Little is said about it, yet it is known all over the world, especially because a sparkling wine, the sweetest and most fragrant there is, bears its name…
Asti is like this, a unique, famous place, but for many still to be discovered. With a shy but hospitable character, she has always preserved her beauties, almost jealous of her glorious history, but for some years something has changed… Asti is gradually opening up to a new audience of visitors, curious and passionate who never stop growing, visiting and appreciating it for its traditional beauties and gastronomic goodness.
Nestled between the provinces of Cuneo, Alessandria and Turin, Asti is located in the deep heart of Piedmont and of it is the expression and the essence, an authentic soul that from the Tanaro Valley, which crosses it, goes up along the hill that dominates it, to reach the highest and newest part of the city.
The foundation of Asti (the ancient “Hasta”) is dated by Plinio between 125 and 123 b.C. and it is counted among the most important Roman cities of ancient Liguria. After the Imperial Roman period, Hasta suffered a deep economic crisis and later became the episcopal residence and seat of an important Lombard duchy. The city then established itself towards the end of the 16th century XI, quickly becoming the most important free municipality in Piedmont and, in the XII Sec., became one of the richest and most powerful municipalities in Italy, had the right to mint money and established a dense series of trade relations with France, Flanders, Germany and England. Asti remained a republican until 1313, when it came under the control of the Angevins, then the Visconti and finally the Savoy family, in 1575. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries it was repeatedly invading and occupied and, in napoleonic times, Asti became the capital of the Department of Tanaro, to return definitively to the Savoia family after the Restoration Period. The troubled history of the city has obviously profoundly influenced the architecture of the city, the stratifications and the continuous reworking that its buildings and streets have undergone, which in many cases have maintained the ancient plant.
The reduced distances allow you to move from the city center to the surrounding countryside in a very short time and this proximity has allowed the urban area to always remain in very strong contact with the hamlets, maintaining in the city a strong rural soul and deeply linked to local peasant traditions, in particular to the cultivation of vines and the production of wine, the product that has always supported the local economy. Surrounded by hills that change scenery from every angle, the vineyards, hazelnuts and woods change and create ever new and different horizons.
Asti can be reached by the A21 Turin – Piacenza motorway, Asti Est exits, Asti Ovest and Villanova. For those coming from Milan, take the A7 to Tortona, then enter the A21 towards Asti-Torino.
For those arriving from Genoa, you can take the A26 from Voltri to Alessandria and then the A21.