Garbagna, The art among cherries hills


Located on Tortona hills, this small and Medieval village of the province of Alessandria, Piemonte, Garbagna is the most important town of the Grue valley.


Together with Grondona and Vargo di Stazzano, the village was part of the “Seven Imperial Feuds” given to the Admiral Andrea Doria in 1568 by the Emperor Carlo V, after the conspiracy of Gian Luigi Fiaschi and the resulting loss of their control. The village has become officially independent in 1575. It remained under the supremacy of princes Doria Landi until the definitive abolition of feuds in Italy in 1797.

To see

Parish church – Octagonal plant church, the church of San Giovanni Battista Decollato, patron saint of the country, was built in 1714. It houses important artworks like the painting “The baptism of Christ” from Guglielmo Caccia.

Doria Square – On this Renaissance square, dedicated to the prince Doria, there are the Doria Palace and the oratory of San Rocco. In the middle of it there are four chestnut trees planted in 1853, and in the middle of them there is an arch, memory of an ancient spring.

Sanctuary of Madonna del Lago – It dates back to 1300s. According to the legend, in 1341 the Virgin Mary appeared to a mute young shepherdess who received a miracle from her.

Oratorio di San Rocco – Built about 1580, it has a magnificent facade frescoed by Giovan Battista Carlone.

Contrada – The real heart of the village, it twists and turns along the houses of the old town centre.

Castello – It was erected in the nineth century; of this century are the surrounding walls, the doorway and the sighting tower.

To taste

Cherry from Garbagna – Presided over by Slowfood, it is a special type of intense red cherry well-adapted for jams or for the liqueurs production.

Noble salami from Giarolo – It is called “noble” because inside of it there is the noble part of the pork, the thigh.

Castagnette – They are dry sweets made with sugar, albumens and ground almonds. Its shape remembers chestnuts.

Rice cake – It is a traditional savory pie that the families of the place used to prepare on the third Friday of May to celebrate Madonna del Lago. The ingredients are simple: hand-made phyllo dough, milk and rice.

White truffle and mushrooms – They are one of the most excellent fruits in the world for the richness of flavours.

To enjoy

Chestnuts Festival – It takes place every year in October.

Patronage Festival – It hosts a concert with internationally renowned organists and takes place every year on the last Sunday of August.