You are here


Lying on the bank of Tanaro river and on the hills of Monferrato, Asti is a Piedmontese city which, besides its excellent wines and enogastronomical products, offers to visitors many surprises, which should be tasted with calm.

The city has a millenary history, initially founded by Romans, in the fourth century it became a Lombard duchy, at least until 1159, when it became a free commune, becoming, from this moment on, the most powerful city of Piedmont.

At that time, the richest families, divided between Guelphs and Ghibellines, challenged each other to build imposing palaces and, above all, taller and more beautiful towers that could protect them from theft. That's why, later, it was labeled as: "the city of a hundred towers".


Our journey begins in Piazza Statuto, formerly called Piazza delle Erbe, as it was here that the market was held in the past. A stop here would be a must - the ancient and beautiful Torre dei Guttari is located here.

Now, we move to the heart of the city, in Piazza San Secondo, where there is the magnificent church of the Collegiata di San Secondo, one of the oldest Gothic religious buildings in Asti. According to a legend, the church was built on the site of the martyrdom of San Secondo, the patron saint of the city. Next to the church there is also the town hall.

Nearby, overlooking Piazza Medici, the Tower stands high in the sky, the symbol of the city. It is known as the Torre Troiana ("Trojan Tower") or the Torre dell'Orologio ("Clock Tower") and is one of the best preserved medieval towers in Piedmont. It is one of the best preserved medieval towers in all of Piedmont. With a square plan, it has a dizzying height of 44 meters and is made of exposed masonry.

The construction dates back to the second half of the thirteenth century, a period of great building renewal in the city. It was part of a house of the Troya family, one of the families of the city's mercantile aristocracy who practiced financial activity in several European cities.

In the fifteenth century, extinct family owner, the tower became the property of the City, which did install the municipal bell, for the sound of the hours and notices of public interest.

Turning for some alleys, we arrive in Corso Vittorio Alfieri, important street of the city, dedicated to the famous poet and writer from Asti.

From Corso Alfieri, we arrive in a few minutes in Piazza Roma, dominated by the monument to the Unity of Italy and to the Heroes of the Risorgimento, and by Palazzo Medici del Vascello, with the adjacent Comentina Tower, the second highest civic tower of the city. It is 38.5 meters high, and with a Ghibelline terrace adorned with swallow-tailed merlons and a double frame of arches, it shines in all its beauty.

Nearby there is also the lovely Alganon garden, with its sculpture in the shape of a beehive created by Jessica Carrol, winner of the 6th International Sculpture Biennial of the Piedmont Region in 2008, and, next door, the majestic Palazzo Mazzetti, one of the most beautiful Baroque palaces, which often hosts temporary exhibitions of a certain interest.

Continuing along the corso, we arrive, shortly after, at Palazzo Alfieri, which houses the apartments of Vittorio Alfieri, the famous poet from Asti, born there in 1749.

A few steps from Alfieri's house we meet Piazza Fratelli Cairoli, with the Monument to Umberto I, in front of it, the Church of the Oblates of San Giuseppe, built in 1931 on the demolished Church of Sant'Agnese.

Continuing on the usual course, we reach the Red Tower, one of the oldest monuments of the city. A legend tells that this Romanesque tower was the last prison of the patron saint of the city: San Secondo.

Its name could instead derive from the coloring of the tower itself or from the De Rubeis family, which seems to have its own houses nearby.

Our visit of the city comes to an end, right at the foot of Piazza Cattedrale, where there is one of the most valuable buildings of all Asti: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. The Cathedral is one of the greatest gothic expressions of the whole Piedmont, the result of a building project given by three reconstructions, which followed one another over a period of seven hundred years.

The external architectural panorama is completed by the bell tower, which dates back to 1266, and is a fine example of Romanesque architectural style.

When to visit Asti:

Every season has its charm, so it is worth visiting this beautiful town at any time. For those who love wines, we suggest autumn, when the Douja d'Or takes place.

Another important event is the Palio, which takes place every year on the third Sunday of September. A tradition that dates back to the thirteenth century, it is a horse race, ridden without saddle or stirrups, representing the 21 villages.

But don't forget the Christmas period, where in the streets and squares of the city you can find the beautiful Christmas Market, packed with many boutiques, enough to be envied by the cities of Northern Europe.

Asti - Casa Vittorio Alfieri
Asti - Cattedrale
Asti - Chiesa Ablati dal monumento Umberto I