According to tradition, the first settlement was established by Saint Columbanus, an Irish monk and founder of the Abbey of Luxeuil in Bourgogne, from which comes the ancient name of Belforte Uxetium (small Luxeuil). During the 13th century, the village became part of the domains of Genoa, first with the Spinola and then, in 1642, Lorenzo Cattaneo della Volta took on the title of Marquis of Belforte. In the 18th century, the village came under Savoy rule.
Our walk starts with the climb to the Castle, built on the remains of the ancient Benedictine convent. It has a quadrilateral plan with a courtyard and has been modified and enlarged over the centuries. Heading down towards the village, we meet the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and Saint Columbanus: there is a bell tower topped by a gilded bronze statue depicting the Madonna with the Child. The marble Baroque-style statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is exquisite, and tradition has it that it reached Belforte from Milan on an ox-drawn cart. The Crucifixion altarpiece is by an unknown author, but the style dates it to the School of Domenico Fiasella.
We also recall the 16th-century Oratory of the SS Annunziata, characterised by a strong spirit of solidarity, financing initiatives that could help the more disadvantaged brothers. The walls are embellished by the magnificent crucifixes that the Confraternity exhibits during the solemn processions.
Whoever climbs up along via Rossiglione, having reached the crest of the hill, can continue the walk descending towards the River Stura and enter the forest. At the end of the descent, after a route of 1.5 km, they will reach Pian Carpeneto, on the right bank of the river and will find the Church of S. Maria ai Monti. The church, requested by Don Wandro Pollarolo, an expert radio amateur operator and unforgettable priest of the village, was also built through the commitment of the numerous scout groups that, year after year, choose this area immersed in nature as the ideal place for their summer camps.
Information and contacts
Palazzo Comunale - 15070 Belforte Monferrato (AL)
Telephone: +39 (0143) 865.01
Fax: +39 (0143) 824.896