From great wine to great food, from churches to tapestries, from horses to cows… Asti is a small city not far from Turin with lots to offer!
Asti: a “stronghold” between Turin, mountains and sea
The Asti area has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic period.
“Ast” was originally a settlement of one of the Celtic tribes which lived between the Alps (North, West), the Ligure Sea (South) and the Pianura Padana (the Po river valley, East).
At the top of a hill, a very good strategic position that the Roman conquerors spotted and immediately used for a military base, the Roman “Hasta” developed from a legion camp into a “colony”, becoming later (49BC) a municipium, i.e. part of the Roman domain, directly under the jurisdiction of Rome.
Asti: history & culture
The strategic position made Asti an important stronghold – theatre of many fights – during the barbarian invasions and along the Middle Ages and Renaissance. In 1575 the city became part of the Savoy family domain. With such a long history, Asti treasures a rich heritage.
Amongst the must see of the city, there are the Cattedrale, Santa Maria Assunta, The Palazzo Mazzetti museum and the paleontological Museum.
The Cathedral – Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e San Gottardo – is a mix of Lombard Romanesque and Gothic style. It was rebuilt between 1070 and 1095, and the iconic bell tower dates to 1266.
Palazzo Mazzetti – a Renaissance building completely restyled in the XVIII Century, hosts Asti’s picture gallery.
The paleontological Museum – Museo Paleontologico Territoriale dell’Astigiano will allow you… to time travel! The museum enshrines the prehistoric memories of the area, when it wasn’t a hill at all, but part of the sea bed! The kids will be amazed by the huge fossil remains of the whales!
Asti today: refreshed traditions, food & wine heritage
Between history and folklore, Asti’s Palio: the reenactment of a medieval horse races (not only Siena has a palio!. A hidden gem of Asti is the Arazzeria Scassa, where the ancient art of tapestry is still very well alive.
We can’t leave Asti without mentioning the tartufo bianco, the sumptuous and expensive local white truffle, and the Spumante, the Italian way to Champagne.