The figures of St Cassian and St Frontiniano are closely linked to Alba, and are among the saints said to protect the city. During Roman times, in the early 4th century AD, they both stopped in Alba Pompeia during their travels to preach the gospel.
According to tradition, Frontiniano performed a number of miracles during his pilgrimage: he restored a blind man’s sight, cured a mute and crossed the Rhône on a wreck which he miraculously made re-emerge from the water.
On his return journey, he drove out a demon that had possessed a noble maiden in Alba. The girl’s parents were so grateful for the miracle that they converted to Christianity and had the saint baptize them.
Because of this, the city’s prefect decided to arrest Frontiniano and have him beheaded. The sentence was carried out outside the city walls in October 311 AD.
A Benedictine abbey named after the saint was built on the site of his martyrdom, probably in the 10th century. All that can be seen today of the original complex is a vertical central structure. Probably once the bell tower, it has since undergone many modifications, though decorative arches can still be seen on the upper half of the structure. The complex currently houses a food-production company.