Asti was an important Italian provincial city during the Middle Ages and today it is a historical gem for visitors. Gabriele wants to share with you the heritage and traditions of her home.
White truffles from Piedmont
Asti is located in northwest Italy in the Piedmont region.
Asti is one of the oldest medieval towns in Italy, founded in 89 BCE as Hasta Pompeia.
Over the centuries Asti grew into an important center of trade and banking. Today tourists can marvel at the impressive historic architecture and the many works of art. Asti has always been known all over the world for its wine named after the city (Barbera d'Asti, Asti Spumante). It is also known for truffles and other culinary traditions.
Asti is the guardian of a rich artistic and architectural heritage and is a major artistic center in Piedmont. The city provides the best regional examples of architecture from the High Middle Ages. The numerous towers, fortified houses, churches and Roman buildings are a testament to the cities status as a center of power in Piedmont.
Travelers to Asti can experience our cultural traditions by visiting one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year. One of these is a bareback horserace called "Il Palio". The race is held in the main square and every city district competes. The winner will take home the coveted trophy, “Il Palio”, which is a cloth painted every year by a famous painter. The trophy is then treasured by the community. This horse race is the oldest in Italy, dating from the 12th century making it older than the Palio di Siena.
If you are unable to visit during Il Palio, there are many other festivals that you can experience. On the last weekend of September there is the “Festival of Festivals”, a big party where all of the surrounding towns offer typical dishes and local wine. It is almost like an Italian Oktoberfest.
As you can see, there are many reasons to pay a visit to Asti. Pack your bags and come see for yourself!
Sent by: Gabriele from Italy
Edited by: Kerstin Boljahn