What to do in one day in Asti?
Asti is not one of the most sought-after cities by tourists, that’s why it is a very quiet city to visit. Elegant, Asti presents itself with discretion and a certain simplicity, but at the same time it is imposing, historical and uniquely beautiful. Today we go to the amazing Asti, Piedmont. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”.
Amazing video about Asti
With its nearly 72,000 inhabitants, Asti, in the Piedmont region, presents itself in a very special way. It is a medieval city that tells a delicious story and offers us really, very special attractions! The city is not big and it is possible to visit it in a day, but it is worth remembering that Asti is one of the queens of the region in terms of enogastronomics; the famous wines of the house are Spumante and Barbera and, with that, we can already have an idea of what awaits us, right?! We are in the heart of Monferrato, an area of hills and streams, vineyards and nature, so the more time available there, the better! Without further ado, let’s visit Asti!
1) What to do in one day in Asti? VISIT PIAZZA VITTORIO ALFIERI, THE PALAZZO AND THE CRIPT
We start the visit, of course, in the beautiful historic center. The square from which we start, Piazza Vittorio Alfieri, is dedicated to the famous poet who was born in the city. We can start by observing the beautiful details of the typically medieval architecture of the city.
One of the buildings worth mentioning, close by, is undoubtedly the Alfieri Palace. The palace is actually the house where Vittorio Alfieri was born and raised. It is possible to visit it and walk through the charming and elegant gardens, porticos and rooms of the place, but the Palace is only open to the public on weekends, so get organized!
Also not to be missed is the Museum Crypt Sant’Anastasio. Here you can visit the martyr’s crypt, and also see the remains of the Roman pavement, as well as some ancient settlements where the 8th century tombs are.
2) What to do in one day in Asti? VISIT THE TOWERS
Moving on to Piazza San Secondo, we will visit the beautiful Troyana Tower, also called the Clock Tower. This is the oldest and best preserved tower in the entire Piedmont region. The structure of this tower is intact and, there, there is a beautiful clock with a dovetail shaped battlement and a spire.
The Torre del Commentini, Torre de Regibus and Rossa di San Secondo are also the other towers that can be admired in all their splendor, although the tallest is the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption.
Still in Piazza San Secondo, visit the Collegiate Church of San Secondo, which is one of the oldest Gothic churches in Asti and also one of the most beautiful. Its adjacent municipal seat faces the homonymous square, and is right in the heart of the city. The church is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, San Secondo, and was built on the same site as his martyrdom and burial. It is worth the visit!
3) What to do in one day in Asti? VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA ASSUNTA
From there, we head to the most famous church in Asti: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This is also a Gothic church and is actually the result of three successive rebuilds over seven hundred years! The church is entirely made of terracotta and tuff, with polychrome decoration, where we can observe the mixture of bricks and sandstone. The facade is protruding and presents us with two orders. In the lower order, with three portals with pediments, only two of which are open (the other was walled in 1711, by order of Bishop Milliavacca). The work was carried out so that a fresco by Francesco Fabbrica could be placed there, which recalls 1095, the year in which the Cathedral was solemnly consecrated as a Romanesque Cathedral.
A little more about the Cathedral
On the south side of the Cathedral is the Pelletta Portico, which is where we find the main access to the church. The Romanesque bell tower, the tallest in the city, has a square base and originally had seven floors – now it only has six – and dates from 1266.
The interior plan of the church is in the form of a Latin cross and has three naves interspersed with square pillars with capitals.
On top of the capitals, in the central nave of the church, we can see the episcopal coat of arms of the French bishop Arnaldo De Rosette – as there is no documentation, researchers say that the construction of the site began in 1327.
Between the central nave and the transept there is an octagonal lantern. The presbytery is rectangular, elongated, and narrows towards the pentagonal apse where there are five windows with a polychrome floor mosaic, dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Both the presbytery and the apse are the result of an elevation of Romanesque forms that took place there in 1762, during the bishopric of Mons.
Below the choir is the “bishops’ crypt”, where incredible architectural remains have been found, all from the Romanesque period. The two organs present there are also very beautiful: one by Liborio Grisanti, built in 1768, and built by the Serassi brothers, in 1844.
What to do in one day in Asti? A map to guide you
When we talk about Asti, it’s impossible not to talk about his enogastromy. Asti offers us an immense range of flavors, colors and aromas. The wines from the Asti region perfectly harmonize traditional Piedmontese dishes, such as “bagna cauda”, with square peppers from Motta di Costigliole, with vegetables from the Tanaro valley and many others.
Winter and spring menus
In winter menus we often find fondues with cheese, mushrooms, truffles and cooked meats, while in spring, asparagus, peppers, vegetables and white meats dominate. Cheeses and cured meats are always present and, among the most famous, we can mention Roccaverano robiola, goat cheese, flavored salami, and Cocconato raw ham. Know about the best periods to travel to Italy!
For the sweetest palates, Piemonte is the home of chocolate, I mean, of Gianduiotto. It is a land of hazelnuts, flour, milk and fruit. Here you will find cookies, cakes and other delicious delicacies! The typical sweets of the Asti area are the “Bunet” – or Bonèt – a creamy dessert made with amaretti, cocoa, eggs, milk and flavored with rum. The soft Amaretti, the hazelnut cake – strictly from Tonda Gentile – and the hazelnut cookies called “nisulin” are also delicious! Something unusual? Mushrooms stuffed with chocolate cream: amazing!
And now, how about visiting wineries?
I bring you two suggestions, always remembering: if you drink DO NOT DRIVE! Choose a transfer or other means of transport, ok?!
Folks, the entire area of Asti is surrounded by several wineries and all of them are excellent, so if you want to visit a winery other than one of the two mentioned here, I suggest you do some research and book your tour in advance, ok? Because most of them only accept visits by appointment.
The first winery I suggest is Vinchio Vaglio. At this winery you can do amazing tastings, as well as visit the entire structure immersed in nature that surrounds the place! The wines produced here are excellent and, during the tasting, they are paired with local products. With a beautiful view of the area, the place, without a doubt, deserves to be highlighted! To schedule a visit, click here!
Another fantastic location is the Cascina Gilli winery. Here, Piedmontese elegance and charm seem to scream, silently, in all our senses. It is a poetic place, which enchants with its impressive nature! The winery seems to transport us back in time and takes us to a time where life remains peaceful and full of charm and flavor, as well as cinematic panoramas!
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What to do in one day in Asti? When we talk about wine, beauty, nature, history and elegance, you can be sure that the Piedmont region leaves nothing to be desired; if we want to go further and talk about unique flavors, colors and aromas, we can mention Asti without any fear. It is not a very popular destination for tourists and, therefore, is ideal for those looking for something more intimate and peaceful.
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