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?

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Pastoral Piedmont: An Agriturismo & Epicurean Experience in Italy

When you think of Italy, it’s likely that home-cooked pasta, verdant agricultural landscapes, and gourmet food products like Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar come to mind. A lesser-known concept is that of the agriturismo — a compound noun that marries the Italian words for ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism.’

As the name implies, an agriturismo is a place where visitors can find lodging, meals, and even hands-on experience on a working farm. Some agriturismi are elegant and resort-like, while others are more informal places where guests can get their hands dirty and learn the art of viticulture, olive harvesting, or virtually any aspect of small-scale food production. Most agriturismi serve food that has been grown on-site, or sourced locally. In addition, income from tourism helps supplement profits earned from traditional farming pursuits.

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