Asti had been a town high up on my list of places to visit after reading about all the towers in the town years earlier. I love towers, taking pictures of towers, and climbing towers. I have a few posts about towers on this blog.
My reason to visit Acqui Terme was more personal. I had communicated with Diana Bauer during the planning phase of my 2006 trip to Italy. She was extremely helpful. We made plans to meet while I was in Torino. I was delighted that we would be able to meet and spend time together during my trip that year. I wanted to thank her in person for all of her help.
My visit to Asti was nothing like I imagined it to be. I read about all these towers and thought they would be all over the town. In reality this was not the case. I didn’t get that immediate feeling that I get in many places in Italy but did feel that Asti was a town that could probably grow on you, and to be fair, I did not spend much time there. Because the train from Torino left 57 minutes after the scheduled departure time and then stopped in no mans land for 15 additional minutes, my time in Asti was even shorter than originally planned.
While in Asti, I stopped in a little shop and bought some delicious pasta for lunch and then stopped in a second shop for some bread. I found a park bench in the piazza where the Palio is held later in the year and began to eat my lunch. It was a beautiful day outside. A nice elderly man sat on the bench next to me and started a conversation with me. He was very kind.
After finishing my lunch, I went into the church in the San Secondo Piazza. As soon as I entered, a man came up to me to inform me that the church was closing in five minutes. I took a couple of pictures including a picture of some of the banners (Pali) from the famous Asti Palio and then left. I took a couple more pictures outside of the church and then headed for the train station, stopping for an espresso on the way.
After taking a second train to Acqui Terme, I met Diana at the train station. We spent a wonderful afternoon together at her fabulous B&B. I had heard so much about the Bauer B&B and was delighted to finally get a chance to see it. It was more beautiful than the photos on the website. When we first arrived, Diana gave me a tour of her B&B. We then had a delicious late lunch (second lunch for me) of a local ribiola cheese, fruit, and bread with her husband, by the pool. We spent the afternoon talking about so many different things. Time went by too quickly.
Before catching the train back to Torino, Diana gave me a quick tour of the town of Acqui Terme. Although I did not have much time to spend walking around, I still felt an immediate affection for this little town. It is hard to explain why, but I knew right then that I wanted to return one day to spend more time in Acqui and explore more of the wonderful region of Piemonte.
I am looking forward to returning to and spending time in Acqui Terme. I will be spending five nights at Relais dell'Osso . I want to thank Diana once again for helping me with my plans. I am also thrilled to find out that Jan (jkg), another Slow Travel member, will be in Acqui when I will be there. I am excited to meet Jan.
I only had a chance to take a few quick photos during my visit to Acqui Terme. The first three photos below are of the town. I am hoping that the tower in the second shot will be open to climb :-)
The last photo is of the spectacular view from the Bauer B&B.