Albugnano is a charming agricultural town, standing on a hill (558m above sea level) and overlooking the valleys of Rio Nevissano, to the west, and Rio Freddo, to the east. Its privileged location offers visitors stunning views: the eye is lost between woods and vineyards; on the background, the Alps. That is why it is called “the balcony of Monferrat”.
The name Albugnano, which has a Latin origin, with the “-nianum” suffix, refers, almost certainly, as claimed by D. Olivieri in his “Dizionario di toponomastica piemontese”, to Albonius, a Roman who had his villa built in this area. On the other hand, the positions taken by Matta and Bosio, who argue that its name derives from the Latin “albus”, for the whiteness of its land, or from the Celtic “alp” – “alb” which means “high ground”, are less popular.
The origins of the town are still unknown: probably it was a former colony of Liguria, and, during the Roman Empire, it housed almost certainly the villas of wealthy patrician inhabitants of Augusta Taurinorum or Industria (Monteu da Po). It was later invaded by the Lombards, who, according to some documents, built a castle here, which was rebuilt by the Marquis of Monferrat and destroyed by the French at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
The square, today the “Belvedere Matta”, had a tower, until 1861, which was later demolished, the last remain of the ancient manor house. The events of the municipality of Albugnano were complex: it originally belonged to the Committee of Vercelli, then to Brozolo, the municipality of Asti, the Marquisate of Monferrat and, finally, to the Savoia family, under which it became a fief of the Benso di Ponticelli, the Gautieri, the Serra.