"Asti" Top 5 Page for this destination Asti by TRimer

Asti Travel Guide: 64 reviews and 125 photos

Una chiamata con la mia sorella

My sister, Judi, lives in Asti, formerly with her beloved dog, Mop, who passed away in October. She is an actress and currently runs the office of a language school and translation center in Alessandria, a neighboring town. I had some free time at the beginning of 2003 so I decided to go visit her. Piedmont in February is quite cold. Still I got to see the city and some of the beautiful countryside. Her boyfriend, Max, took me one day out to see a cantina. Piedmont and especially Asti is know for its wonderful wines. You should see how many bottles I carried back on the plane.

Short History

An ancient town which has been an important centre for over a thousand years owing to its particular geographic position at the centre of the wide plains of the River Tanaro. It became a provincial capital again only in 1935 when it regained its role of leading town which historically belongs to it. Already during the Neolithic Age it was a dwelling place for the prehistoric population. Its territory expands widely to include a remarkable number of hamlets and villages situated at a considerable distance from the town itself and which used to be autonomous communes in the past. Asti was almost certainly populated by people of Ligurian tribe of the Statielli from whom the place name of Aste or Ast (hill) derives. It used to be thought that the name derived from Hasta Pompeia, the name attributed to the town around 130 a.C. during the Roman Empire and ratified by the Roman citizens in 49 a.C. Hasta in Latin indicates a pole which was planted into the ground to indicate one's property after acquisition. In 1095 Asti was one of the first "free communes" in Italy and in 1140 it was awarded the privilege of coin minting. The town greatly developed during the Middle Ages, owing to the growth of economical activities and thanks to the initiatives of the local bankers, who travelled afar and controlled business transactions throughout Europe. The historical town centre, certainly one of the best looked after in Piedmont, still maintains many relics of notable architectural interest. A large number of the one hundred or so towers still stand as evidence of the dwelling places and strongholds of the more influential aristocratic families which competed against each other to continually enrich their homes. This competition lasted for centuries from the Renaissance period to the Baroque period.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful old city. Quaint.
  • Cons:Very small town. Not much to do.
  • Last visit to Asti: Feb 2002
  • Intro Updated Jul 28, 2005
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Reviews (16)

Comments (6)

  • Jul 27, 2009 at 7:32 AM

    Your description of dinner in Piemonte feels like I am already a guest in someones's home.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2006 at 10:15 PM

    A superb page on a city that I have only partly visited. I enjoyed especially your restaurant tips ! Good job !

  • Villasampaguita's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 6:15 AM

    L'Altra Campagna has closed down since 2003. But it was only so so in my opinion, for the same price Barolo & Co, just off Piazza Alfiero is much better, ask for the tasting menu, which includes a different wine with each course.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Aug 8, 2003 at 2:26 PM

    great infos and wonderful pics ! Piemonte is on my list-to-visit, not only for the famous cherries...

  • Jul 21, 2003 at 5:06 PM

    Thanks for the info. I'm planning a trip to the Piedmont in September and haven't found good information on the area. Yours was very helpful. Thanks again

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2002 at 5:10 PM

    Very informative page: I love your info on Piedmonte cuisine and wines; Asti, Judi and Mop look fantastic :-)))

TRimer

“Too many places to see, too little time (especially now that I have toddlers)”

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