The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy

A collage of 9 different windows (and architectural styles) in the city of Asti, in Italy's Piemonte region.

Perhaps best known for its annual Palio, a 700-year-old bare-back horse race replete with pageantry and tradition, Asti also has a lot to offer architecturally and gastronomically. The Northern Italian city once had more than 70 towers, which symbolized wealth and power. While there are less of them punctuating Asti’s skyline today, the city also features impressive churches and palazzi, beautiful brickwork, and varied architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque to Renaissance.

Which of these finestre are you most drawn to?

Where in the World?

Planning Pointers:

  • Asti is located in Italy’s Piedmont (Piemonte) region, about 55 km (30 miles) southeast of Turin, and 140 km (85 miles) southwest of Milan. High-speed trains link the Piedmont area to Italian tourist meccas such as Rome and Venice. See Trenitalia for schedules and prices.
  • We traveled by train from Milan to Asti, and even day-tripped to Turin using Asti as our home-base. While we found mass transit accessibility to be good in these larger Italian cities, we were told that public transportation is quite limited in Piemonte’s countryside. Locals routinely advised us to rent a car or hire a private driver.
  • In Asti, we stayed at the La Fabbrica dell’Oro Hotel (affiliate link). The hotel was clean and centrally-located, and it was just around the corner from a tiny supermarket. We enjoyed our Palio-themed room, as well as all the black & white family photographs adorning the entryway.  (The other night, we stayed at a lovely agriturismo in the Monferrato hills.)
  • For more information, visit the Asti Province Tourism website.
  • Need more inspiration? This link contains an index of all my posts from Italy.
  • Do you fancy collages? From windows of the world, to brilliantly-coiffed German horse tails, and fanciful Moldovan water wells, I have many more cultural offerings in my collage series. Please enjoy!

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

Published by Tricia A. Mitchell

Tricia A. Mitchell is a freelance writer and photographer. Born in Europe but raised in the United States, she has lived in Valletta, Malta; Heidelberg, Germany; and Split, Croatia. An avid globetrotter who has visited more than 65 countries, she has a penchant for off-season travel. Tricia has learned that travel’s greatest gift is not sightseeing, rather it is the interactions with people. Some of her most memorable experiences have been sharing a bottle of champagne with distant French cousins in Lorraine, learning how to milk goats in a sleepy Bulgarian village, and ringing in the Vietnamese New Year with a Hanoi family. She welcomes any opportunity to practice French and German, and she loves delving into a place’s history and artisanal food scene. A former education administrator and training specialist, Tricia has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in international relations. She and her husband, Shawn, married in the ruins of a snowy German castle. They’ve been known to escape winter by basing themselves in coastal Croatia or Southeast Asia. Her writing has appeared in Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s, and International Living.

41 thoughts on “The Windows of Asti, Piemonte, Italy

    1. I appreciate that, Kamal! Now that we’re finally getting settled in to life on Malta, I’ll have to go collect a few windows from our neighborhood. :) Here’s hoping you and your family had a wonderful Diwali?

      1. Thanks for the greetings, Kamal. “It’s beginning to look like a lot like Christmas” here in Malta. The crews were out last night, decking the streets of Valletta in lights of all colors. Can’t wait to see the tree illuminated!

  1. You find the most amazing windows. I love them all but I guess my favourite is the second last one. I love the colours and detail. We saw some wonderful windows in Malta.

    1. Darlene, I also liked the brickwork and recessed painting of that window. Speaking of ornamentation and decorations, how does your Spanish city look for the holidays? On which side of the Atlantic will you be celebrating?

      1. We celebrated Christmas in Spain this year and had a great time. Not to many decorations here where we live, but we took a trip to the North of Spain, Asturias, and it was well decorated! Hope you had a great time in Malta.

      2. Like you, we also stayed in Europe for the holidays. Malta had many nice decorations: lots of nativity scenes in public spots and in private home windows, and pretty twinkly lights, especially in Valletta.

  2. Nothing like letting the light shine through windows on a cold winter’s day ~ and you’ve picked some great one here. I think you are finding your element quite well in Malta. Wish you a great final month of the year!

    1. Randall, ah, that’s how we often felt in Germany – craving the sunshine all the time! Here in Malta, though, we are certainly in our element with the copious amount of winter sunshine. Thanks for the December well-wishes – wishing you much of the same!

    1. Cornelia, I also thought the flag in the middle resembled Switzerland’s. Turns out it’s Asti’s, though. :) I would love to be back in Asti for the Palio someday, particularly to see the flag-throwing contests, and all the elaborate costumes. I’ve heard some of the costumes come from Milano’s La Scala!

    1. I must confess, Carol, that as I continue to see architectural accessories like fanciful door-knockers and window trim, I am tempted to purchase more for a future home. Several years ago, while in Morocco, I purchased a brass door-knocker in the shape of a hand. I even lugged a pair of ornamental shutters back to Germany. :) Thanks, as always, for your kind words! Hope you’re enjoying summer there.

      1. Hope the mild weather continues for you, Carol! We’re loving Malta’s winter thus far: lots of sunshine, and just a bit of cool temps. Like there, everyone’s getting geared up here for the holidays: lots of festive decorations, and shopping madness – even at the grocery stores.

  3. Tricia dear Tricia – The windows are wonderful but it was the colour of the buildings that drew me and had me sighing. I do so love colour. The first house I owned – and this over fifty years ago – I painted a soft weathered pink. Then I painted the shutters soft turquoise. My friends thought it was strange But I just knew that somewhere in this world pink houses were acceptable and cherished..

    1. Virginia, indeed there are several places where we’ve seen pink houses that offered a lovely splash of color, and not of the Pepto Bismol sort. :) Most recently, the agriturismo restaurant we dined at in Italy’s Piemonte region had this sort of color scheme. With the palette of green behind it, it looked quite pleasant. Just where was this pretty pink house of yours?

      1. In my home town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Tricia. A very conservative town in the north of the province. The winter’s were long and bitter – I thought it would be cheerful. Good wishes for a happy Christmas. Are you going any where special? XX Virginia.

      2. How nice that you could inject a bit of color into the winter landscape, Virginia. Your approach sounds a bit like the once-popular technique to adorn the exterior of homes in the Alps with colorful scenes. When everything is barren and dressed in snow there, those frescoes add such a nice splash of color, transporting you back to warmer months plentiful with wildflower-filled fields, if only for a moment. :)

        On a side note, my great-grandmother was born in Saskatchewan, but grew up in the United States.

        As for Christmas, we will be spending it somewhere “special” but we are staying put in Malta, where we’ll be living until September / October. We’re already impressed by the decorations we’ve spotted, plus the line-up of holiday events. What about you and your family – where will you be celebrating?

  4. I especially like the center window in the last row – the open shutters are welcoming like a person getting ready to throw their arms around you! And it’s easy to envision standing inside and opening the window to the new day.

    1. “Welcoming like a person getting ready to thrown their arms around you” – I like that, Marilyn! Here’s hoping you’re well and enjoying the holiday season. Where in the world are you?

  5. Such a great region of Italy. I don’t think it gets enough love from travelers. Love the collection and diversity of windows. Frankly, they all look pretty nice!

    1. Drew & Julie, I agree wholeheartedly about Piemonte being deserving of more visitors. The cuisine alone is a superb selling point! Do you have any favorite spots in the region? Have you been to Piedmont during truffle season? (That’s something that remains on our must-see list, as we were just a few weeks too early to witness authentic truffle hunts.)

      Regarding Asti’s windows, suffice it to say that we’d be pretty delighted having a ‘lock & leave’ behind any of those. Thanks for commenting, and Happy Holidays to you both!

  6. I love taking photos of windows, too, and these are some really cute ones! I haven’t been to the Piemonte region before. I’m curious!

    1. Jenna, we feel as though we just enjoyed a nice preview of what Piemonte has to offer. We missed the white-truffle harvest by just a few weeks, as well as Asti’s Palio, so a return is definitely in order. I think the region doesn’t get the attention it deserves, despite having wonderful food, scenery, and architecture!

  7. What neat windows! The second to last one is my favorite with the cool brickwork. Asti sound like a neat place to visit. I’d love to visit more of northern Italy one day.

    1. Gina, our brief introduction to Piedmont has made me hungry to explore more of this lesser-visited region in Italy too, though next time I think we’d make our visit happen outside of the August holidays. Here’s hoping you’ll have the chance to return as well! What spots in Northern Italy would you recommend?

  8. Do you know some German? I write my blog in German – for now. Haven’t found out how to install the multilingual plugin yet.

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