The pleasure of discovery, among castles, historic battles and Romanesque masterpieces
Known in Frederick Barbarossa’s time as Civitas Nova, after joining the Lombard League in 1168 it was offered to Pope Alexander III, who agreed to make it a feudal holding of the Church. It was renamed Alessandria in his honour.
While, historically, its relationship with neighbouring Monferrato, which is only about thirty kilometres from the city, was marked by struggles and divisions, today Casale is an unmissable destination to discover some of its precious treasures — starting with the Synagogue of 1595, among the best examples of Piedmontese Baroque style, with the Jewish museum attached. We recommend visiting the Casale Monferrato Cathedral dedicated to Saint Evasius, one of the best-preserved Romanesque churches with its characteristic double narthex. If you find yourself in the historic centre, don’t forget to taste the authentic Krumiri, the popular biscuits inspired by the shape of King Victor Emmanuel II’s moustache.
Among the fortresses in the Alessandria countryside, it is worth visiting the 12th-century Giarole Castle of the Sannazzaro family, with its frescoed halls, tower, fascinating dungeons and imposing 19th-century park. For fans of the Napoleonic campaigns, the Marengo Museum is a must for reconstructing Bonaparte’s exploits, as well as the causes, developments and consequences of the Battle of Marengo.