“It stands at the foot of a hill wet by the Girione canal, just 2 kilometres from Sommariva del Bosco, with a parish church built about two centuries ago by the local feudal lords.” Sanfrè is a town of just over 3000 in habitants, located on the edge of the Roero, of which we already have information in the eleventh century under the name of CastrumSifridi or Sigifridi: initially the land of the De Brayda and then the fief of the Isnardi.
The origin of its name is unclear: some trace it back to the name of Sant’Iffredo martyred here by the Saracens, according to others it is a simple reference to the cool climate of this land surrounded by woods between hills and plains. With a predominantly agricultural vocation, the country has experienced significant industrial expansion in recent years.
WHAT TO SEE
THE CASTLE of ISNARDI. The castle dates back to the early 1200s, but nothing remains of the ancient construction: set on fire by the Spaniards in the mid-16th century, it was rebuilt into an imposing stately home with ramparts and a protected passage that connects it to the parish church. In 1630 it hosted Cristina of France, wife of Vittorio Amedeo I, who fled Turin to escape the plague. Once the Isnardi dynasty was extinct, the Castle was the home of the Consolata nuns until it was purchased about 40 years ago by the current owners, who open it for guided tours.
PARISH OF SS. PETER AND PAUL. It was rebuilt in the early 1700s on commission from the Marquis Isnardi, who wanted the building facing Mondovì where the bishopric was based. The Isnardi family crest stands out on the entrance portal. In Renaissance Baroque style, it was designed by Francesco Gallo, an architect who had already presided over the construction of the ellipsoidal dome of the VicoforteMondovì Sanctuary.
CHURCH OF S. AGOSTINO. Seat of the Battuti Bianchi brotherhood, the Church of S. Agostino was already in existence at the end of the 1500s and was rebuilt in 1871.
CHURCH OF SAN GIOVANNI. Building is in Baroque style, home of the BattutiNeri brotherhood.
CHURCH OF SS. TRINITY’. Ancient parish church, mentioned since 1386, the town originally stood around it, which over the centuries then moved to the plain. Outside it retains a large part of the Romanesque apse.
Created by Sanfredesi at the end of the 1700s, it is a very simple dessert, made with bread dough but sweetened, with the addition of lemon, butter, eggs and a pinch of salt and yeast. Passed down from family to family and from baker to baker, the fuaset is baked with the typical five-pointed shape (originally in the shape of a cross) in the period of Lent, a period in which you prefer to consume a sweet symbol of poverty and simplicitY.