Lissandria (Piedmontese)
Comune di Alessandria
Alessandria Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo
Alessandria Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo
Flag of Alessandria
Coat of arms of Alessandria
Location of Alessandria
Alessandria is located in Italy
Location of Alessandria in Piedmont
Alessandria is located in Piedmont
Alessandria (Piedmont)
Coordinates: 44°55′N 08°37′E / 44.917°N 8.617°E / 44.917; 8.617
ProvinceAlessandria (AL)
FrazioniSpinetta Marengo, Cantalupo, Casalbagliano, Cascina Morione, Cascinagrossa, Castelceriolo, Cornaglie, Cristo, Filippona, Gerlotti, Litta Parodi, Lobbi, Mandrogne, Molinetto, Orti, Pagella, Porrona, Profumati, San Giuliano, San Giuliano Nuovo, San Giuliano Vecchio, San Michele, Settimio, Valle San Bartolomeo, Valmadonna, Villa Del Foro
 • MayorGiorgio Abonante (PD)
 • Total203.57 km2 (78.60 sq mi)
95 m (312 ft)
 • Total92,104
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
DemonymsAlessandrini, nickname: Mandrogni
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0131
Patron saintSan Baudolino
Saint dayNovember 10
WebsiteOfficial website

Alessandria (Italian pronunciation: [alesˈsandrja] ; Piedmontese: Lissandria [liˈsɑŋdrja]) is a city and commune in Piedmont, Italy, and the capital of the Province of Alessandria. The city is sited on the alluvial plain between the Tanaro and the Bormida rivers, about 90 kilometres (56 miles) east of Turin.

Alessandria is also a major railway hub.


Alessandria was founded in 1168 with a charter as a free comune; it was sited upon a preexisting urban nucleus, to serve as a stronghold for the Lombard League, defending the traditional liberties of the communes of northern Italy against the Imperial forces of Frederick Barbarossa. Alessandria stood in the territories of the marchese of Montferrat, a staunch ally of the Emperor, with a name assumed in 1168 to honour the Emperor's opponent, Pope Alexander III. In 1174–1175 the fortress was sorely tested by the Imperial siege and stood fast. A legend (related in Umberto Eco's book Baudolino, and which recalls one concerning Bishop Herculanus’ successful defence of Perugia several centuries earlier) says it was saved by a quick-witted peasant, Gagliaudo: he fed his cow with the last grain remaining within the city, then took it outside the city walls until he reached the Imperial camp. Here he was captured, and his cow cut open to be cooked: when the Imperials found the cow's stomach filled with grain, Gagliaudo was asked the reason to waste such a rich meal. He answered that he was forced to feed his cow with grain because there was such a lot of it, and no room to place it within the city. The Emperor, fearing that the siege would last too long, left Alessandria free (malaria was probably the real cause of his departure). A statue of Gagliaudo can be found on the left corner of the city cathedral.

Alessandria entered into jealous conflicts with the older communes of the region, in particular with Asti.[3]

In 1348 Alessandria fell into the hands of the Visconti. In 1391 the army of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, commanded by Jacopo dal Verme, heavily defeated the French army led by Jean III of Armagnac in Alessandria.[4] In 1450 Alessandria passed with their possessions to the Sforza, following the career of Milan, until 1707, when it was ceded to the House of Savoy and henceforth formed part of Piedmont. The new domination was evidenced by the construction of a new big Cittadella on the left side of the river Tanaro, across from the city.

With Napoleon's success at the Battle of Marengo (1800), Alessandria fell to France and became the capital of the Napoleonic Département of Marengo. During this period another substantial fort was built to the north of the city containing impressive and substantial barracks which are still used as military headquarters and stores (2006). The remains of a second fort to the south of the city (Cristo quarter) have been sliced in two by a railway (Forte ferrovia); a third one still remains in the middle of the same quarter (Forte Acqui).

From 1814 Alessandria was Savoyard territory once more, part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. During the years of the Risorgimento, Alessandria was an active centre of the liberals.

In a suburb, Spinetta Marengo, the Battle of Marengo is reenacted annually, on 14 June.

Alessandria was the first capital of an Italian province to be governed by a Socialist: the clockmaker Paolo Sacco was elected mayor on 25 July 1899.

Owing to its marshalling yard and the bridges on the Tanaro and Bormida, Alessandria was a strategic military target during World War II and was subjected to intense Allied bombing (especially during Operation Strangle), the most serious being the raids of 30 April 1944, with 238 dead and hundreds wounded, and 5 April 1945, with 160 deaths, among them 60 children from the children's asylum in Via Gagliaudo. Altogether, 559 people were killed by air raids on Alessandria, which destroyed or badly damaged a thousand buildings.[5][6][7] On 29 April 1945 the city was liberated from the German occupation (1943–1945) by the partisan resistance and troops of Brazilian Expeditionary Force.

On 6 November 1994 the Tanaro flooded a good part of the city, causing major damage, especially in the Orti quarter.

Jewish history

The first known Jews in Alessandria, named Abraham (son of Joseph Vitale de Sacerdoti Cohen) opened a loan bank in or about 1490.[8] In 1590, the Jews were expelled from the Duchy of Milan, and one of Abraham's descendants travelled to Madrid, which ruled the Duchy and was permitted to stay in the town due to a large sum owed him by the government. Of the 230 Jews living in the city in 1684, 170 were members of the Vitale family. The Jewish Ghetto was established in 1724. Between 1796 and 1814, among the rest of Italian Jewry, the city Jewish congregation was emancipated, under French influence. According to Benito Mussolini's census in 1938, the town had 101 Jews.[8] On 13 December 1943 the synagogue on Via Milano was attacked by supporters of the Italian Social Republic. Books and manuscripts were taken out of the synagogue and were set on fire at Piazza Rattazzi. In total, 48 Jews were deported from the province of Alessandria, most of them to Auschwitz where they were murdered.[8]



Alessandria is located in a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), the city has moderately cold winters and hot, sultry summers. Rainfall is moderate, with two minimums (summer and winter) and two maximums in autumn and spring.

Climate data for Alessandria (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 5.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −1.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 36.7
Source: Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale[9]


See also: List of mayors of Alessandria

Main sights

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)






Alessandria railway station, opened in 1850, forms part of the Turin–Genoa railway. It is also a junction for six other lines, to Piacenza, Novara, Pavia, Cavallermaggiore, Ovada and San Giuseppe di Cairo, respectively.


The town's professional football team is US Alessandria. Their stadium also hosts Juventus Next Gen, the reserve team for Serie A club Juventus Turin.

People born in Alessandria

See also: Category:People from Alessandria

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Italy

Alessandria is twinned with:[17]

See also


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alessandria" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 543.
  4. ^ Romanoni, Fabio (2022). "«E la gente di Francia malaccorta, tratta con arte ove la rete è tesa». La battaglia di Alessandria del 1391: il trionfo di Iacopo dal Verme". Bollettino Storico-Bibliografico Subalpino (in Italian). 120: 243–264. ISSN 0391-6715. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  5. ^ Memoriale delle vittime dei bombardamenti Alleati della II Guerra Mondiale
  6. ^ Ricordo dell’inutile strage dal cielo: un memoriale con i nomi delle 559 vittime dei bombardamenti
  7. ^ Alessandria ricorda le 559 Vittime dei bombardamenti alleati della II guerra mondiale
  8. ^ a b c "Alessandria". Encyclopaedia Judaica. The Gale Group. 2008.
  9. ^ "Valori climatici normali in Italia". Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale. Archived from the original on 17 September 2023. Retrieved 29 June 2024.
  10. ^ Schmid, Georg; Eggenberger, Oswald (2001). Die Kirchen, Sondergruppen und religiösen Vereinigungen: ein Handbuch. Theologischer Verlag Zürich. pp. 166–67. ISBN 978-3-290-17215-2. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  11. ^ "'Gottesherrschaft' im Alltagsleben" (PDF). Siegener Zeitung. 8 April 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  12. ^ Sabbath Rest Advent Church, The History of the Sabbath Rest Advent Church, 2002.
  13. ^ "Città di Alessandria".
  14. ^ Fraskettando SkaBluesJazz Festival official website. Archived 2011-05-12 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Sito ufficiale del Moto Club Madonnina dei Centauri di Alessandria".
  16. ^ Kutsch, K. J.; Riemens, Leo (2012). "Piccarolo, Magda". Großes Sängerlexikon (in German) (4th ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 3653. ISBN 978-3-59-844088-5.
  17. ^ "Città gemellate". (in Italian). Alessandria. Retrieved 13 December 2019.