S. Agnese
Community ID
Alternate Names
S. Serafia (before 1251); S. Chiara (after 1751)
Medieval Location
borgo S. Pietro, close to the walls
Modern Location
borgo Maria Nova (since 1706)
Corporate Status
Date Founded
1237 (November 10) -- according to Cottineau, dates back as early as 1101
Date Terminated
1802 -- supressed. In 1810, the order asked the government to give back at least on of the two monasteries, which they reopened under the name of S. Chiara.
Religious Order
Benedictines until 1243, then Poor Clares (rule of S. Damiano) until 1491
Foundation Information

Uberto, bishop of Asti, conceded to Alaxina Vengloria and to Elena, daughter of Anselmo Vanga the right to build a church to S. Serafia with a house to live in.

Notable Heads

Abbesses: Alaxina (also spelled Alasia, Alisia, Aldisia ), first abbess (1237); Alaxia de Taccanis (1354); Anxonia de Scarampi (1405); Fioreta de Malebaglio (1476); Leoneta de Malabaglio (1493)

Population Counts

1359: 26; 1476: 22; 1493: 23; 1630: 26; 1696: 24; 1816: 13.

Incorporated Communities

de Gesu, in the 18th c.

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

Supervised by the Frati Minori di Provincia


10 December 1244: Pope Innocent IV announces a 40-day visitation the the church on the days of S. Agnese, S. Cecilia and S. Caterina.


Agnesina, wife of Merletto Piossaseo, leaves the monastery 100 Soldi on July 5, 1278.

Social Characteristics

High bourgeiousie: in a list of 1493, several of the members bore the name "Malabaylis" or "Malebaglia."

Relative Wealth



Records show that the monastery had many lands vinyards and houses


Teachers, but in 1696 there were only 2 students.

Early Documents

(1) 1 March, 1243: Andigra Poru donates the house that she had bought the same day.

(2) 2 March, 1269: a piece of land is given by Giacobina, daughter of Robaldi.

Architecture & Archaeology

The old monastery was abandoned in 1706 because of war.

Manuscript Sources

(1): Torino, Archivio di Stato, Inv. delle Scrittura reguardanti lle monache, Asti, Marzo 1

(2) Torino, Archivio di Stato, Asti, Sala 14, Materie Ecclesiastiche Monache, Mat. Eccl. Mon., Chiarisse del convento de S. Agnese per unite alle Chiarisse del monastero del Gesu, 1 de inv. 1243 - XIX.

(3) Torino, Archivio di Stato, Asti, Sala 14, Materie Ecclesiastiche Monache, mat. eccl. mon., Francescane di S. Agnese (delle Chiarisse), 2 de inv., 1243 - XIX.

Miscellaneous Information

The founders wished to imitate S. Serafina Tortona, but a charter states that members were allowed to drink wine, sleep on straw and have posessions.

Manuscripts Produced

A 1491 cong. book survives, detailing how the nuns should defend themselves.

Suzanne Wemple-Kinder; Marie Kelleher
Date Started
Date Finished