Week end between craftsmanship and Italian craftsmen, in Asti and Monferrato

Articolo diMarianna Mollica - BrandEssere: Made in Italy and Italian lifestyle promotion blogs.

What to do on the weekend when you decide to spend it out of town?

What experiences do you live to break away from your daily routine?

These are some of the most common dilemmas that periodically each of us try to solve.

Among the many ideas for a weekend of relax, our proposal is to bring you the discovery of artisan experiences, the cradling territories and the stimulus for the development of craftsmanship in Italy. Every tool, accessory, sculpture, comes from craftsman’s know-how, which, thanks to the technique acquired through the years and experiences in his field, makes its product unique.

Our journey among craftsmanships begins between Asti and Monferrato: lands rich of history and Roman settlements, characterized by refined craftsmanship, the predominant nature, a high middle class culture and certainly good wine.


Things to know before leaving for a weekend in Asti and Monferrato

Asti is a province in the heart of Piedmont, characterized by a hilly area bordering the south with Liguria, and extending into the Monferrato. It was founded on a hilltop, the so-called “Ast” which means “raised ground”. It was built by the Romans (under the name of Hasta Pompeia), although the first true foundation was to be brought back to Ligurian populations that had previously planted a village in the area corresponding to the present city. Some sections of the ancient walls are still present in the northern part of the city, while another section of the Roman walls remains hidden beneath the center of the city itself.

Monferrato instead it is a hilly area where wine production is the country’s first economic activity.

Those who will live the experience of a weekend in Asti and Monferrato will wander around workshops, towers and palaces, immersed in a fabulous medieval urban setting.

Asti and Monferrato, wine land

The protagonists of Astigian landscapes are the expanses of vineyards that make it famous in the world, in particular the “Monferrato wine road” Which connects hills, vineyards, villages and farmhouses. September is held Douja D’Or, national wine contest for DOC and DOCG wines among the most important of Italy. Award-winning wines, that score at least 87 out of 100 at the tasting stage can get the sticker “Premio Douja d’Or”.

Monferrato verde

Wine landscapes, Langhe-Roero and Monferrato UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“The rows of vines historically cultivated in the area, the types of cultivation, the rich system of production sites and traditional settlements show a ‘living’ landscape in which every evolution takes place in constant respect and balance between tradition and innovation”. This is the motivation that made Monferrato win, in 2014, the UNESCO award. It is the first Italian cultural wine landscape to have it.

The area includes the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Alessandria and 29 municipalities. A territory extending for 10,789 hectares consisting of six areas called “components”: the Langa del Barolo, the Castle of Grinzane Cavour, the hills of Barbaresco, Nizza Monferrato and Barbera, Canelli and Asti Spumante and the Infernot Monferrato. A landscape that, thanks to the improvement of the production cycle, has led to the production of wines of international excellence such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Asti Spumante and Barbera d’Asti.


The Palio of Asti

“… go, and may Saint Secondo be with you” Are the historical words spoken by the Mayor who, in this way, gives permission to run the Palio. Each year, on the third Sunday of September, the celebrations of the Patron Saint culminate with a saddle-mounted horse race.

Twenty-one are the contestants, divided into three batteries of seven participants each. The departure takes place at “canapo”, a big rope crossing the track. When“Mossiere” (a sort of judge of the race) will evaluate the correct alignment of all the participants, he drops the canapo and so the race can start: three laps for 450 meters. Only the three winners of this first race will join the final race for the assignment of the Palio – large velvet drape with the signs of Asti and the depiction of the patron Saint Secondo. For the winner the joy is unrestrained, as it involves the spectators too since 1275.


Asti is the Vittorio Alfieri’s home

«In the city of Asti, in Piedmont, on January 17, 1749, I was born from a noble and honest family” says Vittorio Alfieri in his autobiography. The astigmatic dramatist was a restless soul, especially in young age, and for this he traveled for a long time in Italy and Europe. During these years he had many love affairs that made him even more restless, ashamed of this feeling. This very same feeling inspired him to write tragedy in five acts by Antonio and Cleopatra: found a similarity between the submissiveness exercised by the marquis Gabriella Falletti Turinetti (his companion) on him and that between Cleopatra on Antonio. The love with the Marquis Gabriella ended, but Vittorio Alfieri finally discovered his vocation: the art of poetry.


The Scassa of Asti’s tapestry is the only one to produce tapestries based on “cartons”

The tapestry is a textile art that combines artisanship with artistic experience. The tapestries were hanging on the stone walls of the castles, in large rooms that were difficult to heat up. To create a tapestry is part of the cardboard, which is a realistic model made by an artist or painter. At Arazzeria Scassa tapestries were made of works by the most important painters of the 20th century such as De Chirico, Klee, Mirò, Ernst, Capogrossi, Guttuso, Mastroianni, Spazzapan. The founding father of this tapestry isUgo Scassa, disappeared for a few months, he was one of the greatest Italian tapestry maker.


Laboratory Nicola Restauri: 70 years old at the service of art

The historical workshop of Nicola Restauri was founded exactly in 1947. Since then, they have restored castles, palaces, churches, theaters, gardens and artworks such as “The Finding of the Body of Saint Mark”, “The Assumption of the Virgin of Alvise Vivarini” and the restoration of the “Triptych of Bartolomeo Bermejo”. Every restoration is a team of analysis and design teams. A passionate work that is worth knowing.

Nicola Restauri
After this information, are you ready to go for a weekend in Asti and Monferrato?
Our proposal to spend 3 days immersed in Piedmont and its wonders:
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Article by Marianna Mollica – BrandEssere: Italian brand promotion blogs, Made in Italy and Italian lifestyle.



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