Asti is one of the major towns in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy. The palio takes place each year on the third weekend in September. On the day, 100,000 come for the street party, though only 10,000 can fit into the piazza so it’s advisable to book ahead.
Getting there The nearest airport is Turin, about an hour by car or train from Asti.
Where to eat Piedmont is foodie paradise. Try some of the local truffles washed down with one of the region’s fine wines. The area is better known for risotto than pasta. Tacabanda (tel. +39 0141 530999) is great for local specialities.
Where to stay There are hotels of all categories in Asti, the most famous of which is Hotel Ristorante Reale in the piazza where the palio takes place. Accommodation is hard to find on the weekend of the palio, so book in advance (tel. +39 0141 530240).
Budget per day for two Around $280 if you stay in a double at the Hotel Reale. For a smaller budget, try one of the local agriturismos (farm stays). Many of the farmhouses are beautifully renovated, and you get seasonal, local food, usually organic, amid wonderful views of the Italian countryside.
Daytime temperature 73°F (23°C) in September.
Website Comune di Asti