Corsione

The harsh winter, the famine... but at Easter an apple pie to give to children: the sweet heart of Corsione.


Landscape.

The medieval village of Corsione, developed in height, on the right bank of the Versa torrent.

A large part of the territory is covered by woods and this suggests interesting and suggestive itineraries for excursion lovers.

The town covers an area of 5.08 km² and has a population of about 200 inhabitants.

It is 6 km from Asti, the provincial capital.


History.

Corsione sinks its origins in the mists of time: the oldest document that we possess, although not interpreted by scholars, is 11 November 941, which shows the existence of land holdings entrusted to the Church of Asti: the certain data is that in any case there already existed an inhabited nucleus.

The first sure historical act is of 1156 (20 December) with which Pope Adrian IV recognizes the possessions of the Cathedral of Asti, including also "two parts of the major castle of Corsione".

It can, therefore, be found that over the course of time Corsione has had a location that is not unique, but diffused on the hills that make up the municipal territory: for example, if, as it seems, from a part of the main castle the current church would be built parochial, we can suppose that there was a minor fortification located on a hill adjacent to the town, on which stands a small church, called "dell'Aniceto", which in all sources is defined ancient, located opposite a building with character defensive, on whose foundations now stands the farmhouse called Colombaro.

With the passing of time Corsione, whose denomination varied between Curtesedonis and Corseonum, became part of the possessions of the Marquis of Monferrato (before the family of Aleramici, until 1305, then of the Paleologi and then of the Gonzaga, in 1536); was touched by the different wars that fought in the Monferrato (in 1616 Spanish troops occupied the main castle, for another already razed to the ground in 1305 by the militia of Guglielmo di Mombello, lord of Asti).

1630 brought with the descent of the Lanzichenecchi, the Manzoni memory plague, which decimated about a third of the Corsione population (which in 1627 was 200 people, in 1635 of only 130).

In 1652 the homines of Corsione swore allegiance to Charles II, Marquis of Monferrato (it must be noted that the Gonzaga family, to support the enormous expenses of the sumptuous court of Mantua, began to sell possessions and noble titles, and Corsione, as the surrounding areas, became the property of lords in some way related to the Gonzaga family and in general to the nobility of the city of Mantua). The '600 was not a happy era for the Monferrato, with an almost uninterrupted follow-up of wars and devastation: gradually the presence of the Gonzaga weakened until it took over that of the Savoy (18th century, in particular with Vittorio Amedeo II, in 1708).

With the advent of Napoleon also Corsione became part of the Department of Marengo, as is attested by several sources of archives: since then the history of the town no longer presents elements of particular relevance, if not the definitive killing, around 1850, of what remained of the major castle (of the minor one there has been no mention of for a long time): it had been in the course of time possession of the counts of Roero, of the Marquis of Arliez, of the Catena and of the Ferrero.

Only the plan remains, from 1616, from which it is possible to obtain its dimensions and consistency: from the stable of the castle the current parish church, dedicated to Saint Cristoforo, of the end of the 1400s would have been derived.

With the beginning of the twentieth century Corsione was touched by a substantial process of emigration to foreign countries, in search of better living conditions, specifically towards England, the United States and Argentina.

During the world wars, Corsione gave its contribution of lives: in particular, we must remember the gold medal for the military value of Lieutenant Colonel Luigi Piglione, who died in May 1916 on Mount Kukla, in the present Slovenian republic; during the second war it was naturally occupied by the Nazi-Fascist troops after 8 September, without however being touched by the violence that marked other parts of the Monferrato and the Langhe.

A significant fact that characterizes the life of Corsione in the Fascist era is the forced merger with Villa San Secondo, from 1929 to 1947.

Since then the life of Corsione has passed quietly, without particular striking scenes or events of particular importance: as for many agricultural centers, after a period of depopulation due to internal migration to the cities, especially during the '60s, in recent years there has been a reverse process, which has returned a certain amount to the town, whose population is currently settled on the 200 inhabitants.


Administration.


Food and wine and typical products.

Corsione is an agricultural town, with particular relevance of the wine products (Barbera and Grignolino); it is possible to find, at the local production level, hazelnuts, fruit in general and honey.

You can not forget the typical Corsione cuisine: mixed fried, boiled with green sauce, agnolotti with truffles, and the ever-present apple pie.


To be seen.

In Corsione there were two castles, distinguished by size: the major was characterized by a massive architectural structure and massive walls.

It was destroyed in 1305 by the forces of the Municipality of Asti and then rebuilt.

Of the castle today there are only traces in the vicinity of the canonical house.

The minor castle instead stood near the Church of Saint Maria di Aniceto, a rural church of ancient origins probably built on Roman foundations.

Also, worth seeing is the parish church dedicated to Saint Cristoforo, built in the fifteenth century and today a splendid example of Piedmontese baroque, and the Confraternity of Saint Michele Arcangelo (Oratory of Saint Sebastiano), a building built on ancient foundations around 1663.


Curiosity.

It is worth remembering the legend that made the apple pie the typical dish of Corsione: according to tradition, during the XIV century a violent famine, caused by a very cold winter and frequent spring frosts, would have saved, providentially, only apple trees, whose production was very abundant.

Then for the first time, a mixture of eggs, apples, and dry bread was prepared because at Easter the children had, in spite of misery, a cake.

This habit continued and, with the passage of time, arriving in Europe the cocoa from the Americas and improving the economic conditions, the dessert assumed the characteristics that still present, according to a recipe that comes from the past and preserves the flavor of the most authentic Corsione tradition.