Canale links its name to the cultivation of peaches and wines. It lies on the left bank of the Borbore, north-west of Alba, which is 14 kilometres away.
Heart of the Roero with its historic cellars and the many typical shops, the historic centre of Canale clearly preserves (with the orthogonal streets and the arcades on the side of the “main road”) the “villanova” system that the municipality of Asti founded in 1260 to channel the populations of the ancient surrounding settlements (Anterisio, Loreto di Canale, Castellettod’Astisio, Canale ‘vecchio’ and other minors), after the defeat of the Counts of Biandrate. In 1379 the lordship of Canale was donated to the Roero family, from whom it gradually arrived, starting from 1512, to the Malabaila. Of the enclosure with towers that closed the “villanova” only the thirteenth-century civic tower remains, subsequently raised to obtain the bell cell.
Always a natural commercial centre, among the historical activities of Canale there is viticulture; at the beginning of the twentieth century, in reaction to some diseases that undermined the vineyards, agriculture turned to peach cultivation.
Thus was born in those years the myth of “Canale del Pesco”, with a daily market and quantity of product such as to allow exports beyond national borders and to revive the agricultural economy. Currently, the peach orchards have reduced abundantly in favour of a new concept of agriculture based on the vine, with particular attention to the Arneis grape from which the renowned white wine DOCG Roero Arneis originates.
WHAT TO SEE
REGIONAL WINE BAR OF ROERO
The Roero Regional Enoteca is located in Canale, a showcase for local wine producers, which promotes and enhances the local DOCG: Roero DOCG, red wine from Nebbiolo grape, and Roero Arneis DOCG, an ancient white fruit variety. The Enoteca is also home to the Roero Tourist Office.
Already mentioned on site in 1213 with the dedication to S. Stefano, then changed in 800 to S. Vittore (title borrowed from the ancient parish church, which stood not far away, on the road to Asti) it was rebuilt several times; enlarged at the end of the seventeenth century and equipped in 1726 with a baroque facade, it was the patronage of the local branch of the Roero family, who were buried in it. The interior is richly decorated and adorned. The Parochial Bell Tower, 65 meters high and dominated by the bronze statue of the Sacred Heart, was built in 1932 by the Canadians and is the symbol of the town.
CONFRATERNITY OF SAN BERNARDINO
At the western end of the “villanova”, near the disappeared upper door and on the site of the ancient moat, stands the church of S. Bernardino, built at the end of the 16th century, which belonged to the white Disciplinanti (“battuti”). It was rebuilt in Baroque forms starting from 1727, later decorated and equipped with abundance. Inside it houses a wooden crucifix of the fifteenth century, the wooden crucifix with real hair, the work of an unknown sculptor from the Piedmont region of Liguria, and the Ecce Homo statue, dated 1605, in cherry wood at natural height, which gives shape to a scourged and crowned Christ of thorns.
SANCTUARY OF MOMBIRONE
Located on the hill of Mombirone, the sanctuary dedicated to the Madonna, of late nineteenth-century architecture, offers a valuable panoramic view of the historic centre of Venice and the surrounding area. It is possible to reach Il Santuario with a short walk of about 1 km in the small botanical park of Mombirone, a marked route that climbs to the top of the hill through an oak grove.