The name has Germanic origins and means "mountain." It is a small town in the province of Asti, located on the border with the territory of Alexandria and washed by the Bormida di Spigno. It presents the typical aspect of a medieval town, still surrounded by walls and separated into two equal halves by the ruins of the castle.
The origins are Roman and the first settlement was built near the ancient Via Aemilia Scauri. Between the VI and VII centuries, Mombaldone had already experienced the rule of the Lombards, but it was mentioned for the first time in a document dating from the year 1000, in which is stated the donation of the lands by Anselmo, heir of the Aleramici to the Abbey of San Quintino of Spigno Monferrato, previously founded by Anselmo himself. Since the early XIII and throughout the Middle Ages the town was proclaimed fief under the rule of the Del Carretto of Savona and with Lord Enrico IV Carretto, the whole area experienced a period of great development and prosperity. At the end of the XIV century the town was ceded to Amadeus VI of Savoy, domain formalized in 1531 by Emperor Charles V, who granted many privileges and autonomy to the local feudal lords. In 1637 the Spanish tried unsuccessfully to conquer the village, but were stopped by the troops of Vittorio Amedeo di Savoia. In the early XVIII century, after the war of succession of Monferrato, the territory finally enjoyed a period of tranquility and developed the cultivation of silkworms, which ensured another era of economic prosperity and development for a long term.
Not to miss:
- the Oratory of the Brotherhood of Sts Fabian and Sebastian, located next to the Parish Church. The building seems to be waiting for its visitors, at the end of the one main streets of the town. It is a building designed by the architect Barozzi in 1764 and recently restored. In Baroque style, the construction presents elements of great balance and composure, flanked by an impressive Bell tower. Inside it preserves late XVII century frescoes and currently hosts several events, exhibitions and other cultural events;
- the Parish Church of St. Nicolao, built in 1790 on project on the Zucchi, it features a hexagonal façade, embellished with columns and a small gable. The Bell town, partially incorporated in the structure, is topped by a circular dome. The inside, in Baroque style, houses valuable paintings, including some of the artist Monevi, and an XIX century organ;
- the Castle, probably built between the XIII and XIV centuries, it was partially destroyed in the XVII. At the center there are still remains of a square tower, demolished in part by the Marquis Aleramo Del Carretto, to allow the construction of the railway in the nearby;
- the Fortress, a massive stone building dating back to 1200, features inside elegant pieces of XVIII century furniture. It is still owned by the Del Carretto Family and today houses a famous restaurant, appreciated World-wide;
- the Porta (the entrance gate to the old centre) with its pointed arch, which is still intact from medieval times;
- the Old Mill dating from the XVI-XVII century.