Roero History

The Roero, Rotari, Roverio or Roure were one of the major families of the Asti nobility belonging to the Asti houses. The family not lined up with Guelph or Ghibelline groups with the increase in their profits obtained from trade and the loan of money on pledges, increased the political weight exponentially on the city by holding offices both locally and nationally. The many family lines (more than twenty in the 16th century) with purchases and feuds occupied the area located in the north-eastern part of the province of Cuneo still called today Roero.

According to a legend, the family was originally from Flanders with Ghilione (Ghilione, Gillone) famous leader in the crusade of 1099 who, during the battle, beheaded a leader of the Muslim army and for this reason he was brought in triumph to Jerusalem on a triumphal chariot with three wheels, which were depicted on the shield of the same to remember the enterprise.
Another story tells that the Roero descend from the Lombard king Rotari, or were privileged to bear his name, abandoning that of the Troy.

The prudent family policy, allowed representatives of the family to be always present in the public offices of the city: Guglielmo was several times sindus between 1217 and 1224. Tommaso became sapiens of the municipality and ambassador. He held public positions until his death in 1315. Manfredino was governor and rector between 1335 and 1342.

During the Guelph government of the city the family ruled in agreement with the Solaros and in the Orean period Giovannino di Revigliasco became treasurer and his son Francesco was appointed member of the secret ducal council of the city.

In the Middle Ages Bonifacio Roero, captured by the Turks during the crusades, entrusted himself to the Madonna, promising, if he returned home, to dedicate a simulacrum to her on the top of the first mountain he had seen returned to his native soil. Arrived in the Susa Valley, assisted by some porters, he reached the highest peak in 1358, the Rocciamelone at 3538 m a.s.l. bringing with him a probably Flemish bronze triptych, which from the seventeenth century was then kept in the cathedral in Susa (TO). It is one of the oldest documented ascents in the Alps. Since 2000 the Triptych has been preserved in a special display case at the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art of Susa. In memory of this, the still existing refuge called Cà d'Asti was built next to the chapel that once housed the triptych.

In the modern period, the family retained its city power by expanding into Europe by buying fiefdoms, abandoning the "compromising" activities, but remaining members of the "de hospicio" bank of the Municipality and managing to assiduously attend the Savoyard court.

Between 1580 and 1630 Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy of the 204 governors and commanders appointed as many as 8 were Roero although the family had been pro-French in the past. [5] Among the most important characters we can remember Francesco Roero di Sciolze, governor of Turin from 1585 to 1590 and from 1593 to 1600. Opicino Roero di Canale, lieutenant (1601) and later commander of the citadel of Turin (1615). Ercole Tommaso Roero di Cortanze, after fighting in Flanders, was appointed governor of Cuneo in 1600 and Nice in 1602; in 1607 he became general veedor and in 1614 general superintendent of the militias.

There was also some disagreement of some exponents with the Savoy house: when in 1614 Carlo Emanuele I declared his hostility towards Spain during the I Monferrato war, many exponents of the family were removed from the court or arrested including Emanuele Filiberto Roero di San Severino.

The Roero's activity was mainly concentrated in Flanders, Brabant, Hainaut, Cologne, Bonn, Freiburg im Breisgau and Lucerne.

The Roero family in Asti had most of their homes in the San Martino-San Rocco district, in the area between Piazza San Giuseppe, via Roero, via Quintino Sella and Piazza San Martino. It included two large blocks, including palaces, towers, houses. There you can still admire the splendid Palazzo Roero di Monteu.

They began to occupy the area at the beginning of the thirteenth century and, thanks to the increase in their profits obtained from trade and the loan of money on pledge, the colonization of the area exponentially increased, which is still remembered as the largest noble district of the city.

The power and prestige became such that the area assumed the toponym of "Contrada Rotaria". In 1330 the family hosted the Emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg in his own palace who, out of gratitude, granted the Asti family some privileges including that of inhibiting the transit of funeral processions, prohibiting the construction of prisons in their district, granting grace to three executions every year and to consider their palace a place of asylum inviolable at all times.


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