Meet your guide in Asti, one of the most beautiful and fascinating art cities of Piedmont, hometown to the well-known poet and dramatist Vittorio Alfieri. Asti is a lively town, immersed in nature, rich in history, renowned for its typical restaurants and stunning vineyards. Here you will see many towers and strongholds, but also domus and palaces dating back to the Baroque period. You definitely shouldn’t miss St Mary Assunta and St Gottardo’s Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta e San Gottardo), one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in Piedmont.
Your tour will start with the visit of the historic centre, which preserves both medieval and Baroque elements. As regards the medieval elements, besides the aforementioned Cathedral, you will admire the ancient palaces that line the streets of the old town centre, Asti’s 15 towers –the symbol of the city-, the old market square and the collegiate church of St Secondo (Collegiata di San Secondo). You will then walk along Corso Vittorio Alfieri to see some examples of Baroque architecture, such as Mazzetti Palace (Palazzo Mazzetti), Alfieri Palace (Palazzo Alfieri) –the birth house of the poet Vittorio Alfieri-, and the complex of St Peter in Consavia (complesso di San Pietro in Consavia).
Enjoy a traditional Piedmontese lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon you will head towards Govone, where you will visit its charming hilltop castle, which overlooks the wide Tanaro valley. The imposing structure you will see was built by the Counts Solaro, the lords of Govone: the southern façade was designed by Guarino Guarini whereas the northern façade is attributed to Benedetto Alfieri. The whole building is surrounded by a garden and a vast English-style park, from which you can admire the nearby Langhe. Like in many other historic houses in Piedmont, the entrance to the castle is preceded by a majestic staircase with two flights, adorned with reliefs from the gardens of Venaria. Particularly noteworthy are also its rooms, the ballroom, the central hall and their painting cycles.
Your tour will end in Canelli, an area where the near entirety of Piedmontese companies producing sparkling wine, cork companies and mechanical companies specialized in oenology are concentrated. You will experience a wine tasting with a guided tour of one of the most spectacular historic wine cellars in Canelli, nominated for recognition by Unesco World Heritage Site. Your guide will show you about twenty kilometres of galleries dug into the tuff at over 30 metres below ground. You will admire red brick vaulted and ribbed ceilings, made even more spectacular by the soft light -ideal for wine aging-, as well as endless rows of barrels and bottles. These cellars, today renamed “Undergrown Cathedrals”, belonged -and still do- to some of the greatest wine producers in Italy.
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