Nizza Monferrato Monferrato is a small attractive town lying between Belbo and Rio Nizza streams near Asti, Canelli, Alba and Acqui Terme. The built-up area is situated in a hilly landscape, a land with a mild climate particularly favourable to the cultivation of vines and therefore to the production of wine. The economy of the area is based on Commerce and Agriculture and gained its reputation of excellence with wine production, renowned DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata - controlled designation of origin) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita - controlled designation of origin guaranteed) grapes, such as Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato, Brachetto, Cortese, Freisa and Grignolino.
The leading vine variety of the area is Barbera; here it finds particularly favourable pedoclimatic conditions for ripening: from its highly valued grapes, producers obtain Barbera d’Asti with special organoleptic qualities. For this reason, competent bodies recognised a very high value sub-area, the one of the 18 municipalities where “Nizza” Barbera d'Asti Superiore can be produced.
In the historic centre of Nizza Monferrato there are some particularly interesting old buildings, especially Palazzo Comunale (the town hall), dating back to the XIV-XV century and surmounted by the ancient bell tower, called by the citizens “el campanon”. In front of it, always in Piazza Martiri di Alessandria (or Piazza del Comune), there is Palazzo De Benedetti, a wonderful building of the XVIII century.
Ospedale Santo Spirito is worth seeing as well: it takes its origins from a very old building that has always hosted religious communities, and inside it there is the very small Chiesa del Santo Spirito, restored in 1877 and enriched by a wooden carved portal.
Last but not least, Palazzo Crova is the example of a noble building of the XVIII century. It includes a nice building, which is the work of the architect Robilant, and a garden surrounded by high walls. Nowadays, it is the seat of the municipal library, the Tourist Office, the Regional Wine Cellar, Nizza Hills Slow Food office, Cardo Gobbo (hunchback cardoon) of Nizza headquarters and the Association of Nizza-Barbera d’Asti producers.