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Bimbe in Viaggio

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What to see in Asti in a day

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On the occasion of the Christmas markets, we took the opportunity to take a leisurely tour of the historical centre of Asti, an elegant town located between the Monferrato and Langhe regions.

In this article, you will find what to see in Asti in a day or, having a little more time, in a weekend: where to park, main monuments to see, what to eat and where to sleep.

Even with children in tow.

Where is Asti: how to get there and where to park

Asti is located in Piedmont, at a distance of 55 kilometres from Turin, the regional capital.

You can exit either at the Asti Est or Asti Ovest tollbooths.

My advice, however, is to exit at Asti Est and park in Piazza Campo del Palio, which charges €0.80 per hour.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the square is a market place but there is a lot of traffic and you will not struggle to find a place.

Piazza Campo del Palio is located just outside the historical centre.

Alternatively, there are several public car parks (entering the streets of the centre) whose rates are €1.20 per hour.

From Asti to Turin

The train journey time from Asti to Torino Porta Nuova is approximately 40 minutes.

The second-class ticket costs €6.10.

It is best to buy it a little in advance to find the cheapest fare.

By car, instead, to go from Asti to Turin, it takes about 50 minutes and the nearest exit is Asti Ovest.

What to see in Asti in a day

The historical centre of Asti, with its medieval palaces and churches, harks back to its past, when it was known as the city of a hundred towers.

The appellation a hundred towers refers to cities that possessed – or still possess – numerous ancient towers.

Two other examples are Lucca and Prague.

Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption and St Gotthard

What to see in Asti in a day

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and San Gottardo is one of the largest churches in Piedmont, in the Lombard Gothic style.

It was built between 1200 and the first half of 1300, on the remains of an old building.

On the main side, overlooking the square, is a rich portal that serves as the main entrance, and a square Romanesque bell tower .

Inside, pillars support cross vaults frescoed with scenes from the Bible.

In addition to the frescoes, there are statues and wooden works in the aisles by several Monferrato artists.

The cathedral is freely accessible from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. / 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday.

Alfieri Palace

alfieri

Palazzo Alfieri, in Baroque style, is the birthplace of the great writer Vittorio Alfieri.

Today, the palace houses the Centro Studi Alfieriani Foundation and the Alfieriano Museum.

On the main floor, the flats and the poet’s room can still be visited. All the rooms have the original furnishings of the period, skilfully restored.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. Closed Mondays.

Entrance fees

The cost of the full ticket is €10.00, reduced ticket €8.00.

What to see in Asti in one day: Crypt of Sant’Anastasio

The Crypt of Saint Anastasius was part of the complex of the church dedicated to Saint Anastasius, which was destroyed.

Inside the crypt, there is a museum displaying various stone artefacts found in different parts of the city.

Walking through this atmospheric underground space, one can admire the remains of the old Romanesque church via walkways with a transparent floor.

From the 11th century, the church was the site of an important women’s monastery .

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Admission fees

The cost of the full ticket is €10.00, the reduced ticket €8.00.

St. Peter’s Baptistery

What to see in Asti in a day

St. Peters Baptistery is a complex of four buildings erected between the 12th and 14th centuries.

It was home to one of the seven Italian priories of the religious order of the Knights of St. John.

The church is built around the baptismal font, with the dome supported by eight columns connected by round arches .

The Baptistery of San Pietro is also home to the Palaeontological and Archaeological Museum of Asti.

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Entrance fees

The cost of the full ticket is €10.00, the reduced ticket €8.00.

Palaeontological Museum

What to see in Asti in a day

Palaeontological Museum displays the numerous finds discovered in the Asti area.

The visit lasts one hour and is also very interesting for families with children.

The entrance fee is €7.00 for adults including the museum, exhibition and aquarium, free for children.

Museum is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until 6 p.m. Continue reading..

Medieval Towers

towers

Strolling through the historical centre, one can admire several medieval tow ers.

More or less all of them date back to the period when Asti was a free commune and rich families competed to build the highest tower.

Of the 100 towers, twenty remain today, distributed somewhat throughout the historic centre.

Troyana Tower

Of those that remain, the tallest is certainly the Troyana Tower.

At 44 metres, it stands next to the Governor’s Palace in Piazza Medici.

Also known as the Clock Tower, it is one of the most imposing and best preserved medieval towers in Piedmont.
Recently, Torre Troyana was restored and opened to the public.

You can climb to the top and admire the view from above, via a wooden staircase with 199 steps.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m . Closed on Mondays and from 1 November to 31 March for security reasons.

Entrance fees

The cost of the full ticket is €10.00, the reduced ticket €8.00.

Red Tower

What to see in Asti in a day

Just beyond St. Peter’s Baptistery is the Torre Rossa (Red Tower), one of the oldest buildings in Asti.

Inside, the city’s patron saint (San Secondo) is thought to have been imprisoned there before his martyrdom.

The tufa part dates back to the 11th century. The tower was used as a bell tower in the 12th century.

Its sixteen-sided shape suggests that it was one of the towers of the old city walls.

Today, it can only be admired from the outside as it cannot be visited inside.

Palazzo Mazzetti Civic Museum and Art Gallery

palazzo mazzetti

The Municipal Museum and Art Gallery are housed in Palazzo Mazzetti, a splendid example of a Baroque aristocratic building.

In these opulent rooms, there is a room with archaeological material, a room with mediaeval artefacts (in fact, during excavation work, numerous finds emerged under the building), and one with paintings by 17th-century Piedmontese artists.

Palazzo Mazzetti is also the venue for interesting temporary exhibitions.

Inside, you will also find a bookshop and a cafeteria.

In addition, you can also buy the Smarticket here, a single ticket valid for visiting 8 sites.

▶ If you want more information about the Smarticket, you can look at this article.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

Admission fees

The cost of the full ticket is €10.00, the reduced ticket €8.00.

What to see in Asti in one day: Collegiate Church of San Secondo

san secondo

The Collegiate Church of San Secondo is located next to the town hall and is one of the oldest churches in Asti.

It was rebuilt several times and inside it houses the relics of the city’s patron saint and the banners of the Palio.

The race, as is also the case for the inhabitants of Siena, is very popular and takes place every year on the first Sunday of September in Piazza Alfieri, involving a total of 21 districts, boroughs and neighbouring municipalities.

The church is always accessible and admission is free.

Advice with children

The historical centre of Asti is very cosy and therefore also suitable for visiting with children and pushchairs.

Just opposite the car park in Piazza Campo del Palio is the Parco della Resistenza, which has two small play areas for children.

playground

▶ If you are interested in a guided tour to discover the city of Asti, you can click on the banners below

Where to eat in Asti

Campanarò is one of the city’s most renowned restaurants.

Over the years, it has managed to maintain high standards by offering patrons local products and traditional recipes.

My favourite dish is the wild boar stew with plums!

Average price per person: €30.00/40.00.

Campanarò is located in Corso Vittorio Alfieri, 36 . For reservations, call 39 014133252. Closed Wednesdays.

Where to sleep in Asti

Hotel Lis – With its double rooms, communicating family rooms and flats, Hotel Lis has something for everyone!

Private parking and an excellent breakfast included in the rate. Very welcome the coffee and tea set left for guests, and the complimentary bottle of red wine – Book here.

Continue reading:

1. The Christmas markets of Asti

2. Visiting Biella

3. Discovering Siena

4. Wimu, the Wine Museum in Barolo

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