7 Places to Visit in Lower Monferrato
Planning your next trip to Monferrato? Join us as we explore what to see around Casale Monferrato!
Lower Monferrato is a fascinating region that stretches between Casale Monferrato and Asti. In this article, we’ll uncover the charming villages and locations surrounding Casale Monferrato, all within the Province of Alessandria. This is the land of “Infernot,” cellars carved into Cantone stone, known for its excellent red wines and stunning landscapes. Enough with the preamble; it’s time to delve into what you can see around Casale Monferrato.
What to See Around Casale Monferrato: Rosignano Monferrato
For art enthusiasts, Rosignano was also home to the divisionist painter Angelo Morbelli for several years. The Alessandrian painter drew much inspiration from the village, making it the subject of many of his paintings. Today, reproductions of his artworks are displayed at the very spots that inspired him.
You can also visit Villa Maria in the Colma hamlet, where Morbelli spent many summers of his life.
To learn more about Rosignano Monferrato, read our article.
What to See Around Casale Monferrato: Cella Monte
On the hill opposite Rosignano Monferrato lies another village that derives its charm from its historic center: Cella Monte. This small, well-maintained town with flower-adorned corners becomes even more delightful in the warm months. These features led Cella Monte to become one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy“, making it one of the most visited places in the region.
The streets of the center are adorned with Cantone stone buildings, including the Antica Casaforte, the 18th-century residence of Bishop Radicati, and the Palazzo Volta, which is particularly characteristic.
Today, the Palazzo houses the Ecomuseum of Cantone Stone, helping visitors understand the secrets of the Monferrato region characterized by this unique rock.
Visitors to the village also have the opportunity to explore “Infernots” here, accompanied by tastings of local products. Both in the historic center and the hamlets, you can find establishments and wineries offering these services..
The View from Treville
One of the most beautiful sights around Casale Monferrato is the view from Treville. This small village is situated on a hill that offers an enviable view. When you climb to the square in front of the beautiful Baroque church of Sant’ Ambrogio, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking panorama of Monferrato and, on clear days, all the way to the Vercelli plains. For those who want to scrutinize the horizon better, there’s a telescope to help identify nearby villages and admire their beauty.
On the same square, in 2021, the municipality of Treville installed the “Panchina della Tenerezza” (Bench of Tenderness). This decorated bench invites people, after these years of distancing, to rediscover moments of tenderness with loved ones while admiring the beautiful landscape.
Treville also offers another intriguing viewpoint: the hill, in Crosia region, on which the Romanesque Church of San Quirico is perched. From there, you can admire the village with its imposing Baroque church from an enviable perspective.
What to See Around Casale Monferrato: Ozzano Monferrato
A village we find very interesting to visit is Ozzano Monferrato. Like the other towns in the area, it’s perched on a hill and still preserves many of its medieval features, seen in some houses and the castle. This characteristic allowed Ozzano to rightfully join the Orange Flags of the Touring Club and gain some notoriety.
When visiting the town, a must-see is the Church of San Salvatore, immediately noticeable for its brick façade and bell tower.
The most interesting aspect of the building, however, is the well-crafted frescoes inside dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Moreover, if you enjoy landscapes, you can admire a beautiful view of the town and the surrounding vineyards from in front of the church.
Another fascinating opportunity is the free visit to the Zavattaro Infernot, located at Via IV Novembre 9. The owners are very kind and eager to share the history of their infernot. From them, you can also purchase Ozzano’s typical sweet, “Biciulant d’Ausant,” a large biscuit shaped like a twisted ring associated with Holy Thursday celebrations. Ozzanesi eat it only on that day, but it’s available year-round for others.
The Sacro Monte di Crea
You should know that in Casale Monferrato, the Infernots are not the only UNESCO World Heritage site. Alongside eight other sacred mountains in Piedmont and Lombardy, there’s the Sacro Monte di Crea. This spiritual complex sits atop one of the highest hills in the area, where there was a significant flow of pilgrims devoted to the Madonna even in the Middle Ages, dedicated to a sanctuary. In 1589, driven by the prior of the time, the construction of the devotional path began, inspired by the famous Sacro Monte of Varallo. They built 23 chapels dedicated to the life of Mary, whose decoration was entrusted over the years to illustrious artists like Moncalvo, the Prestinari, and the de Wespin.
Even if you’re not particularly devout, you can still appreciate the artistic works and the surrounding nature along the devotional path. In fact, during the summer, many Monferrato residents spend the hottest hours walking in the shade or admiring the surrounding landscape.
From an artistic perspective, we also recommend visiting the interior of the Church-Basilica of Santa Maria, where many interesting artworks are displayed. In particular, the Chapel of Santa Margherita, frescoed by Francesco Spanzotti, is a beautiful example of art inspired by Lombard Renaissance painting.
What to See Around Casale Monferrato: Vignale Monferrato
The list of villages to see around Casale Monferrato is extensive, and choosing the most interesting ones can be challenging. However, we’d like to draw your attention to Vignale Monferrato, a slightly more peripheral village compared to Casale Monferrato, but worth the extra ten kilometers.
The village enjoys an enviable location, offering a highly suggestive panorama of Monferrato Casalese and Asti, and, on clearer days, the main mountains from the Ligurian Apennines to the Alps. With a trained eye, you can spot the unmistakable forms of Monviso and Monte Rosa.
Apart from the scenery, Vignale offers other unique places to admire. Upon arrival in the village, you’ll immediately notice the imposing 19th-century façade of the Church of San Bartolomeo. Not far away is Palazzo Callori, the historic feudal family residence of Vignale, which now houses the Regional Winery of Monferrato in its cellars—a suggestive place to taste the finest local wines. The palace is also characterized by a scenic staircase connecting it to a lower garden, providing an ideal backdrop for your photos.
Last but not least is the “Infernot Belvedere”, named after its location near one of the village’s viewpoints, the Melvin Jones Belvedere. This infernot is unique, particularly due to its shallow depth, demonstrating how people made the most of what they had in every place.
The Big Benches near Casale Monferrato
As you’ve likely gathered, there’s no shortage of breathtaking vistas around Casale Monferrato. That’s why Big Benches, which have become quite trendy in recent years, have also multiplied in this area.
Here, we’ll list their numbers and locations:
- Big Bench 41, Red Grignolino, in Rosignano Monferrato (located here).
- Big Bench 48, Red Barbera, in Sala Monferrato (located here).
- Big Bench 107, Orange and White, in Vignale Monferrato (located here).
- Big Bench 119, Red and Green, in Camagna Monferrato (located here).
- Big Bench 146, Gold, in Olivola (located here).
- Big Bench 231, Yellow and Blue, in Ottiglio Monferrato (located here).
Whichever of these benches you decide to visit, know that you won’t be disappointed by the panorama and the surrounding environment.
Now that you’re acquainted with all the beauties to see around Casale Monferrato, it’s time to book a wonderful weekend in Lower Monferrato!