Pino d'Asti

Pino d'Asti, the land of the "evergreen" dominated by the medieval castle.


Landscape.

Pino d'Asti rises on the border with the province of Turin, in the extreme northwest of the province of Asti, on a hilly ridge between two small valleys.

The toponym Pino d'Asti derives from the presence of pine trees in the area.

From ancient sources the village is mentioned as Pinetum.

The town covers an area of 4.08 km² and has a population of about 220 inhabitants.

Pino d'Asti is 30 km from the provincial capital, Asti.


History.

The first human settlements on the territory date back to the Neolithic; subsequently Celtic - Ligurian populations settled.

Between 125 and 123 Before Christ the lands, which currently constitute the municipality of Pino d'Asti, were colonized by the Romans.

The first Latin settlements were in Hasta (Asti), Industria (now disappeared city, near Monteu da Po), Carreum Potentia (Chieri); it was then the turn of the surrounding lands, connected to the main centers by a network of roads, such as "Industria-Hasta" and "Industria-Carreum Potentia".

Signs of Romanization can be identified in epigraphic fragments, tombs, coins come to light in different locations and toponyms with suffix in "ano", which indicate landed properties.

In this regard, in the territory of Pino, there is the "Vaiano" district, which indicates the place where the farms of a certain "Vaius" extended.

At the beginning of the Christianization of northern Italy, between the 4th and 5th centuries, Pino d'Asti became part of the archdiocese of Vercelli, Mother Church of Piedmont; on a date not well identified, during the High Middle Ages, it became Pieve (the pieve was the main church on which other churches depended, it exercised its authority over part of the territory of the diocese) and was dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

In 1474, the town of Casale Monferrato, episcopal seat, aggregated Pino and the Monferrato communities of Albugnano and Mondonio, whose territories gave rise to a narrow enclave, detached from the diocese of Casale and bordering those of Asti, Turin, Ivrea and Vercelli.

During the Napoleonic period, Pino and Mondonio, together with Primeglio, Castelnuovo don Bosco and Schierano passed to the diocese of Asti.

After the collapse of the Napoleonic Empire, the boundaries of the dioceses underwent new modifications and the parishes of Pino, Mondonio and Albugnano, subjected to the Curia of Asti, found themselves part of a narrow strip of territory that still today is wedged in the Diocese of Turin.

The quirk of the border finds its justification in the selection of the Curia of Asti, which, to keep Albugnano with the famous Abbey of Vezzolano, ceded many other parishes to the diocese of Casale and Turin.

Included in the Committee of Monferrato, owned by a family that took its name from the locality, in 1170 Pino passed to the lords of Cocconato who kept it until the second half of the eighteenth century.

In 1518 the Lords of Cocconato ceded part of the territory to the Duke Carlo of Savoy; in the following century other families participated in the domain, among them the Avogadro and the Appiani.

In 1770, excluding the counts of Cocconato, feudal rights were divided between the Frejlino and the Scozia.


Administration.


Food and wine and typical products.

Pino d'Asti is a small agricultural center of Monferrato.

Once, one of the main activities, now completely disappeared, was the lime extraction, favored by the wealth of fossils present in the ground.

Even the cultivation of the olive tree, very widespread, according to De Canis, until the beginning of the eighteenth century, is today a reminder of the past, testified by an ancient oil mill that can be admired in the enclosure of the castle.

The same fate is related to the cultivation of hemp, which was macerated in the valley bottom rich in spring waters.

The prestige of Pino is linked, today as in the past, to viticulture; its vineyards, skillfully worked for generations, offer products of great value such as Freisa and Malvasia.

An occasion to taste the typical products of the territory is the Saint Carlo Festival (Sagra di San Carlo), in November.


To be seen.

A testimony to the past of Pino d'Asti still stands today, on the top of a hill, the ancient castle.

Probably built in the thirteenth century, it underwent many renovations in the seventeenth century, in the eighteenth century and then again in the twentieth century, which changed its appearance until, in 1944, it was subjected to the constraint posed by the Fine Arts that prohibited arbitrary transformations.

Deprived of the imposing circular tower, which once characterized it, today the castle - privately owned - has its 18th century facade, recently plastered, which conceals the rest of the medieval construction.

At the foot of the Castle, the visitor can not miss the sight of a votive pylon, in memory of the church of Saint Carlo Borromeo, built in 1624 and used several times as a branch of the Parish.

Also in the vicinity of the fortress is the medieval house called "della Rosina".

In the center of the town stands the imposing parish church of Madonna del Carmine, in neo-Gothic style, designed by architect Giuseppe Gallo in 1899 and flanked by a beautiful eighteenth-century Baroque bell tower.

Other points of interest are the 18th-century town hall, and the Wood and Carpenter Tools Museum (Museo del Legno e degli Strumenti da Falegname), inaugurated in 2001 in the former municipal bakery of Pino d'Asti, which houses the Roberto Bellocchio collection of objects linked to the processing of wood, photos by Pino dell'Aquila and the oral testimonies collected by Monica Uberti.


Curiosity.

In 1929 the Government decided to suppress small towns and aggregated Pino d'Asti and Mondonio to Castelnuovo Don Bosco.

With the end of the fascist regime, in 1946, many centers were restored including that of Pino d'Asti.