The Palio d’Asti

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September in Asti is a very special month. If there’s one month of the year you want to be in Asti, this is it!

On the program:

  • Douja d’or
  • Festival delle sagre
  • Palio d’Asti

The Douja d’or

The first weekend in September sees the Douja d’or wine fair in Asti. During this weekend, the best Italian wines are rewarded and business is done. Above all, it’s a great wine festival where you can attend exhibitions, tastings and other activities linked to the harvest and production of Italian wines.

Festival delle sagre

The Festival delle sagre in Asti also celebrates wine and gastronomy, but is much more focused on local wines and gastronomy. On the program for the second weekend in September: specialities from all the provinces around Asti. For those unfamiliar with Agnolotti and Taglierini, now’s the time to plan your trip to Asti!

Discover the Palio d’Asti

During the first 2 weeks of September, Asti is as festive and lively as ever. But it’s on the third weekend of September that the festivities reach their peak.

The Palio d’Asti is the oldest Palio in Italy. While the best-known Palio is of course that of Siena, that of Asti has its roots in the 12th century, when a military victory over the neighboring rival city of Alba began to be celebrated.

Since 1988, the race has been held in Piazza Alfieri, with the 14 districts of the city of Asti competing against each other.

rioni-palio

Of course, the Palio d’Asti is more than just a horse race: it’s a real festival, with dozens of medieval processions and a wide variety of shows.

Since pictures speak louder than long descriptions, here are a few photos of the event:

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How to attend the Palio

Accommodation

If you want to attend the Palio, it’s best to plan ahead! The small town welcomes thousands of visitors for the occasion, and it’s a safe bet that hotels will be full if you book at the last minute. If you’re looking for better-value accommodation, take a look at nearby towns such as Alba, Alessandria or even Turin, which are not far from Asti.

There are a few B&Bs around Asti, such as La Valle, which offer good value for money. To find the right hotels, use this hotel comparator.

Getting to Asti

To get to Asti, it’s best to arrive by car, even if there are train, bus and plane options (you can check out flights to get there on Kiwi). Arriving by car means you’ll be free and won’t have your accommodation right in the middle of the bustling city. If you’re coming from France, you can go via Genoa or Grenoble (beware of the Fréjus tunnel at €42 one way!).

Have you ever been to the Palio d’Asti? What did you think of it?