Aleramo’s dream

Ozzano Monferrato



Just before entering Ozzano, you can see the beehives belonging to “Antos”, a company owned by Giulio Mortara who was among the first to use products from bees in quality cosmetics. The fief of Ozzano was given to the marquis of Monferrato by Emperor Federico Barbarossa in 1164, and it was then passed on to Cardinal Mercurino Arborio of Gattinara, Chancellor to Emperor Carlo V. The castle, which has undergone significant restauration work over the centuries, dominates the residential area. Owned by the Visconti family, today it is a very important aristocratic residence surrounded by high walls, which provide a high level of security. There is a very nice park with both hanging gardens and Italian-style gardens located in the shade of a century-old Lebanon cedar looking out onto the yard of the parish church below, whose bell tower is incorporated into the tufa stone wall. The parish church of San Salvatore, a late Gothic-style construction dating back to the first half of the fifteenth century, contains ancient frescos from the late 1400s which are thought to be the work of Martino Spanzotti, a famous painter from Casale Monferrato. Another noteworthy aspect is the house owned by the Bonaria-Simonetti family, a rare example of fifteenth-century civil architecture. It is the oldest private building in the village, with pointed arch windows and developed with over two floors: the ground floor is made of sandstone and the first floor is made of exposed brick. The loft is made of wood with earthenware tiled flooring, and another unusual feature is the wooden turret in the corner, supported by large oak beams which protrude from the outer wall. Two lots of restoration work have been carried out on the building over recent decades. In the valley downward the residential area, in the locality of Lavello (because of the presence of a spring where women used to wash their laundry in the past), the burgeoning cement industry was established, supported by the construction of the current road connecting Casale Monferrato with Turin and enhanced by the railway station on the Asti-Mortara line. An interesting route was created among the industrial archaeological sites present in the municipal area.