Church of the Most Holy Annunciation (chiesa della Santissima Annunziata)

Address Piazza Doglio, 1, 14048 Montaldo Scarampi AT, Italia


Parish church.

It was set on fire by the Spaniards in 1636.

The church of Montaldo, as is expressly stated in the diploma of January 26, 1041, by which King Henry III confirmed all previous donations to the bishop of Asti, is still called pieve di Mons Altus, but then, both as a pieve and as a parish, it followed all the vicissitudes in which our castle ran.

This was in 1142 and 1183 of the town of Asti, in 1184 of the Monferrato, in 1190 of the Incisa, in 1339 of the Scarampi, in 1348 of Alessandria, in 1381 of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in 1575 of the Savoy, but our church always and only belonged to the bishop of Asti.

On August 24, 1636, our church was occupied, despoiled and burned by the Spanish.

A clearly visible date, engraved in marble on the pediment of the facade, indicated that as early as 1640 the inhabitants of Montaldo Scarampi had restored it.

As the attached document attests, our church, located in the center of the town, was small and consisted of only the part which, at present, is still in the Baroque style.

It had a large central nave and two smaller ones on the sides and, at the bottom, a modest altar. So it remained for two and a half centuries.

The French Revolution came, the Napoleonic military enterprises followed with the many despoilings, the Restoration returned, and our church, increasingly neglected, was reduced to such a condition that Canon Don Binelli, parish priest of Montaldo, felt it his duty to appoint an extraordinary commission whose purpose was to restore our parish church to its full efficiency.

Becoming insufficient, due to the increased population of inhabitants of Montaldo, it was enlarged with the extension of the part where the altar and choir are now.

The staircase leading from the apse to Piazza G. Battista Garelli was also built, and with it a new bell tower (1864). In front of the entrance door he had a compass built in 1868 (Lire 600) and above it, he placed our present organ (Lire 3418.45).

In 1868, when the Canon Don Binelli left our parish, it possessed a benefice of 1650 ares in full working order, with a farmhouse (a cascina dla gesa) of four rooms, stable and porches in excellent condition. He succeeded Canon Don Binelli Don Chiappone (1869-1933) who completely neglected the parish benefice and reduced it almost to a gerbid state.

When, in 1893, he submitted a financial request to the municipality to renovate both the rectory and the church, the City Council rejected it unanimously, citing a lack of funds for the municipality and also the reasoning that the parish benefice of 1650 ares, well governed, could give sufficient income to meet all the needs of our parish.

Don Chiappone was succeeded by Don Migliasso, an excellent priest and a good administrator, who, despite having sold a large part of the benefit, was able to restructure the parsonage and, in 1942, paint the church and adorn it with beautiful images of saints.

In 1956, the current concrete bell tower (designer surveyor Boggero) was built by the Municipality (Mayor Agnisetta).

The parish priest don Luigi Prato in 1969 gave a new façade to the church, inserting the mosaic of the Annunciation.

In 1970, when new parish priest Fr Agostino Ferrero entered, the rectory was renovated. When Fr. Francesco Chiesa entered in 1981, the bell castles were renewed, the old cracked bell was repaired, two new bells were purchased to obtain the full musical scale, the bell tower clock was replaced, and a new programmer clock was implanted in the sacristy to automate the entire bell complex (cost 10,000,000 lire).

In 1988, the roof of the church was completely redone (cost 40,200,000 lire), but a subsequent examination revealed that several jobs needed to be redone. The electrical system was also renewed and the old lighting system in the church was replaced at the same time. After years of neglect and no small amount of neglect, our church was truly in a deplorable state.

The beautiful painting and various figures commissioned by Fr. Migliasso in 1942 had become dulled by moisture, the plaster was sagging, the floor, due to water infiltration from the G. B. Binello square, had become sagging, and the stuccoes, having lost their gilding, were no longer an embellishment. A decisive, major restoration was needed.

Don Giovanni Conti promptly intervened in 1996.


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