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Information and Brief History about Villamiroglio

"Villamiroglio deviates quite clearly from the other municipal towns of Valle Cerrina because of its particular shape. Although it is a small town of about 350 inhabitants, it's crossed by 36 km of roads of which only 15 paved. The remaining roads are completely unpaved but well-maintained and metalled (sadly no more, now ed.) to easily reach the many townships scattered in the crevices of the territory (which 80% is forest). ... the singular beauty of the place is given to the villages that constitute, in the woods (elm, acacias, oak, ash, poplar, hazel, pine and linden trees with a thick undergrowth of wild roses) in close contact with nature..."
excerpt from "Belvedere il Monferrato" 2009 - Publisher Monferrato

on the side: coat of arms of the Municipality of Villamiroglio, based on the coat of arms of the Counts Miroglio of Moncestino's family


Region: Piedmont
Province: Alexandria
Coordinates (main town): 45°8′8″N 8°10′20″E
Altitude (main town): 329 m above sea level
Size: 9,66km²
Population: 361 (al 31/12/2009)
Population density: 35,30 ab./km²
Local inhabitants name: villamirogliesi
Villamiroglio is placed in the low Monferrato, in the north-west of the Province of Alessandria. Spread over an area of approximately 9.7 square kilometers which is bounded by the Municipality of Moncestino to the east, the Municipalities of Gabiano and Cerrina to the south, the Municipality of Odalengo Grande and the Municipality of Verrua Savoy, in the Province of Turin, to the west.
The chief town Villamiroglio is located on an altitude of 329m above sea level, in a context characterized by rounded hills of sandy and stony soils, wich descends in wide and flat clayey grounds. The chief town Villamiroglio is located on an altitude of 329m above sea level, in a context characterized by rounded hills of sandy and stonysoils, who took the funds wide and flat nature of clay. The maximum height of the town is found on the Monte delle Pietre, behind Rairolo, of 443m above sea level. Other relevant heights are Monte Croce, 396m above sea level, which houses in its underground the storage basin of the Aqueduct of Monferrato, and the top of 341m above sea level of Pian dell'Opj in Villamiroglio, and Monte della Valle of 362m above sea level in Vallegioliti. The town is strongly characterized by townships, located in the immediate vicinity of the historic center of the capital and the fraction Vallegioliti.

Brief History

Historically Villamiroglio probably puts its bases in Lombards settlements attributable to the mid-eighth century, evidenced by place names such as Mezzalfenga, Seminenga, Scarfenga, etc. A votive tile, set in the outer wall of the Church of Villamiroglio, also has an sculpture attributed to classical Lombard style. However, it can be hazarded a guess that already Celts, around the first century BC, were stationed in the immediate vicinity of Vallegioliti. There are reports of a population, the Cestini, which from Pavia moved south of the Po around 100 BC founding a settlement still known as Moncestino. To these Celts is attributed the name “bric”, still used today to indicate the heights.
News of the village of Villamiroglio is from the Imperial Diploma of Frederick Barbarossa of 14 October 1164, with account of its creation to the family Miroglio, which, its said to resist the Marquis of Monferrato, founded the town called once Villa Santa Maria, wich took later their name, and held the government of the town until the '700. The Miroglio submitted to the Marquis of Monferrato on April 12, 1314 and on December 14, 1652 Pietro Giacomo Miroglio obtained the title of Count for himself and his descendants. Following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the territory became part of the dominions of Savoy, then in the French administrative links Villamiroglio followed the fate of all other territories already gravitating around Casale Monferrato and, together with Casale, who lost his province in 1818, then was included in the division of Alessandria.
Rilevant buildings are the Church, built in 1714, overlooking the historic center of town and dedicated to St. Philip and St. Michael, the former St. Michael's Church, built next to the cemetery and the church of St. Liberata in Case Alemanno's township. In the fraction of Vallegioliti are significant the church erected in 1819 and dedicated to St. Stephen, and St. Philip's Church in Mezzalfenga, the latter already mentioned in the investiture of the Bishop Giovanni Fieschi of Vercelli in 1349. There is also a Vallegioliti a votive statue of St. Pius, erected by pious Brusa Daniele in memory of religious missionaries of the place. You can meet also different niches on the walls of the houses, and several votive chapels, now almost abandoned in the hills, once widely cultivated, witnesses of strong religious attachment to this land in the past.
Is supposed the presence of an ancient castle, perhaps belonged to Miroglio's family, supposedly disappeared intentionally in the '400 as a result of a fire, of wich we don't have precise news. As noted by Giuseppe Niccolini (1877): "Villamiroglio, home of the municipal authority, is construct on up the hill within the walls of a strong castle which went up in flames in the year 1400. The main part of the town is made up of a dozen houses that surround the majestic and quickly church. So the ancient walls of the old castle remains nothing more but a solid and elegant side of the tower entrance, all but ruined by time, and on top of which there is almost a poplar planted sign of peace, harmony and brotherhood." which suggests that the original site of the castle was actually the same as the current built-up area around the Parish Church. Some excerpts of stone walls, foundations of tuff, and a corner brick with small square openings in a lower level, are still visible on the slopes of Bricco Castello. Those ruins wbelogns to a defensive fort of the Miroglios, placed on the borders of their feud, and not to an ancient castle, as sometimes mistakenly spread.
From Vallegioliti come the family Giolito, famous printers of the '500, first in Trino and then in Venice.