Santo Stefano Belbo Tourist Information
Santo Stefano Belbo is a small village in Monferrato Valley. With this travel guide, you should discover all the tourist information and learn more about culture, food and wine.
The origin of the name comes from the first martyr Santo Stefano, revered in the village, and the Belbo river which runs through the village center. The importance of the territory derived in Roman and medieval times, from the strategic control position at the beginning of the road, that wound along the Belbo valley and crossed the road coming from Alba.
More detailed information about the village development date back to the Middle Ages, with the construction of a castle (cestrum) on the hill of Santa Libera and of a Benedictine monastery (San Gaudenzio), probably built on the ruins of an older temple dedicated to Jupiter.
The monastic presence was very strong in Valle Belbo, and in Santo Stefano also worked, between 1600 and 1840, the barefoot Franciscan friars and the Cistercians. The ruins of the ancient Castle recall its destruction by Spaniards and Austrians, who struggled for its possession and dominion in 1635. After the Congress of Vienna, Santo Stefano Belbo becomes part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and will follow the events of the Savoy until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy.
Where to stay in Santo Stefano Belbo?
What to see in Santo Stefano Belbo
Among the monuments of historical and artistic interest, we note the Chiesa del Sacro Cuore di Gesù, (Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), a beautiful building containing a copper cross dating back to the X century.
Santo Stefano Belbo village is the symbol of Pavese’s poetry.
Cesare Pavese was born there and spent here much time of his youth. The writer over the years will continue to have with this village a comparison’s relationship, in a sort of love-hate, difference and equality, expressed in the highest form in the novel “La luna e i falò”. In the village is active the Centro Studi (Academic Center) “Cesare Pavese” (Piazza Confraternita, 1), officially established in 1973 bythe local administration, in order to keep alive the memory and the study of the writer.
The center includes the premises of the former Church of San Giacomo and Christoforo and there is located The Pavese Museum, a collection of books belonging to the writer and also part of his library, some autographed first editions of his works, various translations, copies of manuscripts and some personal objects.
The top floor is used as guest house for students and scholars coming from all over the world. This structure offers specialized guides who accompany visitors to the discovery of the main places that inspired Cesare Pavese.