the Trophies Dr. Lelio De Nardo (Sala dei Trofei Dott. Lelio De Nardo), also jokingly called the “safari” of Montaldo: here is a collection of stuffed exotic animals, snakeskin and other objects from a donation made to the Municipality of Montaldo from the heirs of Dr. Lelio de Nardo, passionate traveler and hunter in the 60s.


Curiosity.

On 2 June 1946, the Italians were called to the polls to express themselves with the institutional referendum in favor of the Monarchy or the Republic.

Montaldo Scarampi boasted a curious record: it was the municipality of the Val Tiglione with the greatest number of preferences for the House of Savoy. 76.71% of the 1005 montaldesi registered on the electoral rolls voted in favor of the Monarchy.

The result of Montaldo was in line with that of the province of Asti where the Monarchy prevailed by a breath (50.58%) on the Republic thanks to the consensus gathered in the countryside.

In the greater centers of the Asti region, however, the datum was overturned: Asti, Nizza Monferrato, and Canelli voted in favor of the Republican victory.

In more recent times, in 2016, the news of the then Juventus midfielder, Hernanes called “The Prophet”, bought with his wife a farm in the “Giro della Mandorla” with adjoining vineyards.

The passion for Asti region and wine has led Hernanes to open his own winery in Montaldo.