The name derives from the presence here of an ancient fortress, that was destroyed in the XV century. Castel Rocchero is a small town in the province of Asti, whose territory borders with those of Alexandria. The surrounding hills covered with tidy rows of vines, from which fine wines are produced, create a perfect geometry and an extraordinary landscape with a spectacular view of the Alps in the background.
When the settlement was founded, it was a military garrison, built to protect the major artery road, that connected in Roman times, Acqui to the Belbo Valley. Mentioned for the first time in an official document, that dates back to year 1000, when it was part of the Marquisate (Marca) Aleramica. The castle, built on a hill top and surrounded by massive walls, occupied a strategic position and was contended by the various feudal lords of the southern part of the region. In the early XIV century it became a possession of the Marquis Bonifacio of Incisa and only some years later it was ceded in fief to the noble merchant Family Scarampi of Asti, till it became domain of the Biandrate of San Giorgio. During the course of the XV century, the town submitted the influence and domain of powerful local families, among which the most significant were the Acqui, that consolidated the power of the Marquis of Monferrato. In the XVI century, the jurisdiction was ceded to more than one noble family, including the De Sburlati. In the first half of next century, the control was entitled to Federico Aldobrandino of San Giorgio and a century later to Francis Beltrambi, whose family retained the domain till 1833, when it was ceded to the Accounts Blesi.
Not to miss:
- the Parish Church of St. Andrew, located in the main square, features a neo-Classical style. The interior is a one nave plan in Baroque style, enriched with stucco decorations and precious paintings. The tower, built in brick, is the emblem of the town. Its unique structure, features an archway which connects the town centre to the nearby main road;
- the Town Hall, which has been built, where once stood the fortress, built in the XII century by the Marquis of Monferrato and completely destroyed at the end of the XV century during the clashes between the town and the city of Acqui, caused by a long-running dispute over the use of forests. The new building, dating from the XVII century, was the residence of several local lords over the centuries;
- the residence of the Bishop.