How did a noble family live in Piedmont, in an era between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 20th century? An answer can come from the consultation of the powerful archive of papers kept in the fund related to the Cotti di Ceres, mainly infeudati in the territory of Asti and Monferrato.
Disputes, wills, marriages, sales and procurements, notebooks, investitures, ledgers: all contained in 108 folders. Especially the ledgers can arouse the interest of scholars and researchers for the knowledge of the history of the agricultural economy of the area, and the administrative affairs of the municipality of Neive can be investigated in a series of 18th century resolutions contained in the 12th faldone.
We also point out the presence of some interesting color maps, one of the territory of Neive dating back to 1583, and another 13, always in color, related to the grounds of the Cotti di Ceres on the banks of the Tanaro, chronologically distributed between 1757 and 1880. To the period 1749-1838 belong the maps of the house and property of the Cotti a Neive, with detailed drawings depicting the Italian garden that was part of it.
The most famous character of the family was perhaps Count Federico (Asti, 1819-1849), who devoted part of the estate to charitable works, participating in the social commitment that distinguished the Piedmontese aristocracy and upper middle class in the 1930s and 40s of the 19th century: his is a remarkable bequest in favor of the hospital of Asti that counts him among its main benefactors. He also worked for the creation of a kindergarten for children of needy families.
In 1841 Countess Francesca married Count Callisto Gazelli di Rossana, and thus the history and substances of the two families merged.
Of Gazelli The Historical Library preserves the archive composed of 55 folders.
Among the documents we note a beautiful family tree in color of 1818 and above all several maps of the territory of Rossana, municipality of Cuneo, dating back to 1700, with bealere reliefs and streams combali and other land owned by the counts, and various registers with copies of documents relating to the fief of Rossana, from 1155 to 1925, important for the history of the places and the family.
Rossana, Marquisate of Saluzzo's village, was at the center of turbulent historical events between the 13th and 14th centuries for the important geographical position of its castle, dating back to the year 1000, which was in a point of obligatory passage between the valleys of Maira and Varaita.
Towards the middle of 1400 the famous leader of fortune Gascon Arcimbaldo di Abzat occupied it, using it as a refuge from which his troops of raiders left to raid the surrounding territory. Destroyed by order of Thomas of Savoy during the struggles against the regent Madama Cristina of France, and then rebuilt, it was given to the Gazelli who lived there until 1772, and then abandoned.
Among the descendants of the Gazelli family is Paola Ruffo di Calabria, Queen of Belgium from 1993 to 2013.