The town of Asti sits just 55 kilometers east of Torino in the middle of the northwesterly region of Piemonte.

People have lived in the Asti area since before Roman times, and sections of the ancient city walls remain. Construction in the late-20th century uncovered a section of Roman wall in the center of the city. Along the ancient Via Francigena, medieval parish churches and abbeys are beautifully preserved.

Asti is home to the Palio di Asti, the oldest bareback horse race in Italy—even older than that in Siena. The town also hosts the Festival of Festivals a week before the Palio each September. During the festival, the towns in the province of Asti converge in the Campo del Palio and offer the food stuffs for which they’re best known.

Asti is well known as home to the Asti Spumante DOCG, a sparkling wine designation.

There are endless great restaurants within an hour’s drive of Asti. My favorite two in Asti proper are Gener Neuv and L’Angolo del Beato.