Municipalities of the Alta Langa: Bergolo

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Nonostante le piccolissime dimensioni, Bergolo, paese di pietra, è comune autonomo da tempo immemorabile e conta appena 71 abitanti.

The name derives from the Latin and has the meaning of place of heather, or heath.

History

The first news about Bergolo date to 1901, when the village was included in the territories of Bonifacio del Vasto. After his death, in 1130, the territory was inherited by his sons, and in 1142 it passed under the lead of Bonifacio Minore, marquis of Ceva and Cortemilia. In 1184 the property became of the marquises of Savona and of the Del Carretto family. In 1209, the marquis Ottone gave it to the municipality of Asti along with the neighbouring districts of Gorrino, Castelletto and Scaletta; since then Bergolo has followed Asti for over than a century. In 1322 Manfredo II il Vasto gave Bergolo to the marquis of Saluzzo Manfredo IV, who, the following year, left it as inheritance to his son Teodoro. Other news are documented in the following centuries: on 3rd April 1532 Bergolo passed under the lead of the dukes of Savoy, because the Emperor Carlo V gave it to Beatrice, mother of Emanuele Filiberto. Then came the landowners: in 1580 the Valperga and in 1626 the Appiani. In 1787 the lord Giuseppe Adami di Murazzano obtained the title of count and then, the general Giorgio Carlo Calvi, married with the Princess Iolanda of Savoy, was named count of Bergolo by the king Carlo Alberto in 1836.

Bergolo has been characterised by an agricultural economy during all its history.

With the passing of the years the sheep-farming activities and the cultivation of the terracing Dolcetto vineyards have been replaced by the Gentle Round Hazelnut cultivation, which is recognized as one of the best in the world. The rebirth of Bergolo dates to 1970. Due to the abandoning of the small villages Bergolo risked desertification, but the municipality has bet on tourism and it has been a very lucky intuition.

Churches

  • The cemetery chapel of San Sebastiano, indicated as the ancient parish church, dates back to the century. XII; the structure, in Romanesque style, has been recently restored and brought back to the primitive lines.
  • The Parish Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary dates back to 1632 and preserves a valuable “Madonna and Child, Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Sebastian martyr” by anonymous painter.

Places of interest

The houses of the village, externally, show dozens of works of art including murals, paintings and sculptures, left by the artists who participated in the competition “Bergolo: stone village“, created by Romano Vola in 1993. Borgata Bergamaschi, on the border between Bergolo and Torre Bormida, is a rare example of a medieval rural village.

Paths

The network of paths that develops around Bergolo through woods and ridges is signposted along all the routes and presents interesting naturalistic hints. The paths are all practicable without particular difficulties and with appropriate clothing.

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