Roccavione

Tourist Office

Contacts : comune.roccavione.cn@legalmail.it Tél.: 0171.767108

The municipality of Roccavione is located in a plain, at the meeting point of the Gesso and Vermenagna valleys.
Recent research has confirmed that from the Bronze Age until Romanization, the site near Bec Berciassa – a promontory at the confluence of the rivers Gesso and Vermenagna – has hosted a Celtic-Ligurian town.

The origin of this city is often linked to the Castrum Auriatensium, a Roman village cited by sources of the 2nd and 3rd century.

In Roman times, it was part of the regio Liguria and Aemilia (until the fourth century) and the regio delle Alpes Cottiae (until the sixth century) and, following the invasions of the Burgundians and Goths, she passed first under the control of the Byzantines then to the kingdoms of Longobards and Franks.

In the 10th century, all the territory between the valleys of the Tanaro and Stura de Demonte Rivers was part of the Bredulo committee, it was then subject to the bishops of Asti. In the middle of the 11th century, Rocha Corvaria was mentioned among the fiefdoms of the abbots of Pedona.

Roccavione is part of the Paesi di San Dalmazzo Museum project, which focuses on cultural properties and territories that have been part of the history of Pedona Abbey. From the second half of the twelfth century it follows the events common to the entire Vermenagna Valley, passing continuously under the domination of the Marquis of Monferrato, Saluzzo, Pedona Abbey and the Bishop of Asti. In the 13th century Roccavione was once again managed by the abbots of Pedona, then passed under the domain of Anjou, which stopped around the middle of the 14th century, as it became part of the House of Savoy.

Located at the foot of the San Sudario rock, the historic center of Roccavione is characterized by narrow streets and alleys reminiscent of the ancient history of the village.

The most valuable artistic element is the Church of the Confraternity Santa Croce, a building in the shape of a Greek cross attested since the end of the 16th century and completely rebuilt shortly after the mid-18th century.

A few meters further appears the large Maria Vergine parish church, a building with three naves, renovated in the late nineteenth century but testimonies were found since the mid-fourteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth century.

The historic center and its surroundings keep an important inventory of votive chapels made between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century (chapels of Assunta and Saints Rocco and Biagio), pylons and sundials of time. To be noted, a few Art Nouveau villas that were built in the early 19th century.

Always dedicated to agriculture, the chestnut is the star of Roccavione. It is an integral part of the local diet and a source of income for its inhabitants. The local artist Battista Barale dedicated his painting to chestnuts. It is located in the hall of the municipal council.

In the 1960s, Roccavione experienced a strong industrialization with the installation of a paper mill, two cement plants and their quarries, and the Enel power plant in Brignola. The majority of the local workforce was therefore used thus preventing the migratory phenomenon which were much more important in the upper valley towns. In 2015, the Pirinoli paper mill was saved from bankruptcy by its workers and became a cooperative society.

The main celebratory events of the city are: the re-enactment La Rocca dei Catari, which takes place every two years in June and which evokes the centuries of the Middle Ages when Roccavione was the first center of influence of Italian Catharism; the patronal feast of San Magno (second half of August) and the Sagra del Marrone, the oldest in Piedmont, which is a showcase of excellence for the production of the chestnut groves surrounding hills (early October).

The city also hosts two majestic examples of redwoods, listed among the largest trees in Italy. The highest one reaches 50 meters height and its base circumference exceeds 7 meters. His “brother” is slightly shorter, but his circumference is 10.5 meters.

Blason de Roccavionne

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Heritage sheet

Catharism

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Intellectual
Period
Period Before 1380

The ties between Roccavione and Cathar heresy date back to the 13th century when Cathars and Waldensians were driven out of the Languedoc and...

arte organaria - Roccavione

The art of organ making

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Intellectual
Period
Period XXI

The Vermenagna Valley and the neighbouring ones were places of encounter between the various extranational organ schools. In memory of this, since 2002 the...

Museo del vecchio mulino - Roccavione

Museo del vecchio mulino

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period Nineteenth

The building is located in the peripheral area of the old town centre, towards the railway track.

San Sudario - Roccavione

Colle di San Sudario and castle ruins

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period 1380 – 1600

The Rocca del Santo Sudario is a sheer, approximate 100-metre-high cliff over the town of Roccavione. The area can be reached on foot along...

Ville Liberty - Roccavione

Art Nuoveau villas and monumental sequoias

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period Nineteenth

On the territory of the municipality of Roccavione there are now fourteen Villas built in the Art Nuoveau or Eclectic style between the late...

Fontane storiche - Roccavione

Historical fountains in the municipal area

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period XVII

In the municipal administrative centre and in the hamlets there are now 8 fountains, or washhouses, which in past centuries played a fundamental role...

Bec Berciassa protohistoric site

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period Before 1380

The archaeological area of Bec Berciassa stands on a hillock located at the confluence of the Gesso and Vermenagna streams. The area is within...

CentroStorico e Meridiane (2) - Roccavione

Old town centre and sundials

City
City Roccavione
Typology
Typology Building
Period
Period Various

The town is located 10km from Cuneo, on the Colle di Tenda main road, where the Gesso and Vermenagna Valleys meet.

Additional information

Bibliography

  • Walter Cesana Muoversi per il mondo pensando a Roccavione: storie di emigrazione, di guerra, di vita familiare e sociale, tra Ottocento e Novecento, attraverso le scritture popolari dei Fantino Brindour e dei Pepino Trouméntoni Primalpe, 2014 394 pages
  • Lorenzo Artusio (par) Dizionario occitano: Robilante-Roccavione Chambra d’Oc 2005 282 pages
  • Angelo D’Angelo, Ernesto D’Angelo Arrampicare a Cuneo: palestre di Roccavione, Andonno, Borgo San Dalmazzo Primalpe, 1987 30 pages
  • Laura Conforti e Laura Marino (par) Le valli tra i parchi Marguareis e Alpi Marittime: Gesso, Vermenagna, Pesio, territorio della Bisalta Bbox Più Eventi Edizioni 2018 335 pages
  • Andrea Levico Vermenagna e Roya : le valli delle meraviglie Primalpe, 2007, 271 pages

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