Canelli, Province of Asti, Piedmont

The little town is situated at the entrance of the Langhe hills, along the left bank of the Belbo stream. The city of Canelli is divided in two areas: the lower part in the valley, called "Borgo" and the upper part, called "Villanuova". The territory, covered in vineyards, is renowned for the production of the Asti Spumante, the slightly sweet, bubbly white wine which is a symbol of Cannelli and also of the whole province of Asti. The wine production industry is striclty connected to the local economy and history.


  • Population: about 10,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 14053
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0141


There was a settlement in the area during the Roman period, as shown by archaeological findings. During the Middle Ages a castle was built to defend the strategically important roads leading to the harbours of Savona and Vado. AMong the most celebrated events in the history of the place was the Siege of 1613. In 1612 Francesco Gonzaga, duke of Mantua and with succession rights to the Monferrato area (where Canelli is situated) died giving origin to a succession war.

Carlo Emanuele I, Savoy Duke, was the maternal grandfather of Gonzaga's daughter, and decided to defend his righets to the Monferrato. In June 1613, Carlo Gonzaga, duke of Nevers crossed with a regiment the Belbo river and sieged the town. Though with a very small military garrison, the town resisted thanks to the courageous resistance of the population. The Savoy Duke rewarded the town with a 30-year tax exemption.

What to see

  • The medieval castle, on top of the hill of Villanuova, renovated in the 17th century and more recently in the 1930's by architect Arturo Midana, commissioned by of the Gancia wine-growers.

Events and Festivities

  • Historical re-enactement of the "Siege of Canelli", which took place in 1613, when the inhabitants fought bravely back the enemy: stores and inns remain open for the celebration, and more than 4,000 walk-ons liven up the event.

Where to stay

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Provinces of Piedmont
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