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Calamandrana, a town of the upper Monferrato, rises up at an altitude of 151 metres above sea level. The old residential area stretches out over high ground, to the right side of the Belbo river, whereas the newer built-up area is instead situated on lowland. This plain, with its numerous production installations, represents the town's point of economic strength, while the hillside is characterised by vineyards, pastures, small valleys and woods full of vegetation, fauna and clear water. Historically, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the commune of Calamandrana's territory, in ancient times inhabited by populations of Celtic origin, went on to become, for a limited period of time, a part of the Marquis of Monferrato's possessions. Still in testimony to Calamandrana's historical past we find a large castle dominating over the old town and the valley, the only one still remaining out of the six which existed on the hills.
Another important testament to the past on an artistic level is given to us by the church San Giovanni delle Conche, built in the Gothic style with a Romanesque apse dating back to the year 1000. Amongst the most illustrious citizens of Calamandrana we remember the Abbot Giulio Caesar Cordara (1704- 1785), an historical poet and philosopher best known for his writing in verses of Il Fodero, from which Manzoni seems to have taken his inspiration for his famous work Promessi Sposi.
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