The name derives from the Latin words "pons turris (tower bridge), with reference to the ancient Celtic-Gallic era bridge which, according to the traditions, in 218 B.C. allowed the quick passage over the Po, of Hannibal and his troops along the road between Asti and Trino Vercellese. In the province of Alessandria, located at 10 km from Casale, it features important and valuable religious buildings.
During the medieval period, the town submitted the rule of the Abbey of Fruttuaria of the Monastery of San Pietro of Breme and was contended between the city of Vercelli and the Marquis of Monferrato, to become a stable domain of the latter around the XIII century. In 1329 the territory was donated in fief to Tommaso Scarampi of Camino and the Marquis of Gozzani. In 1708, after the annexation of the Duchy of Monferrato to the states of the Savoy, it became part of the province of Casale and remained so until the fall of the ancient regime in the late XVIII century. Under the domain of the French, Pontestura was part of the department of Tanaro and then of the department of Marengo until the period of the Restoration when, in 1859, it became part of the province of Alexandria.
Not to miss:
- the Oratory of San Giacomo. The original date of construction is unknown, but the present building is of the XVIII century. It presents a rectangular vaulted ceiling and is flanked by a brick wall Bell tower, built a somewhat earlier period. Inside are preserved two masterpieces of the artist Moncalvo and two ancient wooden statues;
- the Parish Church of Saint Agatha. The original building dates back to the XII century and was founded by Guglielmo di Camino. The present construction is built in a Gothic-Romanesque style and was restored in the mid-XVIII century. At the end of the next century, the complex was flanked by a Bell tower with an impressive belfry. The façade is embellished with a lunette above the portal, that features a painting of Mario Gilardi. Inside it features three naves, an XVIII century polychrome marble altar, a XIV century stone baptistery with columns, friezes and figures, used also as an altar. The sanctuary is surrounded by a pink and black marble balustrade. It preserves three paintings of the Moncalvo and other XVII century artworks of the pupils of his school, two masterpieces of the artist Guala and other valuable works. The churchyard is embellished with white and blacks pebble decorations;
- the Church of Our Lady of Grace, founded before the second half of the XVII century, it is situated outside the town walls. The building features an imposing Bell tower and a majestic altar with four black columns;
- the Church of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the district of Rocchetta, built in 1728. It retains an important XVIII century painting by an unknown artist, an altarpiece depicting Saints Sebastiano and Rocco of Guala and other valuable art works;
- the Church of Our Lady of Snow, already mentioned in a document of 1158. It was restored in the XVIII century and features a single nave plan. Inside it preserves a famous painting of the artist DeFranco;
- the Toy Museum opened in 2007;
- the Museum entitled to Colombotto Rosso, a permanent exhibition of the works of the famous artist.