Castelnuovo Scrivia

  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
Stampa la pagina
palazzo pretoriotown hall
via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 33

tel/fax number
+39  0131826125/0131823088


The first settlements date back to the Roman period, as attested by many archaeological finds in this area. The inhabited centre arose around 500 BC, when the town was fortified by order of Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, and in 722 the township was enlarged by the Lombard king Liutprand. As ally of Federico Barbarossa in his war against the Lombardy communes, Castelnuovo took part in the destruction of Tortona in 1115, obtaining certain privileges (including the right of raising its communal flag on the tower), immunity and public works in exchange. In the early fourteenth century Castelnuovo became part of the Duchy of Milan under the rule of the Bandello, Torriani, Visconti, Carmagnola and Sforza families and it turned into a very important and rich centre, as testify some clear traces of the old luxurious buildings of that period.

In 1570 on the will of the Spanish Lords D’Avalos it changed its name from Castelnuovo di Tortona to Castelnuovo ‘ad Scripiam’, then it became a fief of the Marini family who had the church and the college of St. Ignazio as well as the town hall constructed.
After their extinction in 1778 it was enfeoffed to the Centurione family. In the nineteenth century the district council lost its importance also because of the large emigration towards South America. After the second world-war it recovered its strength.

Castelnuovo is an agricultural and commercial centre and lies 12 km to the south of the confluence of the Scrivia torrent into the Po River. The closeness to waterways has transformed this territory into the ideal habitat for the production of high quality potatoes. Water, in fact, represents the essential element for the good cultivation of this vegetable.
Onion is also a typical product of the lower Scrivia valley; it is cultivated at Castelnuovo Scrivia, Molino dei Torti, Guazzora, and Pontecurone. Cultivations of the ‘Violet Onion’ and the ‘Golden Onion’, also known as ‘Onions of Castelnovo Scrivia’, are very valuable.

The medieval township has a fine artistic and historical heritage.

- the parish church, in Romanesque style, dates back to the 12th century, although it was restored in the 16th and 19th centuries. It has a portal with medieval lions' sculptures, lunettes and capitals executed at the time of Federico Barbarossa. The interior has a nave and two aisles and it houses a 15th century fresco with the Madonna of the Misericordia and four 11th century capitals coming from the old pieve (parish church).
- opposite the parish church of ‘Santi Pietro e Paolo’ is located the PALAZZO PRETORIO (castle of the Torriani and Bandello families); it has an ogival portico, with mullioned windows and a balcony; the palazzo’s interior has two large halls enriched with 15th century decorations and, on the ground floor, the library rooms. The castle is dominated by a 39 meter- high crenellated tower, whose original structure goes back to the 1400’s.
- the church of Sant'Ignazio dating from the 17th century.
- the church of San Rocco, finely refurbished.
- Palazzo Centurione (17th century), in Genoese style, is a good example of Genoese architecture from the 17th century with an elegant groin portico; now it is home to the City Museum, with a rich collection of archeological findings from the Stone Age to the Roman Era.
- the imposing Romanesque church of Santi Pietro e Paolo, dating from the 12th century, has an interesting doorway with lunette window above it and capitals decorated with Romanesque workings by Albertus, dating from the time of Barbarossa.

- Matteo Bandello: He was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, around 1480 or 1485. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem to have been very interested in theology. For many years he lived at Mantua, and superintended the education of the celebrated Lucrezia Gonzaga, in whose honour he composed a long poem. The decisive Battle of Pavia, as a result of which Lombardy was taken by the emperor, compelled Bandello to flee; his house at Milan was burnt and his property confiscated. He was later raised to the bishopric of Agen, a town in which he resided for many years before his death in 1562.
Bandello wrote a number of poems, but his fame rests entirely upon his extensive collection of ‘Novelle’, or tales (1554, 1573), which have been extremely popular.
- Manfredino and Franceschino Boxilio: local painters belonging to a pictorial school working between 1450 and 1515. Their works, above all frescoes, can be admired in Rivalta, Novi, Pontecurone, Sale, Pozzolo, Milan, Genoa and in the castle of Castelnuovo.
- Pier Angelo Soldini: journalist and novelist.

- 19th March: Fair of St. Giuseppe. Agricultural market with livestock exhibition, exhibition of farm machinery and equipments, street performances and several events.
- 23rd May: Fair of San Desiderio. Historical pageant, ancient ritual of the flag change on the tower; shows and stands.
- 4th Sunday in August: Patronal day of San Desiderio. A fireworks display concludes the celebrations.
8th September: vines festival.

n. of inhabitants: 5642

hamlets: Gerbidi, Ova, Pilastro and Secco.

inhabitants’ denomination: castelnovesi

altitude: 85 m. above sea level