On the border between the Monferrato and the Langhe lies the easternmost municipality of the province of Cuneo. Renowned for its wines (Moscato, Barbara, Freisa), Santo Stefano Belbo was the birthplace of the writer Cesare Pavese (1908-1950). His family home can be seen on the left as you enter the village from the direction of Canelli.
The village is home to the Cesare Pavese Foundation, which aims to further the study of his literary works, as well as promoting the author’s native places.
Signs of the first urban settlement date back to around the year 1000, though the area was probably settled earlier. It was the site of clashes between the Ligurian tribes garrisoned in these parts and the advancing Roman troops.
The remains of the defensive structures are of interest. Little is known of this complex, and all that is left is the ruined tower on the hill behind the village, unfortunately in terrible condition.
Evidence shows the area was already settled in the Late Antique and early medieval periods, and probably inhabited until the 14th or 15th century. The construction of the tower seems to date from the 13th century, and it is similar to those built by the city of Asti around the same time.