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The city of Asti is 40 minutes drive from Torino and one hour from Milano. Asti was founded by the Ligurians who named it ‘Ast’ meaning ‘hill’ or ‘high-ground’ in 49 BC.


After walking around downtown Asti, looking up at the medieval towers (see our earlier post here), we found the city’s cathedral.


The cathedral of Asti  (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta) was built in the 13th century, one of the biggest in Piedmont, in late Medieval, Romanesque-Gothic style.


The exterior is made of brick and tuff, with areas of polychrome decoration, brick alternating with sandstone.


The interior surface of the church is completely covered with frescoes.


I have never seen a church with this much frescoes – it makes me think of a densely tattooed body !




The church apparently has two organs, a real one and a painted one.



From a distance, I cannot tell if some were painted or they were sculptures.


At the intersection of the nave and the transept is an octagonal skylight. This is spectacular.


Standing directly underneath it and looking up.


The Romanesque bell tower with a square base, which was originally seven stories tall, dates back to 1266. Near the bottom of the tower is a sundial-like device mounted on the exterior wall. We could not figure out how it works. We were there at around 3-4pm – can someone tell me how to read it ?


The last big church I saw was the Doms in Köln in May this year (click here to see pictures.)


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