Rocca Grimalda

The agricultural tradition still characterizes the Rocchese landscape. The vine is cultivated on most of the territory and produces fine wines among which the D.O.C. Dolcetto di Ovada, Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont Chardonnay and Cortese of Alto Monferrato.

Tourism "lives" especially in the summer season, when festivals, exhibitions, music and food and wine evenings take place cyclically, culminating in the Festival of folklore and traditions where you can taste the famous lasagna in peirbuieira (also perbureira or perbuiera). The recipe is rigorously kept in the heart of the inhabitants who proudly make it year after year. The festival is held as usual on the last Sunday of August and the 3 days that precede it. Once it was a simple waste broth when beans were boiled, since the boiling water was tasty and cheap if it was used in broth. Over time it has taken on a more tasty and full of flavor connotation.

About Rocca

"Breakfast at Rocca Grimalda, a terrific country with an alpine appearance, all at one time. Even the Cavallino Bianco tavern is like this; a tavern that by now no dinners are almost anymore: cozy, very crowded, very cheerful. Chickpea soups, ravioli, roast in ossettas with sauerkraut and the 14-degree Dolcetto di Rocca, truly "Superiore": a moment of emotion for all the virtues of the past; old Piedmont survives only on the borders of the region "MARIO SOLDATI, Wine with wine. Third trip, Milan, Mondadori, 1976.

To visit

The Castle: from which you can admire the entire valley is still the worthy guardian of ancient historical events. The original structure dates back to the 13th century; characteristic is the circular five-storey tower with a helical staircase made in the thickness of the walls. The structure, after the original purely military function, was transformed into a luxurious stately home in the 18th century. It can be visited by appointment, it is currently a privately owned country residence.

Belvedere Marconi, known by the people of Reggio as "the rotunda" which enjoys an absolutely privileged view of the ancient Via del Sale, can be reached by walking through the alleys of the historic village characterized by suggestive views.

Church of San Giacomo Maggiore, of Romanesque origin, enlarged and remodeled over the centuries, still preserves the ancient façade incorporated in the right perimeter wall with a series of gray stone arches and part of the original basement of the bell tower.

Particularly interesting is the Church of Santa Limbania in Castelvero: of very ancient origin, it could date back to the Byzantine castrum or however to the high-medieval era. It is an ancient and traditional center of devotion; preserves valuable 16th century frescoes. The church has recently been restored.

To the north of the Rocchese territory is the village of San Giacomo, in whose territory the Schierano and Zerba farmhouses and the ancient Savoia Vecchia, that is the horse-change station and inn located along the freeway of the Rio Secco, ancient communication route, are located. for Monferrato and France. This road started from Libarna, on Via Postumia, touched Gavi, went down to Capriata, went up the Rio Secco near San Giacomo and continued to Acqui Terme.

Scattered throughout the countryside there are numerous votive shrines, as well as the rural church dedicated to San Rocco dating back to the 16th century, and that of San Giacomo in the homonymous village.

History

Although archaeological finds, in the plain along the Orba, between the localities of San Carlo and Schierano, the first settlements date back to the presence of Ligurian populations in pre-Roman times, the origins of the village of Rocca Grimalda are uncertain and merge into legend.

As confirmed by the current position and conformation, the nucleus rises as a lookout point overlooking a hill: a fortified village in the area of ​​the current church of Santa Limbania in Castelvero (ancient Castrum Vetus).

The first written records date back to the early Middle Ages: in 963 Rocca Grimalda was included among the territories granted by the emperor Ottone to the Aleramici marquises of Monferrato. Subsequently, the town has been the subject of military and economic disputes for centuries and assumes defensive and control functions, as evidenced today by the local toponymy: Torricella (walls), Bastione (northern fortifications) and so on. The built-up area already occupies the current surface extending inside a fortified wall.

Particularly harsh is the French occupation of 1650 which involves the destruction of a large part of the defensive walls, during the Austrian succession war of the 18th century, Austrian, Spanish and French troops battled for the possession of the fortress.

From 1736 Rocca Grimalda becomes part of the kingdom of Sardinia and follows the fortunes of the history of the kingdom of Italy.