Municipalities of the Alta Langa: Cossano Belbo

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Cossano Belbo is the crossroad of two important literature areas: the one of Cesare Pavese, born in Santo Stefano Belbo and the one of Beppe Fenoglio, born in Alba.

These two writers describe  many places of Cossano: for example the Santuario Madonna della Rovere, it is located in a panoramic position; the legend tells that in this place there was an Oak tree which cried oil drops. The sanctuary conserves a votive pictorial cycle about the farmers life realised by Francesco Bo. An university research found that there are more than 4000 votive tablets realised on the territory of Cossano, all visible on the University of Turin website. Cossano, centre of the ancient commercial roads, has a very different territory: the hills of Moscato which overlook the Belbo, the Dolcetto vineyards and the suggestive road of Scorrone, which winds among the hazelnuts cultivation in the Alta Langa direction.

Cossano Belbo has a very important history. Roman ruins are everywhere, probably they date to the Emperor Caracalla, who used to give territories for cultivation in this area to his laid off legionaries. 

The most famous historical episode of this place occurred on 4th March 1274, with the battle between the army of Asti and Carlo d’Angiò. After the fight Cossano became property of the marquis of Busca. In the hilly San Bovo occurred the struggle between the Napoleonic troupes and the Austro-Hungarians soldiers. More recent, instead, is the Resistance, celebrated in the square dedicated to the partisan Pinin Balbo, awarded with the gold medal. In 1700, instead, lived the priest Simone di Stanislao, rector in Recanati for the Passionists, is considered, still today, as a saint and many healings are attributed to him. 

Cossano indeed is also a mysterious and magical place: here the elders tell the stories of the Masche (witches of Piedmont) which lived in some houses on the hills, they lived among the village inhabitants and they did sorceries with their book, “il libro del comando”.

In the village square, as well as in  the most remote farms, pallone elastico was played, especially in its more traditional version, the pantalera.


The first document in which the name “Coxani” is mentioned is the Imperial edict of Ottone III dated 1st July 1001, it stated that the fief which included all the territories from Santo Stefano Belbo up to Murazzano were property of the marquis Oldrigo Manfredi. Cossano Belbo was included in the county of Loreto, but then it passed under the lead of Ottone Boverio, then to the marquis of Cortemila and so to the marquises of Busca, from 1190 until the half  of 1700. In 1247 the marquis Raimondo di Busca, received investiture on the castle and on the territory of Cossano. At the end of 1200 Cossano was included in the territories of Asti, until, in 1310, Giorgio Marchese di Busca became Lord of Cossano. When he died, his son, Manfredo, received the imperial investiture in 1355. Between 1431 and 1435 Cossano passed under the Visconti domination and then to the marquises of Monferrato who gave the entire territory to the marquises of Busca.  In 1711 Cossano became definitively property of the Savoy. At the end of 1700 arrived the French domination which lasted until 1814. During the Fascism, Cossano Belbo was united with the little village of Rocchetta Belbo, which obtained its independence in 1946.

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