What to see in Rosignano Monferrato

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato-Panorama-village

A Brief Itinerary to Discover the Small Village Loved by Angelo Morbelli

Are you in the Lower Monferrato and eager to explore a charming village? Then read on and discover what to see in Rosignano Monferrato, the village famous for its infernot!

Rosignano Monferrato is a beautiful village in the Lower Monferrato, located at the center of an imaginary triangle formed by the cities of Asti, Casale Monferrato, and Alessandria. Nestled on a high hill around a fortress dominated by the ancient castle, the village is surrounded by numerous vineyards that create a breathtaking panorama. Recently awarded the “Bandiera Arancione” by the Italian Touring Club, it is also one of the emblematic villages of Monferrato, known for its Infernot, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2014.

The Village’s History

The history of Rosignano is ancient, likely dating back to ancient times, with its name possibly derived from the Latin gentilic Rusinius with the suffix -anus. Although its first known mention dates back to 1250 in an official document, the village has a rich history, having been part of the Marquisate and later the Duchy of Monferrato under various rulers. Particularly under the Gonzaga family, it faced battles and sieges during the Thirty Years’ War, with the legend of the Madonna’s Apparition inspiring the locals to repel a Spanish attack on April 21, 1640.

With the peace treaties and the transition to the Kingdom of Sardinia, Rosignano became a peaceful countryside village, attracting affluent summer vacationers, including the painter Angelo Morbelli. In the Colma district, Morbelli found residence in the late 19th century, drawing inspiration from the beautiful landscapes for many of his masterpieces.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato: the Historic Center

The historic center of Rosignano, located at the foot of the castle, is small and unfolds within the area once enclosed by ancient walls. The narrow streets, weaving through the fortress, host some of the most significant buildings in the village.

Foremost among them is the Church of San Vittore Martire, erected as the church of the Convent of Santa Maria del Carmine in the late 15th century. After the convent’s suppression in 1653, it became the main church of the village. Its current form is the result of significant renovations in the late 19th century, designed by Mella. The alternating red and white banded facade and polychrome stained glass are particularly eye-catching.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato-Church of San Vittore Martire-facade-polychrome stained glass windows-red and white bands
Church of San Vittore Martire (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Chiesa di San Vittore Martire (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Next to it stands the Civic Tower, built in the mid-19th century using materials from the bell tower of the nearby Church of Sant’Antonio, the oldest church in the village of medieval origin. Initially constructed near the former town hall with a dome, it now features a balcony and a large clock.

Descending to the lower part of Rosignano, you encounter the Mellana Castle, situated where one of the ancient gates of the fortified village stood. Although a modern construction from the early 20th century, it successfully incorporates neo-Gothic architectural motifs, blending seamlessly into the historic fabric of Rosignano’s center. Today, it operates as a bed and breakfast, offering guests a beautiful atmosphere and a scenic view of the Lower Monferrato hills.

Mellana Castle-neo-Gothic-bed & breakfast-castle
Mellana Castle (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato: the Infernots

The most popular attraction in Rosignano Monferrato is its Infernots. These are small underground chambers, hand-carved directly into the Pietra da Cantoni, the typical rock of the Lower Monferrato, often located beneath houses. They serve the purpose of preserving wine in a constant temperature and humidity environment.

The village boasts numerous and varied Infernots, differing in shape and location. Some are open for guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays, which can be booked at the Tourist Info Point (tel. 377 169 3394). Among them are three public Infernots, two of which are situated beneath the Municipal Palace. One particularly noteworthy Infernot features an oculus, originally intended to be the opening of an ancient icehouse.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato - Infernot municipal-oculo-bottles-stone from cantoni
Infernot under the Town Hall

In the Rosignano area, there is also another unusual and unique Infernot located beneath the Church of Madonna delle Grazie on the hill adjacent to the historic center. This Infernot, consisting of two chambers at different levels, is accessed by descending a steep staircase. The chambers contain continuous bottle racks, both carved and masonry, with the first chamber even displaying an engraved date: 1897.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato - Infernot church of the Madonna delle Grazie - bottles of wine - stone from cantoni
Infernot of the Church of the Madonna delle Grazie (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

This Infernot is also open for visits on weekends, thanks to the Madonna delle Grazie Association, responsible for its maintenance and conservation. The association has also undertaken the restoration of the church, which is recommended to visit for its beautiful 19th-century frescoes.

The Big Bench No. 41 Rosso Grignolino

A few dozen meters from the Church of Madonna delle Grazie stands the Big Bench No. 41 Rosso Grignolino. For many tourists, it has become the most significant attraction in Rosignano Monferrato. It offers a splendid panorama of vineyards and the village of Cella Monte, as well as Rosignano itself.

Panorama- Cella Monte-Big Bench n° 41-Rosso Grignolino-vineyard
Panorama of Cella Monte from Big Bench n. 41 (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

The chosen colors are the ruby red of the Grignolino produced on that hill and the white of the structure inspired by the Pietra da Cantoni. This Big Bench encapsulates the values and traditions of the village.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato - Big Bench n°41 - Grignolino Red Giant Bench - oleander - vineyard
The Big Bench n°41 Grignolino Red

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato: Places Related to the Painter Angelo Morbelli

Strolling through the streets of Rosignano Monferrato, you inevitably come across panels reproducing some works of Angelo Morbelli. The divisionist painter spent many months each year in his villa in the Colma hamlet, drawing inspiration directly from the surrounding landscapes for his paintings.

The panels are mostly located in the historic center and near his residence, depicting the exact spots captured by Morbelli. This allows visitors to observe how a landscape or location has changed or remained unchanged for over a century.

What to See in Rosignano Monferrato-Places of the Painter Angelo Morbelli-Panel-works-landscape
One of the panels placed in the streets of Rosignano (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

In the Colma hamlet, you can also visit Villa Maria, where the artist’s studio-atelier is located. Many prominent artists of the time, including Segantini, Bistolfi, Pellizza da Volpedo, Longoni, and Quadrelli, were guests here. Portraits of these artists can be seen in medallions on the villa’s pediment.

The Scattered Peasant Museum

In addition to the panels dedicated to the works of Angelo Morbelli, Rosignano Monferrato features a Scattered Peasant Museum throughout the municipal territory. There are approximately forty locations displaying some of the agricultural tools used until a few decades ago in Monferrato. Each exhibit is accompanied by an explanatory sign detailing its use and a QR code for those interested in learning more.

It’s noteworthy that this is the only museum of its kind in Monferrato and one of the most extensive in northern Italy. What stands out is the opportunity this initiative provides to walk through the village and discover its hidden corners. It’s a fascinating experience to see ancient seeders, presses, hay-cutting equipment, plows, and old tools that harken back to the rural life of the past.

What to see in Rosignano Monferrato:  the Uviglie Castele

The final recommendation for what to see in Rosignano Monferrato is the Uviglie Castle. Situated in the homonymous hamlet atop the hill on the opposite side of the valley, this castle was constructed in the 13th century and quickly became a noble residence. Until a few decades ago, it was not part of the Rosignano territory and, in fact, posed a constant threat to the village. Throughout its long history, it hosted important figures such as Saint Luigi Gonzaga and Saint Giovanni Bosco.

Cosa vedere a Rosignano Monferrato-Castello di Uviglie-Vigneti-parco
Uviglie Castle (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

The castle is highly appreciated by visitors for its vast frescoed halls and grand cellars, which house an impressive collection of bottles, some ancient barrels, and the tools of the master cooper. Equally remarkable is the park, designated by the Piedmont Region as a historical garden of botanical interest due to its diverse and rare plant varieties.

Now that you know the most interesting places to see in Rosignano, it’s time to explore this charming village!

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Article Name
What to see in Rosignano Monferrato
Discover what to see in Rosignano Monferrato, renowned for its infernots! Explore a charming village in Monferrato.
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La Scimmia Viaggiatrice

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