Castagnole Monferrato

The ancient chestnut wood

Castagnole Monferrato derives its toponym from an ancient chestnut wood, now disappeared in favor of the vines. Its millennial history begins already under the Romans, when only the village of Valenzani existed, today in part fraction of Castagnole. This small town was located 4 miles from Asti on the Via Fulvia, the ancient Roman road that connected – and still connects – Piacenza with Turin.


The collapse of the Roman civilization led the peoples of the time to seek refuge on a higher point of the hill, where there was a chestnut wood, to see first the potential approach of armed enemies, initially Lombards and then Franks. Already between the sixth and seventh centuries the local land registers indicate the presence of the toponym Castagnole. Then came the period of Saracen raids, and this led to the construction of a castle for the defense of the territory, bringing the community of Castagnole in the Middle Ages and rivalry between Casale Monferrato and Asti. In fact, the territory was incorporated in the “Marchesato Aleramico” along with the hills near the Asti plain, recognized as belonging to William IV of Monferrato by Emperor Federico I on October 13, 1164. On the other side, the Municipality of Asti, well known for its expansionist aims, it also attempted to subject Castagnole, where the feudal lords of the place, the Di Castagnole, sided with the Marquises of Monferrato.

The situation was reversed when William VII the Great was taken prisoner by the Alexandrians. Because of the minor age of his son Giovanni I, Asti took away the feud to the Marquises of Monferrato and forced the Di Castagnole to act as a subjection: on June 15, 1292, Emanuele di Castagnole and his feudal lords donated the castle and the village to Asti, taking oath of fidelity to the City of Asti, thus receiving its investiture. The peace treaty followed in the same month between Asti and Monferrato, reconfirmed the dominion over Castagnole to the Municipality. But after a few years the village returned under the jurisdiction of Monferrato. A special mention must be made to Bertino di Castagnole who, died the last of the Aleramici, the Marquis Giovanni I, attended the parliament held in Trino, in 1305, in which he decided to send ambassadors to the heir Violante, sister of the deceased, wife of Andronico Paleologo, Roman Emperor of the East in Constantinople. The Paleologos of Monferrato had many confirmations of their dominion over the village, among which stands out the diploma of Emperor Charles IV in 1355 and that of Maximilian I, in 1494. In 1391 the troops of Facino Cane, the infamous leader of Ventura, in those years employed by the Marquis Teodoro II.

How to visit it

The guided tour of Castagnole Monferrato is included in the itinerary “The Wine of Nobles, Grignolino, regain its place“.