Regione Piemonte

Chapel of S. Grato

Address: Regione San Grato, 47, 14018 Villafranca d'Asti AT, Italia

Located in the heart of the village. The exact date of foundation is ignored. It is known that it was built "to fulfill a vote of the population" and that it was pertinent to the community that read its readers.

Presumably it dates back to the last decades of the seventeenth century and appears in the "General Measure of the territory" in 1703.

It was visited for the first time by the bishop of Asti in 1729 and appeared to have two landers of land; appears regularly in subsequent pastoral visits.

For years close to the foundation, the reliquary-post representing the Saint and the canvas of the deposition seem to date, perhaps from the same hand of the unknown author of the painting of the confraternity of S. Giovanni di Villafranca, dated 1702.

In the pastoral visit of 1743, we read: "S. Grato, spectat ad Comunitatem, ex cuius vote et sumptibus constructa fuit, et tolerabiliter provisaest, cum campanula ad eam comunitatem spectantem", that is "is property of the Municipality, by vote and expenses of the which was built, is sufficiently supplied, with a bell owned by the City".
"Four pounds of rent, coming from two small annexed land".

In 1828 the same indications were repeated on the occasion of the pastoral visit of the bishop Faà di Bruno.
In the pastoral visit of 1840, we read: "is in order, has two lugeri, is administered by readers".

The Municipality of Villafranca provide for restoration of the building by resolution of December 21, 1850: the work, entrusted to Carlo Ballario, consisted in the replacement of two faces in the sacristy, in the "reform of the vault of the church", in the replacement of a door and in the restoration of the pediment.

On September 6, 1891, the first register of the "società unione frazione San Grato" was started (perhaps founded on the same date) for the insurance of cattle with headquarters in the Church; five other registers followed, up to 1920. There were registered members, number and value of "subscribed" animals and animal death reports, compensated with the sums paid by the members.

These records were destroyed a few years ago together with the social flag (dated 1894) and with the ancient decorations of oxen used for the main festival.