Monale, a dip in history between castles and archaeological finds.
Monale is a village of the lower Monferrato located at 200 meters above sea level.
The territory is spread over an area of about 9 km², characterized by gentle cultivated slopes that alternate with lush wooded areas.
The subsoil of Monale is rich in archaeological finds, in particular, shell fossils, which scholars trace back to the Tertiary Age.
The town is populated by about 1000 inhabitants, the monalesi.
Monale develops on a small hill to the left of the river Monale, a tributary of the Triversa.
The origins of the town are still uncertain even if the most inclined for a Frank-Alamanni derivation.
The current toponym derives from the Latin Mons Natalis (Christmas Mountain).
In the twelfth century, Monale, considering its strategic position, was considered one of the most important fiefdoms of the Asti region.
The town, first in the hands of the Ghibellines, was conquered in 1305 by the Guelphs and its castle was razed to the ground.
In 1310 to pacify the dispute between the opposing factions, Count Amedeo V di Savoia proposes an arbitration that actually crystallizes the existing situation.
It is at the end of the fourteenth century that the fate of Monale is linked to Scarampi, an important family from Asti, which still today gives its name to the imposing castle used as a charming residence.
Food and wine and typical products.
Piedmontese cuisine is the protagonist in Monale with the Bagna Cauda; among the desserts, the tirà (soft donut-shaped cake) and the bunet (chocolate-based dessert).
In the glasses, you can not miss the typical wines of the area, Freisa, and Barbera.
To be seen.
The postcard of Monale is represented by the Scarampi Castle, an imposing fortress destroyed in 1305 and rebuilt in 1309 by the Scarampi family.
In the 20th century, the castle benefited from important restoration works carried out by the current owners, the Gani counts.
Today it houses in its guesthouse three rooms with bed and breakfast services.
On the territory of Monale, there is also another castle, La Bastita, dating back to the XIV century: it was built by the Guelphs to defend the territory from the attacks of the Ghibellines.
The parish church dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of Monale, is also splendid: the structure, once the chapel of Castello Scarampi, is characterized by the slender bell tower (40 meters high) built in 1678; in its belfry there are five bells, one of which, the one dedicated to St. Catherine, weighs 470 kilos.
Also, worthy of a visit is the Church of Saint Maria del Fonte, an ancient parish church today used as a cemetery church.
In via XX Settembre, the presence of a Fiat G.91T fighter bomber-scout from the 32nd Italian Air Force interdiction boulder is to be noted.
The figure of Saint Catherine of Alexandria was deepened in a curious "impossible interview" carried out by the pupils of the primary school of Monale to the Emperor Massenzio, who ordered the death sentence of Catherine after the latter refused to worship the pagan gods.
Impossible interview to the Emperor Massenzio.
Ask | We knew that you decided to behade a young Egyptian, Catherine of Alexandria, why?
Answer | Because she disavowed our Gods and incited the people to revolt.
Ask | Isn't an exaggeration to say that a young girl could scare the Roman Empire?
Answer | We must be very careful and the protests must be cut short in the bud.
Ask | The sacrifice of 130 bulls you ordered, did it happen in a single day or several days?
Answer | They were all sacrificed in one day during a grandiose ceremony, to propitiate the Gods.
Ask | What was the first impression of the young Catherine?
Answer | I judged her very self-confident, very convinced of her faith and of what she said...and I was dazzled by her beauty.
Ask | Is it true that you wanted to marry her?
Answer | These are private facts that do not affect history.
Ask | Is it true that the philosophers, charged with keeping up with Catherine, converted to Christianity?
Answer | Those were weak people, without faith, incapable ones who let themselves be cheated, so I had to eliminate them.
Ask | Was it difficult to decide the beheading of Catherine of Egypt?
Answer | It was a painful decision because I saw in her a strong and courageous person, and also because by killing her I ran the risk of provoking a riot in the Egyptian people.
Ask | Explain to us why you decided to condemn her.
Answer | Because it is my duty to defend the pagan religion which is the state religion.
Ask | At the beheading of Catherine, how did the people react?
Answer | There were no reactions because my army was watching.
Ask | Catherine, how did she deal with the execution?
Answer | With serenity and dignity.
Ask | What reactions did you have at the death of this woman?
Answer | The emperor must not have feelings when he acts for the good of the State.
Ask | Did Catherine's words irritated you?
Answer | I was irritated by both, her words and her obstinacy.
Ask | If you could go back, would you bring Catherine to death again?
Answer | Without uncertainties because I did it to defend the Empire.