the astesana wine road
When you leave the expressway or train station at Asti, you enter Astesana, an ancient land with scores of castles, evidence of many small capitals and illustrious houses. Monferrato is north of the Tanaro River, or to the east (in the province of Alessandria); Roero is to the west, and the Langhe begin to the southwest.
Astesana is the most fertile area in the province of Asti, with over 50 closely-located towns and cities (an average of 3 to 5 Km apart): an invitation to stroll. This area alone produces a third of Piedmont's wine, including outstanding Barbera and aromatic Moscato and Brachetto. It's also the birthplace of Italian spumante (sparkling wine). Here you'll find extraordinary grappas and the only Italian DOC goat's milk cheese, incredible vegetables and Piedmont's most aromatic truffles.
The Wine Road has taken the old name of Astesana and used it to protect eight routes, all running along peaceful secondary roads, with magnificent panoramas from hilltops called “the hills of quality”. There are over 300 wineries (most private, some cooperative) open for visits, tastings, purchases. In these towns, always featuring a castle or a tower, with churches at times imposing or meekly set at the intersection of country roads, the visitor's biggest surprise is food, especially in restaurants, but also in shops.
There are over a hundred Asti dishes based on centuries of tradition, a range without equal in other regions. You'll never be bored in this region, with over 20 thousand seats at restaurants and farm holiday facilities. An exceptional welcome awaits the gourmet tourist, with dozens of festive events every month and countless accommodations, from quality farm holidays to small, gracious hotels.
Monument to the Alpini
"Cento anni di arduo dovere" : a hundred years of arduous duty. In front of the city market, stands a monument to honor the "Alpini", the famous troops that were trained to fight in the mountains, even at the highest elevations. Many cities of Piemont have monuments to the Alpini that are a Piemont glory.
Around Asti there are a lot of farms holiday and handlings whose offer the opportunity to discover these beautiful panoramas for nature lovers by horse, in a friendly and comfortable atmosphere, where the guests can enjoy the quiet of these multiform and changing landscapes, walk along the paths of the vineyards and the small woods, admiring the attractive colours.
Horses could be an exciting alternative way to discover these striking places.
After a short trip by car, you can catch up the XIV century church of Viatosto, famous for its frescos and the balcony that looks over Asti.
It is the preferred church by young people are getting married in spring.
Viatosto represents one of the most important and fascinating places of Asti. A little oasis of peace dominated from the large square of the monumental Church, from which you can enjoying one spectacular panorama.
Asti is an artistic town and an important wine production centre. It deserves a visit in order to discover its ancient medieval palaces and the historical suburb. The sacred buildings are magnificent: The Cathedral, one of the most important Gothic Churches in the zone, the San Secondo Collegiate Church, the San Pietro and San Paolo Rotunda, which is a complex constituted by a XII century Palace and the San Pietro Baptistery which has a particular octagonal shape. The folklore in Asti is rich in hints and traditions which have deep roots in medieval history and rural culture. The Palio is celebrated in September, it is a rousing race in which the horses are ridden bareback and the town suburbs compete one against the other. The Douja d'Or is a tasting session and sale of the best great wines of the province. We should not forget that Asti is linked to a long wine tradition. There is, in fact, the production of two prestigious wines of controlled and guaranteed denomination: the Asti Spumante, obtained from the pressing of Moscato grapes and the Asti Moscato. Many other kind of wines from Dolcetto to Barbera can be tasted in the numerous little or big wineries of the area.