• State: Italy
• Region: Piedmont
• Province: Asti
• Coordinates: Lat. 45° 06′ 06′′ N | Long. 8° 00′ 04′′ E
• Altitude: 357 meters above sea level
• Surface area: 11,41 km²
• Neighboring municipalities: Albugnano, Berzano di San Pietro, Casalborgone (province of Turin), Cocconato, Passerano Marmorito, Tonengo
• Postcode: 14020
• Dialing code: 0141
• ISTAT code: 005004
• Land registry code: A352
• Seismic classification: zone 4 (very low seismicity)
• Climatic classification: zone E, 2782 heating degree days
• Name of inhabitants: aramenghesi
• Patron saint: S. Anna | July 26th
• Distance from Asti: 30 km
The inhabited center of Aramengo winds in a semicircle on the crest of a natural amphitheater, among the green hills of Basso Monferrato and its lands bordering those of Cocconato, Tonengo, Albugnano, Berzano, Passerano and Casalborgone.
The current urban layout traces the ancient one faithfully and the houses follow each other, continuously, along a single main axis, which represents the oldest part of the country.
Those arriving from the main road, which branches off from the Asti-Casalborgone state road, the town appears to be dominated by the imposing size of the parish church, a superb example of the late 18th century baroque style.
The origins of the settlement are unfortunately not documented by historical and archaeological evidence and therefore the hypotheses are many.
Among these it seems very likely to credit the possibility of its alleged Roman origin, based on the etymology of the name of Aramengo, Ara Mea, which became Aramengum in Lombard diction.
Moreover, its geographical position should not be overlooked, and the short distance from Albugnano, whose romanity is attested by irrefutable archaeological finds.
The proximity to the site of Industria (Monteu da Po), which in Roman times appears connected to Asti by a road that goes up these hills lapped the territory of Aramengo, could support the hypothesis.
It is therefore a supposedly but credible Romanity.
Aramengo, on the other hand, is historically well documented in the Middle Ages, being regularly cited, often together with other places, in documents of various origins. Arduino d'Ivrea, when in 1002 he was crowned king of Italy, granted in hereditary commandery to Manfredo XII of Brozolo, a vast territory that included many possessions, among which Aramengo.
Around 1033, other sources mention a place called “Aramo”, probably identifiable with Aramengo, among those held in lordship by Adalberto Azzo Obertenghi, brother of the Marquis Ugo, Count of Milan. In 1153 a certain Ardizzone, Lord of Aramengo is documented.
Later, in 1249, the possessions passed to the Counts of Cocconato, to be later divided between the Marquis of Monferrato, the Bishop of Vercelli and other feudal lords, among them the Counts Balbiano.
In 1505, by investiture of the House of Savoy, the fiefdom returned to the Radicati which held it until 1586, when the entire feud was ceded to the Duke of Savoy Carlo Emanuele I. The country suffered serious damage from the French troops in 1704- 1705, engaged in the siege of the fortress of Verrua Savoia. The last lords of the place were the Counts Morelli, of them, Francesco, (1761-1841), was a famous writer and satirical poet.
Aramengo with its territory, boasts many testimonies of the past, mainly religious buildings, but also common dwelling houses that retain very old structures.
• Town hall
In the south-eastern part of the concentric there is the ancient Town Hall, which is currently the subject of important restorations.
The building that dates back to the 18th century, was designed for residential use by the Serra family, a wealthy local family. Subsequently, after some passages of ownership, it was given by the Montalcini brothers to the Municipality for the establishment of the schools and subsequently, in 1919, of the municipal offices. Despite the heavy interventions for subsequent re-use, the structure still presents architectural elements of considerable interest.
The building rises with three loaves above ground on the west side, which is reduced to two on the east side, the latter is facing a large courtyard, bordered by a wall, on which opens, in a central position, the important entrance.
This was once the “home garden”, with a large circular pool in the center, and separated the building from the service areas and stables, located on the opposite side of the courtyard.
The façades, very sober, have a series of regular openings, which give the structure a very elegant appearance. The roofs in tiles, house in the middle of the central body, a dormer that lightens the design.
On the first floor large rooms of representation conserve elaborate ceilings with pleasant decorations, currently still being restored, while an elegant staircase, with pillared structure, leads to the upper floor. The vault of the last ramp is decorated with a painting of oriental taste, enclosed in a thick oval gypsum frame. Here the rooms are more reworked for hosting the ancient classrooms. The ceilings, once in wood, have unfortunately been dismantled and so are the terracotta floors.
The internal windows of the building are substantially the original ones, enriched with overlays, with allegorical paintings and still lives.
Underground rooms of the building are located on two floors, the upper one, which can also be accessed from outside, houses a series of rooms, formerly used as warehouses, a staircase leads finally to the underlying cellars, with rooms also used for conservation of foods.