Nestled in Italy’s picturesque Piedmont region, Asti is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Steeped in a rich history that spans centuries, Asti is renowned for its fine wines, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene.
From the bubbling allure of Asti Spumante to the ancient Roman walls and charming piazzas, this captivating city offers a delightful journey through time for all who visit.
Join us as we embark on an unforgettable adventure through Asti and beyond!
Asti offers unique history, culture, architecture and culinary delights.
Traditional Italian beverage of Asti DOCG wine is a must-try while you’re there.
We highly recommend exploring beyond Asti, to discover Piedmont’s stunning landscapes.
Traveling to and around is easy, with various transportation options allowing freedom & flexibility!
Asti: Wine and History
Asti, situated in the heart of Piedmont’s wine area, is celebrated for its exquisite wines and fascinating history. The city’s rich past can be traced back to the Middle Ages as a powerful bishopric and an important trade center between the 12th and 13th centuries.
Today remnants of Asti’s vibrant history can be admired at the Cripta e Museo di Sant’Anastasio, a museum and archaeological site housing the remains of four ancient churches, including the Church of San Pietro. Beneath the museum lies a stunning crypt, offering visitors a chance to appreciate the talent of ancient Roman masons truly.
Wandering through Asti allows you to savor the region’s sweet white wine, symbolizing the city’s deep-rooted connection with its past.
FACT: Asti’s fame as a wine-producing city is not limited to its historical significance. The region is home to Asti Spumante, a sparkling wine from the Moscato Bianco grape.
This effervescent delight has its roots in the 19th century when Carlo Gancia, a Piedmont native, traveled to Champagne to study wine production techniques, hoping to create a sparkling wine with local grapes. Today, Asti Spumante dazzles palates worldwide, carving its niche as a distinct and delectable sparkling wine.
Asti Spumante: The Sparkling Wine Gem
Distinct among Italian wines for its fully sparkling and semi-sweet characteristics, Asti Spumante holds its unique position.
Carlo Gancia, a Piedmont native, traveled to Champagne to study wine production techniques. This marked the beginning of this esteemed wine’s history. Gancia aimed to create a sparkling wine using local grapes, ultimately selecting the Moscato Bianco grape for its exceptional qualities. Eventually, the term “spumante” was dropped from Asti Spumante, distinguishing it from other Italian wines bearing the “spumante” or a well-known “frizzante” suffix.
Asti Spumante remains appealing to wine enthusiasts due to its unique semi-sweet and fully sparkling profile. The Asti region’s town hall, another notable landmark, is a testament to the city’s history and dedication to producing exceptional wines.
As you sip on a glass of Asti Spumante, you’ll be transported to the vineyards of Piedmont, where the delicate moscato bianco grape finds its perfect expression in this effervescent gem.
Asti DOCG Wines
Apart from Asti Spumante, the region is also recognized for its traditional Asti DOCG wine, which possesses a unique allure.
Moscato d’Asti, a slightly sweeter and gently sparkling variant of Asti DOCG wine, is particularly popular and well-loved by wine connoisseurs. Produced using the Asti Method, a form of the Charmat Method, Asti DOCG wine undergoes a fermentation process in pressurized tanks, resulting in its characteristic sparkle.
While Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti share similarities, they offer distinct flavors and experiences for wine enthusiasts. Moscato d’Asti is sweeter and gently sparkling, while Asti Spumante is fully sparkling and semi-sweet.
Whether you prefer the tantalizing sweetness of Moscato d’Asti or the refreshing effervescence of Asti Spumante, a visit to Asti guarantees a delightful wine-tasting adventure in the heart of Italy’s Piedmont region.
Churches and Towers To See in Asti
Asti boasts of its renowned wines and is a repository of architectural marvels. The city boasts an array of impressive landmarks, including the Gothic church Collegiata di San Secondo and the historic Troyana Tower. As you stroll through the charming streets of Asti, you’ll be captivated by the diverse architectural styles and the stories they tell.
The Collegiata di San Secondo, a 13th-century Gothic church, is a testament to Asti’s rich history. Located in the heart of the city, this architectural masterpiece features:
Three remarkable Gothic portals
A stunning interior adorned with works by Gandolfini d’Asti, including an essential polyptych
The 6th-century crypt beneath the church houses the martyred saint’s bones, adding to this remarkable site’s spiritual significance.
Collegiata di San Secondo: A Gothic Masterpiece
The Collegiata di San Secondo is an architectural gem and a spiritual sanctuary that holds a special place in the hearts of Asti’s residents. T
he church’s facade is adorned with three notable Gothic portals, inviting visitors to explore the sacred space. The interior offers a visual feast with works by Gandolfino d’Asti, including a polyptych, a painting on a hinged wood panel.
Did you know? Beneath the church lies the 6th-century crypt, which preserves the bones of the martyred saint. This sacred and awe-inspiring space serves as a reminder of the city’s spiritual heritage and the dedication of its people.
As you stand in the hallowed halls of the Collegiata di San Secondo, you’ll be transported back in time, immersed in the rich history of this extraordinary Gothic masterpiece located near the iconic Piazza Medici and the beautiful Piazza San Secondo.
Towering Above: Troyana Tower and Other City Landmarks
The Troyana Tower, the tallest surviving tower in the city, punctuates Asti’s skyline. Built in the 13th century, this iconic landmark offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside, allowing visitors to appreciate the beauty and charm of the region. The tower is a testament to Asti’s rich history and architectural prowess.
In addition to the Troyana Tower, Asti has numerous towers and other landmarks that showcase the city’s diverse architectural styles and historical significance.
As you explore the city’s charming streets, you’ll be immersed in a world of beauty and heritage that is truly unforgettable.
Cultural Experiences: Palio di Asti and Festivals
With a plethora of events and celebrations throughout the year, Asti’s lively cultural scene is well worth experiencing. One of the highlights is the Palio di Asti, an exhilarating horse race held on the third Sunday of September.
Dating back to the 13th century, the Palio di Asti is one of the oldest public performances in Italy. The event is steeped in tradition, featuring a thrilling bareback horse race and a colorful parade of the city’s districts, offering visitors the chance to immerse themselves in Asti’s unique history and culture.
In addition to the Palio di Asti, the city hosts numerous food and wine festivls, such as the Festivale delle Sagre and the Douja D’Or wine festival.
These events showcase the region’s culinary and winemaking traditions, allowing visitors to indulge in the flavors and aromas of Asti and the Piedmont region.
As you feast on the delectable offerings and sip on the finest wines, you’ll be enveloped in the warmth and hospitality of Asti’s vibrant cultural scene.
Artistic Encounters: Palazzo Mazzetti and Teatro Alfieri
Asti’s artistic offerings, featuring the Palazzo Mazzetti, a civic art museum that shelters paintings by prominent 18th and 19th-century Italian painters like Michelangelo Pittatore, will captivate art enthusiasts.
This elegant museum provides an intimate setting for visitors to explore and appreciate the region’s artistic heritage, allowing them to connect with the creative spirit of Asti.
Another artistic gem in the city is the historic Teatro Alfieri in Piazza Roma. Inaugurated in 1860, this neoclassical theater offers a rich program of performances, including opera, ballet, and theater.
Sitting in the majestic auditorium, you’ll be transported to a world of artistic enchantment, immersed in the captivating performances that have graced the stage for nearly two centuries.
Wandering Through Time: Roman Walls and Piazzas
The city’s charming streets, adorned with ancient Roman walls and picturesque piazzas, offer visitors a time travel experience. The impressive remains of Roman walls, such as the Red Tower, are a testament to the city’s Roman origins and enduring connection to the past.
As you explore the city, you’ll discover stunning piazzas like Piazza Alfieri, a lively, triangle-shaped square that serves as the heart of the old town.
The captivating blend of ancient and modern architecture and the city’s vibrant cultural scene create a truly enchanting atmosphere in Asti. As you meander through the cobblestone streets, you’ll be surrounded by history, art, and beauty at every turn.
Whether you’re admiring the intricate details of the Collegiata di San Secondo or savoring a glass of Asti Spumante in a bustling piazza, the magic of Asti will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Culinary Adventures: Local Cuisine and Coffee Culture
The city’s culinary scene, a delightful blend of traditional Piedmont cuisine with influences from Northern and Southern Piedmont, French, and Mediterranean flavors, offers a unique gastronomic experience. The city’s delectable local dishes include:
Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato
The Piedmontese tradition of ‘bagna cauda,’ a tantalizing dish featuring warm olive oil, garlic, and anchovies, is another mouthwatering highlight of Asti’s culinary offerings.
In addition to its savory dishes, Asti is also known for its sweet treats, such as torrone, a local candy that will satisfy your sweet tooth. And no visit to Asti would be complete without experiencing the city’s vibrant coffee culture. With many cafes and coffee shops lining the streets you can indulge in a rich espresso or a frothy cappuccino as you soak in the city’s charm and atmosphere.
For food lovers the ideal time to visit Asti is in autumn, during the renowned Douja D’Or wine festival and the famous Festivale delle Sagre food festival.
Exploring the Piedmont Region: Beyond Asti
Asti serves as a gateway to the Piedmont region, a captivating area in Northern Italy renowned for its stunning landscapes, vineyards, and quaint towns. Venture beyond the city to discover a wealth of incredible attractions such as:
Museo Nazionale del Cinema
Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile
Piazza San Carlo
Palazzo Reale Di Torino
The Piedmont region offers diverse activities and experiences for all to enjoy. As you journey through this enchanting region, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality that make it a truly unforgettable destination.
Traveling to and Around Asti
Asti is effortlessly reachable within less than an hour by train from Turin, making travel to the city straightforward.
The A21 Turin-Piacenza highway offers a convenient route for those who prefer to drive, with exits at the East and West Asti toll booths.
Once in Asti, you’ll find various options for getting around the city and exploring the surrounding region. Whether you traverse the charming streets by foot, bike, or public transportation, the city’s beauty and charm will captivate you at every turn.
And for those looking to explore the larger Piedmont region, driving offers the freedom and flexibility to discover all the area offers.
From its rich history and fine wines to its stunning architecture and vibrant cultural scene, Asti is a captivating destination that offers a unique journey through time and tradition. Experience the magic of Asti and discover the hidden gems that await you in this enchanting Italian city.
FAQ on Asti
What kind of wine is Asti?
Asti is a sparkling white Italian wine from the Piedmont region, made with the Moscato Bianco grape and subject to strict quality standards. It has a low alcohol content of between 6-11.5% ABV and is often associated with the towns of Asti and Alba.
Asti is a popular choice for aperitifs and desserts and is often served with fresh fruit or pastries. It is also a great accompaniment to seafood dishes and is often used in cooking.
What is Asti Italy known for?
Asti, Italy, is renowned for its scrumptious food, legendary Asti Spumante and Moscato d’Asti sparkling wines, and the iconic Palio di Asti bareback horse race.
Is Asti also a type of grape?
Yes, Asti is a type of grape – Moscato Bianco – used to produce sweet sparkling wines such as Asti Spumante and Asti Secco Docg. It has an aromatic flavor and is often served as an aperitif or with desserts.
Is Asti in Italy worth visiting?
Absolutely, it is worth visiting! With its incredible history and art treasure trove, along with an impressive selection of attractions and experiences, it makes for a great day trip from Turin or Milan. From the stunning architecture of the Duomo di Asti to the picturesque vineyards of the Langhe, there is something for everyone in Asti. The city is also home to
Is Asti an Italian wine city?
Yes, Asti is an Italian wine city. It’s home to the famous Asti Spumante and Barolo wines and has a long history of producing some of Italy’s best-known white wines. Asti is also located in southeastern Piedmont, which remains a country winemaking center.