The city of Moncalvo today
History and art in the Monferrato
Moncalvo is a delightful town in the low Monferrato, easy to reach from the provincial capital Asti and from Casale. The more ancient parts of the Church of Saint Francis (apses, bell tower, sacristy and cloister) date back to the sixteenth century. Around the middle of the seventeenth century, a large proportion of the church collapsed and it was decided to reconstruct it immediately. In the church are preserved important paintings of Guglielmo Caccia, the so-called ‘il Moncalvo’, and of his daughter Orsola.
The present Church of Saint Anthony was built on the site of the former Confraternity of the Saints John and Paul. In the niches of the altar, decorated with painted wood and stucco work, are located several outstanding canvasses.
The Church of Our Lady of Graces was constructed between 1756 and 1758 and designed by the famous architect Count Francesco Ottavio Magnocavallo. Above the greater altar is situated a splendid wooden sculpted and gilded throne.
Of the ancient castle, once the residence of the dynasty Palaiologos, are preserved only the massive ramparts from the twelfth century.
The historic center of the town is very picturesque, and includes several medieval spots (mansion Lanfrancone on Via XX Settembre, mansion Demaria on Piazza Garibaldi) and small historic shops.
Several mansions from the seventeenth and eighteenth century are certainly remarkable (Palazzo Dal Pozzo, Palazzo Manacorda, Palazzo Testafochi). The actual Town Hall was once property of Guglielmo Caccia and later it became the monastery of the nuns Ursolines (first half of the seventeenth century). In the office of the mayor are preserved some interesting still lifes, painted by Orsola Caccia, daughter of Guglielmo. On Piazza Garibaldi appears the beautiful Town Theatre, dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century, built on the premises of the ancient guard house from the sixteenth century.