Principality of Lucedio in Trino
TheAbbey of Lucedio is dated 1123, founded by Cistercian monks which reclaimed the territory by introducing rice cultivation at the beginning of 400.
Over time, thanks to the strategic geographical position along the Via Francigena, the Abbey became a thriving center of economic and political power: three were the Popes who visited it.
Lucedio was also a reason for clashes between Italian dynastic families: passed by Gonzaga to the Savoy, the Abbey became the property of Napoleon at the beginning '800.
Later he passed to the Marquis Giovanni Gozani of St. George, ancestor of the current owner, the Countess Rosetta Clara Cavalli d'Olivola Salvadori of Wiesenhoff.
The history of the Principality of Lucedio
The abbey was founded in the first quarter of the twelfth century, presumably in the 1123 by some Cistercian monks from the monastery of La Ferté in Chalon-sur-Saône, in Burgundy, on land donated to them by the Marquis Ranieri I of the Monferrato of the dynasty of the Aleramici, land to be reclaimed, characterized at that time by the presence of swampy areas and of uncultivated woods (called locez, hence the title of the abbey).
The abbey was built as a fortified structure and immediately assumed the name of Abbey of Santa Maria di Lucedio. During the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries its reputation and its patrimonial expansion grew constantly, thanks to the abbots who knew how to combine spirituality and fervor of works.
Among them must be mentioned the figure of Blessed Oglerio da Trino who ruled the abbey from 1205 to 1214, the date of his death. Venerated early by the confreres, his cult was approved officially by Pope Pius IX.
During the Middle Ages, the abbey played a leading role in the history of the Marchesato del Monferrato, being one of the most sacred places linked to the Aleramica family. Not surprisingly, many marquises decided to be buried here.
The abbey's land patrimony extended far beyond the lands near the monastery (with the grange of Montarolo, Darola, Castel Merlino, Leri, Montarucco, Ramezzana, etc.), also including plots spread over a large area in the Monferrato and in Canavese.
It is interesting to examine what was the management system adopted - a system common to the entire Cistercian order - which was based on the division of the possessions of the monastery into grange, at the head of each of which was not a monk (already burdened by commitments of order spiritual) but a converse brother who knew how to make the grain work.
The converts, who in turn coordinated the work of free wage-earners (called mercenaries), replied to their activity to the cellarer, a monk who treated the administration of the entire abbey on behalf of the abbot.
The not far abbey of Santa Maria di Rivalta, near Tortona, was born as a subsidiary of that of Lucedio in the 1171.
In the 1457, with short of Pope Callistus III, the monastery ceased to be of direct relevance to the Cistercian order, becoming Commenda, placed under the patronage of the Paleologi, Marquises of Monferrato (with right, appointment of the abbot and revenue collection).
Exhausted after that of the Aleramici also the dynasty of the Paleologi, the fiefdom passed to the Gonzaga took over from Casale in the regency of Monferrato; while I Savoy they had begun to advance their alleged rights on the monastery. Only in the 1707 they succeeded in completing their design.
In the 1784 - after a period of strong friction with the diocese of Casale for the appointment of the commendatory abbot, the abbey was secularized and its grange became part of the Master's Commandery of the Order of Saints Maurizio and Lazzaro. The Cistercian monks, now reduced to a dozen, were transferred to Castelnuovo Scrivia.
In the 1792 the Order of St. Maurice conferred the commendation at the Duke Victor Emmanuel I of Savoy, but after a few years the monastery fell into the Napoleonic decrees of suppression of religious orders. It was right Napoleon to cede the ownership of Lucedio a Camillo Borghese, in partial compensation for the art collections that had been requisitioned in Rome.
Fallen Napoleon, a dispute arose between Camillo Borghese and the Savoy on the possession of Lucedio. The properties were divided into lots and given to various characters (including the father of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour). The lot with the abbey complex of Lucedio passed under the control of the Marchese Giovanni Gozzani of San Giorgio which in turn, in the 1861, ceded the estate to the Genoese duke Raffaele de Ferrari from Galliera, to which the Savoy gave the right to wear the title of Prince. The so-called was born Principality of Lucedio, name that still appears on the entrance portal of the estate. Currently it belongs to the Cavalli d'Olivola family.
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