Welcome to Asti! This bustling little town was once a lucrative medieval trading center and boasted over 100 towers, thus advertising its prosperity to not-so-fortunate surrounding areas. John took me here for a Valentine's Day outing and we had a great time admiring the architecture, wandering around the Saturday markets, and of course, taking pictures of the towers. Most of them date from between the 11th to the 14th century, but the tower in the second picture (excluding the top two stories) was built in the 1st century A.D.
Here's the Roman tower--just a little younger than the incarnated Jesus. The big church behind it is from the 17th or 18th century.
This little replica of the Roman tower was just too darn cute not to post.
We came across this mural on a quiet street away from the main thoroughfare. Look closely and you can see the towers in the background.
In addition to an excess of towers, Asti also has a cathedral--a huge building built almost entirely out of white stone and brick. We saw this red and white combo on various old buildings around the town. The medieval Italians must have gotten a kick out of making their buildings striped. The Cathedral in Orvieto (which we saw on our honeymoon; see the picture below the Asti Cathedral) is also striped.
Cathedral in Orvieto
Here's John at the base of yet another medieval tower. We took this picture because of the cool heraldry above the door and also, if you look above John's head, you can see the points of a raised portcullis.
So that's it! Hope you enjoyed our little excursion. I promise there will be more pictures of John next post; somehow he escaped the camera this time, but now I'm onto his game.