FIERA DEL SANTO CRISTO
During the World War II, a German prisoner sculpted a statue of the Risen Christ, and the history of the usual Fair of the Saint Christ is bound to this episode. The statue of the Christ was placed, at first, inside the Church of the Holy Trinity. However, today, it is preserved in the Church of San Giovanni.
The Fair of the Saint Christ occurs all around Piazza Garibaldi, where it is possible to visit all the stalls that exhibit interesting examples of fine artisanship, manufactured items, wine and farmer machineries, as well as cars, and – obviously – the food-and-wine specialties of this territory.
SAGRA DELLA TORTA VERDE
The typical Feast of the Green Cake takes place simultaneously to the Fair of the Saint Christ. The Green Cake is made of rice and spinaches. Besides that, on occasion of this feast it will be possible to try another typical dish, the Belecaude, which is basically a Monferrato version of the classic gruel based on the bean flour.
The title explains the spirit of the event, where the word NIZZA had a double meaning, both as toponym of the City and as a name of the subarea of the Barbera d’Asti Superiore. The event takes place on the streets and squares of the Old Town, in the second weekend of May. At the “Nizza è Barbera” it is possible to taste the Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza, and any other type of Piedmontese wine Barbera DOC made by winemakers, by wine companies, and by the wineries from all over the regional area. In the showroom, visitors can buy a tasting glass, which gives them the chance to try any wine in the exhibition.
CORSA DELLE BOTTI
Staying at the Tenuta La Romana, located in Piedmont, in Nizza Monferrato (District of Asti), you will have the opportunity to admire the famous Corsa delle Botti (Barrels Race).
The Barrels Race comes from the Nineteenth Century, when shop boys used to deliver the barrels making them roll on the road, and engaging improvised races. Today, the Corsa delle Botti has some clear rules, which decrees that a qualifying race has to be done in the morning, while later, in the afternoon semi-finals and final occur.
Besides the presence of a supervisor, teams count of three or four drivers, who move the bonsa (barrel) in turns, which weights almost one hundred kilograms. The jury oversees the regular execution of the competition and, if any anomaly occurs, it could even ban the team. To set up the rank relative to the teams, a qualifying race on the clock is organised, while the eliminating rounds happen during the semi-finals.
The best three of each eliminating round take part into the final. In order to be able to compete in this strenuous race, the drivers need to train really hard for several months. Many teams participate in the Barrels Race, mostly social wineries, wine factories, as well as private wine-makers from both Nizza Monferrato and the surroundings.
It is an historic remembrance of the siege and conquer, on the 24th of July 1514, of the castle of Incisa, by Guglielmo IX Paleologo, marques of the Monferrato. The sequence tells about the dispute between the Marquisate of Monferrato and the small and independent Marquisate of Incisa. The latter was quite vast, its possessions reached Carentino from Vaglio, and they included also the castles of Rocchetta Tanaro, Mondaldo Scarampi, Fontanile, Mombaruzzo, and Ricaldone; it is so clear how the powerful Marquis of Monferrato, Guglielmo IX, were interested to annex those lands and with that, he would have guaranteed the control of the Valle Belbo. The opportunity comes in April, in 1500, when Ludovico Sforza called Il Moro was captured by the French. Oddone, Marquis of Incisa, loses his protector, and then he asks to the Duke of Savoy Carlo II. In the classified paper drafted in the Castle of Thonon, the Duke of Savoy confirms the investiture to Oddone and he promises to assist him.
The Marquis of Monferrato, once he knew about the deal, starts the siege of Incisa, he conquers it on the 24th of July 1514, and then he condemn Oddone and his son Badone to death.
The sequence is performed by more than one hundred walk-ons, coordinated by the Gruppo Storico Incisa 1514. For this occasion, “la Villa” is turned into a medieval hamlet with many rest stops, in which visitors can taste typical Piedmontese food and wine.
MONFERRATO IN TAVOLA
In concurrence of the Barrels Race, Monferrato in Tavola takes place on the wonderful Piazza Garibaldi of Nizza Monferrato, a food-and-wine exhibition during which, some of the most typical dishes of the rich local tradition are cooked and offered, only using local ingredients. The wine cooperatives that participate to the Race, generously offer their own wine.
One of the most awaited (and popular) summer events of the Nicese is the Food-and-Wine Stroll under the stars “Da un piòt a l’oter” (from one dish to the other). Since years ago, the hill covered with vineyards gather a number of visitors who, through the farmsteads and the hills of the Hamlet, can taste the typical dishes of the best local tradition, also captivated by the evocative landscape.
FESTA AL BRICCO
Since in Nizza Monferrato the month of July is traditionally dedicated to concerts and events on the stage shaded by the Campanòn, and in many other areas of the town, in August the exhibitions move to the hamlets.
The first of them is the so-called Festa di Bricco, which takes place in the evocative hamlet Bricco Cremosina, in honor of the “Madonna of the Snow”, the small church characterised by a unique contour, on the top of the hill, consecrated even in a novel by Umberto Eco.
MOSTRA SCAMBIO AUTO E MOTO D’EPOCA
The exhibition, which takes place during the first weekend of September in Garibaldi Square of Nizza Monferrato, has had more and more success throughout the years, standing out as one of the main events of this field, thanks to the several exhibitors and visitor.
Besides cars and motorbikes, the exhibition counts also some military vehicles and the relative spare parts and accessories.