Church in Lombard Romanesque style.
It was built around 1100 while the chancel and bell tower date from the mid-19th century.
The present church of St. Martin is the same one that formerly bore the name S. Felice.
The name mutation occurred at a time much later than its founding.
For news of this change, we must refer to the ancient parish church of S. Martino di Dusino, which already existed before 941.
The parish churches were the first true parishes, and they had almost all rights to this day.
They were centers of the plebs, that is, of the population, where religion and civil sciences were taught.
Other minor parishes depended on the Pieve di S. Martino di Dusino: namely those of S. Pietro, S. Giovanni, S. Andrea, S. Secondo in Ferrere, and, moreover, of VaIfenera, Villata, Cellarengo, Palazzo Valgorrera, S. Felice in Villanova, S. Paolo, S. Pietro di Solbrito. Also, worthy of mention is the prevailing of Corveglia, which belonged to the regular monks monks of St. Augustine.
In the second half of the 1500s, the parish church of S. Martino di Dusino, with the relative benefit, was transferred to Villanova and submitted to the authority of the provostry.
The reasons that led to this transfer are unclear. Certainly, from then on, religious assistance became worse for Dusino, and the resulting Chaplaincy, under the title of St. Rocco, had to become a branch of another church; that is, the ancient parish, from mother had thus become a daughter of the Archpriesthood of St. Martin in Villanova.
In 1585, Monsignor Angelo Peruzzi, bishop of Sarsina (1), as an apostolic visitor to Dusino, "no longer finds the archpriestly church, but only the Chapel of S. Rocco, in which Mass is celebrated every holiday, by a priest sent and, expensed by the Archpriest of St. Martin of Villanova, which has the obligation, because his Archpriesthood, once was in Dusino" (2).
The present church of St. Martin, is of considerable size, that is m. 38.50 x 18.25 in plan, excluding the chapels. The architecture is in the Lombard Romanesque style, with bundled columns, and cross vaults whose relief corners intersect..
The construction dates back to around 1100. The eight side chapels were built in later times.
Facade was remodeled totally, even in terms of style.
The choir and the bell tower are from 1824. The interior of the church is enriched by numerous works of art. High altar, made of very fine marble and of soft workmanship, was executed by the milanese Carlo Pellagata in 1777. Worthy of merit, in the judgment of the artists, is another altar, of delicate wood carving, with many statues of perfect modeling and ornamentation, in pure Baroque style.
The beautiful statue of the Immaculate Conception, in baroque style, of splendid modeling, executed by Clementi, was donated by the Bishop of Asti Faà di Bruno in 1840.
Of great value are the paintings of the Moncalvo, representing Christmas and the Immaculate Conception, and that of Our Lady of the Rosary. But above all we must remember a painting representing the Virgin with the Angels and Saints, rightly attributed to Macrino d'Alba.
The frescoes of the presbytery and choir, good in design, vividness and harmony of hues and well preserved, were painted by Peretti in 1825. The church is also furnished with vestments and furnishings precious in workmanship and material, diligently preserved, in excellent condition.
All the rest of the church, internally and externally, had a radical repair and decoration in recent times, first by Archpriest Monsignor Luigi Lanfranco, a prelate of His Holiness, died on November 4, 1941, then by the Archpriest Rev. Don Bartolomeo Lanfranco, who gives an example of prompt zeal for the benefit of this population.
(1) Sarsina Ancient city of Umbria, in the province of Forlì.
(2) Sac. Alessandro Pescarmona - Dusino, historical memories on the ancient Pievania of S. Martino and the current Prevostura of S. Rocco.
Comune di Villanova d'Asti
- Chiesa di San Martino
- Testimonianze d'arte
BeWeb - Beni Ecclesiastici in WEB
- Chiesa di San Martino
GAL BMA - Gruppo di Azione Locale del Basso Monferrato Astigiano
- Comune di Villanova d’Asti (AT)