Via dei Briganti

da Cisterna d'Asti a Roatto (27,80 km)
Highlights and tour details

The idea of uniting the Roero with the Alto Astigiano brings with it the discovery of a territory that, not by chance, has assumed the popular creed of VIA dei BRIGANTI as evidenced by numerous proverbs and stories. The BRIGANTAGGIO, beyond being a national phenomenon with particular implications in southern Italy, also had a remarkable development in Piedmont: since the Middle Ages brigandage, often represented the only resource of the poor peasant strata, oppressed by feudal abuses and reduced to despair. The phenomenon increased and changed, sometimes taking the form of real mass concentrations. In Piedmont, from the end of 1600 onwards, the banditry assumed even more precise political identification, whose aims were often ideological, against the Jacobin bourgeoisie of the new Napoleonic Republic.

Interesting is the testimony that in the year 1800, from Turin, General Jourdan transmitted to the Ministry of the Interior: the brigandage was to the limit, thefts and murders were committed daily with an army on the main roads and in the country houses; the brigands committed their crimes up to the gates of the major Communes. The inhabitants are generally aware of the bandits, but no one dares to report them to the police for fear of being murdered. The phenomenon was widespread in many parts of our region and represented a thorn in the side for the government, and at the same time, a threat to the people. Hunger, misery and despair caused by the war led many farmers to banditry from the end of the 19th century onwards. In this context, a wild territory, thickly busted, with some transit routes located in the valley and a few settlements, located at a distance from each other, such as the territory of Cisterna d'Asti and Ferrere, offered a suitable environment, in which the brigandage developed. Even in the twentieth century and until the Second World War, this type of phenomenon was present.

The VIA dei BRIGANTI is therefore today a reason for suggestion and can be the leitmotif for the discovery of this territory, in reality much more suggestive in terms of environment and landscape. Cisterna d'Asti is an important fulcrum in the transition between the morphology of the Roero, especially characterized by rocks and erosive phenomena, and that of the Alfieri hills, where the reliefs are sweeter, still intact in the west, to become more inhabited and cultivated, in the portions to the east. This itinerary joins LA VIA DEI SANTI, and connects, therefore, to the great paths of religiosity.

Other information

Itinerary code: VBR
Provinces crossed: Langhe Monferrato e Roero

Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
piazza Hope
14010 Cisterna d'Asti (AT)
14018 Roatto (AT)
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