Are you fond of Italian culture and heritage? For a beautiful holiday in the Po Valley, discover the best areas to stay in Asti
A small province in the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy, Asti is a province of 215,871 inhabitants. Its capital, Asti, is located about 55 kilometers southeast of Turin, the city is built on the northern banks of the Tanaro River, a tributary of the Po River. Occupied since the Neolithic period and founded by the Ligurians before falling under Roman rule, Asti has been subject to the covetousness of many powers throughout its history (Visigoths, Franks, Genoese, French, etc.). Thanks to these multiple past influences, the municipality of Asti boasts a rich and diverse historical, cultural, architectural and gastronomic heritage.
So, where to stay in Asti? Due to the province’s touristic attractiveness, accommodation rates in Asti can be quite high, even if you opt for local homestay housing, via Airbnb for instance. But when you fall in love, numbers don’t really matter, do they? So here’s where to stay in Asti.
Comune di Asti
As is often the case elsewhere, Asti’s historic center – “centro storico” – is home to most of the city’s major sites and landmarks. Pliny the Elder (23-79) said that Asti was one of the wealthiest towns on the Italian peninsula. In Asti, the old town is packed with stunning historic monuments, medieval houses and towers, museums (the Hebrew Museum, the Alfieri Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Paleontology, the Palazzo Mazzola), medieval or Baroque palaces, and religious buildings. These stunning medieval buildings bear witness to the city’s former power and might. The cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e San Gottardo, dating back to the 13th century, is one of the most majestic edifices in Piedmont. The Collegiata San Secondo, Palazzo Catena, Palazzo Zoya, and Palazzo del Podesta are among the must-see landmarks in the area.
Take the opportunity to admire the city center’s many medieval towers: Torre Civica, Torre Comentina, Torre Guttuari, Torre Quartero, Torre Nata, etc. The city’s pedestrian streets are also known as a pleasant place to stroll. If you come in September, don’t miss the famous Palio di Asti, a traditional horse race in Piazza Vittorio Alfieri. Enjoy Asti’s many bars and restaurants, and be sure to taste Asti Spumante wine, amongst other specialties. Though there aren’t many hotels in the area, the historic center is still a beautiful and inspiring place to stay in Asti. In addition to hotels, we recommend booking homestay accommodation, a great way to mingle with the locals, and experience Asti in an authentic way.
South East of Asti
Asti, the land of wine and Asti Spumante, is located in a region boasting superb views of the Po Valley. Not far to the South East of Asti, you can stay at Rochetta Tanaro to explore its Natural Park, and enjoy the magnificent and relaxing natural surroundings. During the summer, the dense forest provides for cool and pleasant shade, while in the winter the region is a winter wonderland. Further south, visit the town of Canelli, one of the capitals of Italian wine. Its vast network of wine cellars has been compared to underground cathedrals and have been added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2014. While in Canelli, we recommend climbing up to its elegant Castle for a charming view of the region’s vineyards.
South West of Asti
A great way to escape the beaten tracks of Piedmont, the South West of Asti province is full of charming little villages. You will be walking in the footsteps of the pilgrims who once trod on the Via Francigena while enjoying the area’s eyeful of churches and picturesque medieval abbeys. The village of Costigliole d’Asti typifies this, with its well-preserved castle dating back to the 11th century. Further South, in neigboring Cuneo province, the City of Alba stands proud, boasting its world famous white truffles, the “diamonds of Alba” and other culinary delights. The region as a whole is rich in luxurious dishes and delicate foods, make sure to sample these delicacies!
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