Roatto

In the peace of Roatto, where the gourmet dishes "marry" the glasses of Freisa.


Landscape.

The town of Roatto rises in the hills, along the course of the Triversa stream.

From the square in front of the town hall it is possible to enjoy a splendid view of the Monferrato hills.

The most convenient and direct road to reach Roatto is the state road to Turin from where, at Villafranca d'Asti, the deviation that leads to the village branches off to the right: once you arrive in Maretto, from which very few kilometers, past the square with the parish church, you can immediately see it because of the hillside position and the small castle that dominates the town.

The town covers an area of 6.42 km² and has a population of about 400 inhabitants.

It is 20 km from Asti, the provincial capital.


History.

The absence of significant documentary attestations prevented us from ascertaining with certainty the origin of Roatto's toponym, which Oliveri (1965) would derive from rubus, brama, or from "ruà", that is to say village.

Before becoming part of the possessions of the Montafia, which became extinct in 1577 with the death of Count Lodovico, assassinated in Aix in France, Roatto had belonged to local lords whose memory was soon lost; it is only known that from the name of the place they took their name.

At the death of Count Lodovico, the town passed to the Savoy.

In the seventeenth century, because of his wife Matilde, was subdued to Charles of Simiana, lord of Albigny.

Subsequently, it was invested his daughter Irene, wife of Michele Andrea Imperiali, prince of Francavilla.

In 1725 the fief was granted to Gian Giacomo and Marcello Gamba.


Administration.


Food and wine and typical products.

On the municipal territory the most important wines of Piedmont are cultivated, including Barbera and Freisa; in June, the Freisa in Festa food and wine festival is dedicated to the latter.


To be seen.

Today, the castle is deeply transformed: with a massive and robust appearance, it is characterized by a semi-cylindrical tower that partially protrudes from a minor building, perhaps obtained from a part of the original complex.

Surrounded by a small park with tall trees, there is no lack of charm, undoubtedly favored by the picturesque hillside location.

It was built in the period unspecified by the Montafia, descendants of the Count of Vercelli, Manfredo, lords of Roatto, Maretto, Tigliole, Montafia and other places.

The parish church of Saints Michele e Radegonda dates back to the nineteenth century and was built on the foundation of the former, of ancient foundation.

It is in fact known that the ancient church, probably erected by the Montafia family, already existed in 1570 - 1571, as can be seen from the apostolic visit of Monsignor Della Rovere, bishop of Asti.

At that time the priest usually resided in Maretto, but in 1661 Roatto established himself in the parish with the prior title.

The event favored, just a year later, the construction of the new church, carried out under the direction of the master builder Carlo Luigi Vanello, from Lugano, of which today, with the 1888 settlement, only the beautiful baroque bell tower remains (1674).

Still in situ, leaning against the back wall of the right aisle, is the wooden altarpiece of the Most Holy Rosary surrounded by fifteen Mysteries painted on wood; from an inscription on the moulding we learn that it was executed in 1682. At the center of the carved altarpiece, within a niche, is still preserved the statue of Saint Radegonda, datable to the following century.

There are numerous votive pylons and rural chapels in Roatto, some of which are ancient, others completely rebuilt between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Recall, for the history of its foundation, the Chapel of Saint Rocco, from which you can enjoy a splendid view over the village and the Alps. Built around 1614 by the Pellizza family, ethnic family of Paris, after being repeatedly renovated, was demolished and rebuilt in 1886.

The Chapel of Saint Michele Arcangelo, in the cemetery, was instead built in 1679; preserves a large picture on the altar with Saint Michele while he crushes the head of the devil.

A final mention deserves the Roatto Mill, built in the twentieth century, visited on request by contacting the municipal offices.


Curiosity.

The ancient history of Roatto, unlike many other towns of the province of Asti, seems to have never been affected by war: there is no documentation, in fact, of the events of its castle that, without shaking, has become a noble residence, following a development model that involved numerous Asti region fortresses.