Asti is the home of the original Palio, not Sienna. An ancient tradition with festivities lasting one week, the entire city turns out to celebrate their heritage. We enjoyed the flag throwing contests, medieval costumed parades, neighborhood feasts, and finally, the Palio horse race.
Each neighborhood, 19 “borgos”, has intense pride in competing in all events. The various borgos are represented by distinct flags, colors, and themes. Our experience was made even more thrilling by the friendliness of the people and our hosts, Mario and Maria. This festival is not to be missed in September and we will revisit as often as we can.
If you are looking for an immersion into a culture and history, than Asti is the place to go. Easily reached by train from Turin or Milan, the walking is easy, the food fabulous, and the gelato out of this world.