This stage will partly allow the riders to regain their strength. It is most suitable to sprinters, but it is not completely flat. Starting in Morbegno, the route follows the northern side of the valley, up to the mouth of Lake Como. Here, the roadway narrows as the stage course skirts the lake, all the way to the city (with numerous tunnels along the way, and passing through several urban areas). Past Como, the stage crosses the entire Po Plain on wide and straight roads, all the way to Casale Monferrato. Roundabouts, speed bumps and traffic dividers are found as the route passes through urban areas. After just one minor hillock (the ascent leading to the abbey of Masio), the final kilometres are pan-flat.
The last 5 km are perfectly flat, all the way to the final kilometre. The roadway narrows when entering and leaving the numerous roundabouts. Between the red flag and the final 550 m, the route turns left and then right, leading into the home straight. The finish line lies on a 7.5 m wide tarmac road.
start / finish
Morbegno, dynamic town, is rightly considered the “gate of Valtellina”: any itinerary in the territory of the most important Lombard valley can only start from here. The peculiarities of its environment make it an attraction for every type of tourism: alpine, cultural, artistic and food and wine. A paradise for mountaineers, skiers and hikers, the cradle of Valtellinese culinary art, Morbegno – as well as being the home of the Mostra del Bitto, the famous cheese made from fresh milk processed in summer in high mountain huts – is also a village rich in history and traditions. The historic center, with its churches, its palaces and its characteristic districts, invites you to take long walks, with an obligatory stop in any of the many taverns, wineries or many restaurants that celebrate the Valtellinese flavors. In a place like Morbegno, where nature is so intimately linked to local taste and culture, the Civic Museum of Natural History finds its ideal location, known as the most important scientific museum in the province of Sondrio and one of the most active in Lombardy which collects fossil and mineral finds from the entire valley. The city was awarded the title Alpine City of the year 2019. The cycle-pedestrian path of the “Via dei Terrazzamenti” starts from Morbegno and the territory is crossed by the cycle-tourism itinerary called “Sentiero Valtellina”.
- Local bresaola
- Local cheeses such as Bitto and Casera
- Rye bread
- polenta taragna
- Morbegno cake
- Valtellinese Wines
- Wines from the Terrazzato Retico of the Bassa Valle
Points of interest
- Places of historical interest
- Old Town
- Palazzo Malacrida
- Famous collegiate church of San Giovanni Battista
- The church of Saints Peter and Paul
- The Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Assumption and viale della Rimembranza
- Former Conventual Complex of Sant’Antonio (Auditorium in the ex-Church, South Cloister and North Cloister) – The Church of Sant’Antonio and the Dominican convent
- Former Campovico hydroelectric power station
- Cellars buried in the subsoil of the historic center – which can be visited during the Morbegno in Cantina event – the cellar attached to the historic shop “F.lli Ciapponi since 1883” can be visited all year round
- Places of interest modern era
- Votive temple
- Private and public buildings designed by arch. Luigi Caccia Dominioni in particular the Civic Library – bibliography – authors Alberto Gavazzi, Marco Ghilotti «Luigi Caccia Dominioni, architecture in Valtellina and Grisons», Milan, Skira, 2010
- Redevelopment of former Martinelli public and private parts industrial area designed by Citterio studio
- Places of landscape and environmental interest
- Park of supra-municipal interest – Bosca Park –
- Via dei Reti terraced vineyards (Torchio di Cerido stop) and Sentiero Valtellina
- Park of the Orobie Valtellinesi
Asti, the capital in the center of Piedmont and the province of the same name, is a lively and charming city rich in history and with a glorious medieval past still visible today in the fortified houses and in the severed towers that overwhelm the baroque of its churches and the majesty of its eighteenth-century buildings.Surrounded by the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and crossed by the Tanaro river, it is famous for its DOC and DOCG wines exported all over the world.Defined in 2019 by Forbes magazine, the perfect destination for autumn, Asti and its territory offer, all year round, the best of a holiday in Italy: an enchanted landscape, a fascinating historic center, engaging traditions (Palio, fairs , Douja d’Or, Festival delle Sagre), international cultural proposals, a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere and excellent cuisine dominated by the prized white truffle.Vittorio Alfieri was born there, the actor and writer Giorgio Faletti and the musician Paolo Conte.
The etymology of the name Asti is still absolutely uncertain.According to some scholars, Asti derives from the Latin word hasta, used to indicate the pole planted where the assets of the debtors of the public treasury and of the proscribed were sold by auction. The toponym would therefore designate the successful foundation of a colony, whose main nucleus was made up of properties of Roman citizens.The hypotheses that trace the origin of the toponym Asti to the Ligurian root ast, “hill” and the Celtic-Germanic root ast “sheepfold” seem less likely. In both cases the primitive Ligurian (or Ligurian-Celtic) village would be indicated, around which pastoralism was practiced, located on the highest hill in the city. Asti, in reality, would have arisen not far from the Tanaro river. The inhabitants of Asti are the Astigiani with reference to the territory of the province of which Asti was the capital (Astesana or Asteggiana), perhaps the most appropriate would be the definition of Astesi.The historical event of Asti has been characterized since the beginning by its peculiar commercial vocation linked to the centrality with respect to the communication routes between the Ligurian coast, the Po valley and alpine passes.The foundation of Hasta dates back to 125-123 BC, years of the military campaigns of the consul Marco Fulvio Flacco in southern Piedmont. Located along via Fulvia – commissioned by Flacco himself, from which it took its name – in less than a century Hasta becomes a colony and develops into a populous and economically lively center, thanks also to the quality of its best known products, wine amphorae and terracotta pots exported everywhere, as Pliny the Elder writes, “by sea and by land”.Like other colonies in southern Piedmont, Hasta undergoes a progressive demographic and economic impoverishment starting from the third century. A.D., but also records new religious and social ferments with the establishment in the middle of the fourth century. of a Christian community, destined to soon become diocese.Episcopal see organized and attested already in 451 AD, when in 568 the Lombards descended to Italy, Asti for at least three centuries has seen its population drop and lost its prosperity, but once again its geographical position of the city, combined with the palatability of its fertile lands, pushes the Lombards to establish one of the four Piedmontese duchies in Asti, certainly one of the most important in Italy if the first known Duke of Asti is Gondoaldo, brother of Queen Teodolinda.With the arrival of the Franks at the end of the eighth century, the committee was governed by the duchy, governed by a count, that is an official of imperial appointment. After the death of Charlemagne, the progressive disintegration of the Empire and its organizational structures meant that in Asti, as in other peripheral realities, a large part of public goods became the patrimony of the Church and that, little by little, the authority of the bishop replaces the public administration in decay. And the Church will play an important role for Asti, ensuring even in the most difficult centuries of the city’s history that minimum of civil organization indispensable to a city.In the IX and X sec. the bishops of Asti, in addition to guaranteeing the functioning of Asti, implement a promotion policy towards the emerging classes of the city dedicated in particular to trade. The “rebirth” of the Asti trade is probably due precisely to the meeting of urban merchant needs with the organizational direction given by the bishop: this mutual exchange will lead to an institutional transformation of local powers and the affirmation of an orderly and stable structure from which both local and longer-term trade will benefit greatly.In the following century, the birth of the Municipality (1095) sanctioned the formal recognition by the bishop of the ability to self-govern these new social and economic forces.In 1141 the emperor Corrado III recognized in Asti the ius faciendi monetam, the right to beat one’s own currency.With the certainty of a “strong” currency, the trafficking of the Astigiani, along the Genoa-Oltralpe route, intensified, also in consideration of the fact that Asti had become for Genoa the indispensable intermediary in trade between the sea and Liguria and the ‘internal.The merchandise and money from Asti arrived almost everywhere in the fairs of small and large centers in Europe, from Burgundy to Champagne to the kingdom of France, and from there to the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, with certificates also in Pannonia , Spain and England.The municipal period sees Asti reach the peak of its political and economic power: the Municipality in fact extends its jurisdiction over much of southern Piedmont, while great wealth flows into the city thanks to the resourcefulness of its merchants, who were also soon pre-paid.In 1226, in fact, according to the testimony of the chronicler Ogerio Alfieri, the credit activity of the families of the “Lombards” of Asti began, operating at home in the government of one of the main municipalities in the Po Valley and exercising, at European level, a function prominent in the international credit market.Since the mid-thirteenth century, the families of the Asti elite have been divided into factions – as is the case in much of Italy. The growing situation of conflict undermines, at least in part, the autonomy of the municipal government and only a clever strategy of political alliances allows the urban ruling class to maintain political and administrative control over the city and the territory: Asti is confirmed rich and powerful .The attestation of the Palio custom, which took place that year near the walls of Alba, dates back to 1275 after the Asti victory over the Albesi during the conflict between Asti and Angiò and their respective allies in the region.At the end of the thirteenth century, Ogerio Alfieri, in weaving the praise of the “powerful municipality that dominates most of southern Piedmont”, notes that the property value declared in the land register by the taxpayers of Asti amounted to about half a million lire of real estate, while citizens’ securities capital reached an extraordinary figure of over two million lire in the Registrum (or land register).Over the course of just over a century Asti became so rich and splendid that it was known throughout Europe.Between the second half of the thirteenth century and 1348 the town was reorganized: an imposing city wall was built, noble families built majestic palaces and raised towers, the Cathedral was restored (1266: construction of the bell tower; 1309: interventions on the presbytery; 1348: conclusion of works). Asti is politically weakened by the first internal struggles, but remains the collector of enormous wealth: the Lombards of Asti become bankers and coiners of the Pope (1342-1362), finance the English crown (1338-1356) and operate as bankers of the Aragonese rulers (1391) ; Simone di Mirabello, son of an Asti banker and treasurer of the Duke of Brabant, was regent of Flanders between 1340 and 1346.The great wealth of the city catalyzes on Asti the expansionist aims of the emerging lordships of the Po valley: after a few decades of oscillating relationships of the urban magnatice class with the Marquis Monferrato and the Visconti, in 1387 the city and its territory, pass to the Orléans as a gift of Valentina, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, on the occasion of her marriage, with Ludovico di Touraine (from 1391 duke of Orleans). The elaboration of the Codex Astensis, the municipal liber iurium preserved in the Municipal Historical Archive, dates back to this phase, to be understood as the “ideological manifesto” of a solid urban ruling class, which claims the prestige of its past and the recognition of its own prerogatives by the new principles.The cohesion between the local patriciate and the dukes of Orleans will guarantee a further period of prosperity in Asti: the Società del Moleggio (1397) was born, which through the excavation of a new channel strengthens factories and mills in the city, while members of the Asti elite in the during the long domination of the Orléans (1387-1529) they assume key roles in the ducal administration.In 1529, with the treaties of Cambrai, Asti was ceded by the king of France, Francis I, to the emperor Charles V and from these, in 1531, to the infanta of Portugal Beatrice, wife of Charles II, duke of Savoy: the city , occupied for a long time by Spanish troops, it passed under direct Savoy rule only in 1575. At the time it was an important cornerstone of the Savoy kingdom for the dynasty.However, the social and economic crisis, starting from the 16th century, diminishes Asti’s political weight. Emanuele Tesauro wrote around the middle of the seventeenth century: “After various misfortunes, the happy fortune made this city finally rest under the shadow of the Royal House of Savoy”.In the 18th century Asti was one of the main theaters of military campaigns involving the Savoy state: from the war for the succession of Spain (1703), to the war for the succession of Austria (1745-46). The displacement of the borders of the Duchy to the east makes, however, the Asti stronghold less central, which will no longer live its own events of particular importance, except for two events: in 1797 the brief story of the Jacobean republic of Asti ended with the death of the rebels, and in 1821 the support to the Statute, granted by Carlo Alberto, by the bishop of Asti Antonino Faà di Bruno with a courageous pastoral letter addressed to the faithful.In 1853 Asti hosted the first congress of mutual aid companies of the Kingdom of Sardinia: a confirmation, together with the rooting of workers’ associations in the city, of Asti’s sensitivity to the new ferments of social solidarity.Finally, the tribute given by the Astigians in terms of participation, and unfortunately of the fallen, in the two world wars is great.Finally, it should be remembered that for the contribution offered to the Liberation struggle, Asti and its province have been awarded the gold medal for military valor for partisan activity.
Typical dishesAutumn and winter are the “main” seasons of the Asti and Piedmontese cuisine.• Raw beef with truffle (trìfula), veal with tuna sauce, peppers in bagna cauda, veal tongue in green sauce (bagnet verd), “electric” tomini (cheese with chilli pepper), rabbit tuna, are just a few of the typical Asti appetizers.• Donkey Agnolotti, hare agnolotti; egg tagliatelle (tajarin) with roast sauce, truffle or porcini mushrooms, for the first courses.• Boiled fatty beef with “tanning” polenta (seasoned with stringy cheese).• the financier: the name of this recipe derives from the suit, called just “financier”, usually worn in 1800 by bankers and high finance men, who seem to like this dish very much; other sources suggest instead the origin of the name in the tribute in kind paid by the farmers to the guards (the financiers, in fact) to enter the city. Tribute mainly composed of the offal of chickens, still today among the fundamental ingredients.• Piedmontese mixed fry (fricia) linked to the pig slaughtering ritual and the need not to waste anything. It included innards, black puddings, lung (fricassà bianca), liver (fricassà nèira), sweetbreads. Over time, it has been enriched with new ingredients and there are numerous versions: pumpkin flowers and amaretti are typical of Monferrato.• roast veal and braised beef with barbera or barolo.
Desserts• Polentina from Asti, made with almonds, raisins, maraschino and covered with yellow polenta.• Amaretti from Mombaruzzo or Canelli, soft almond biscuits.• The hazelnut cake.• The zabaglione with Barbera or Muscat.• The ancient mon (pronounced “mun”) of Mongardino (soft brick).• The peaches at the Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato.
Cheeses• Robiola di Roccaverano, fresh DOP cheese, prepared with cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk.• Robiola di Cocconato, fresh cow’s milk cheese (it was once made with raw milk).• Piedmontese Toma, cow’s milk cheese, whose history dates back to the 14th century.
Asti and its hills are famous all over the world for sweet wines: the main grape variety is Moscato Bianco or Moscato di Canelli, from which a sparkling wine, a passito and a “quiet” (or still) quality are obtained. From this comes Asti spumante, an important DOCG wine at the end of the meal. Do not forget the production of black Malvasia, in particular Malvasia di Casorzo and Castelnuovo Don Bosco and Schierano, whose grapes give rosé and sweet wines. Also worthy of mention is the Brachetto grape from the upper Monferrato and the area of Acqui Terme. As for red wines, Barbera is certainly the most widespread production in the area. Other important reds are Dolcetto, Grignolino, Freisa and Ruché. Among the table whites, the production of Cortese, especially in the upper Monferrato, is prevalent. In Asti the first Piedmontese wine road was born, the Strada Astesana. It develops with eight routes, crossing 52 municipalities in the province of Asti and part of the Langhe. Asti is part of the “cities of wine”.
Points of interest
Complex of San Pietro
Extraordinary for the beauty and the documentary value of the architecture and decorations, it is made up of the 12th century Church (Rotonda) of the Holy Sepulcher, the convent-hospice of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem whose marvelous cloisters and chapel are visible of the XVth century. The Civic Archaeological Museum is located here, the result of private donations to the Municipality of Asti.
Civic building – Palazzo civico
The palace, seat of the Municipality, donated to the city in 1558 by Duke Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, was built in the mid-thirteenth century and was then profoundly modified in the fifteenth century. Transformed into the baroque forms visible today between 1726 and 1730 on a project by Benedetto Alfieri, it underwent further subsequent alterations. In 1817 the facade was completed with the construction of the viewpoint and in 1867 the north sleeve was built.The decoration of the staircase, 1935, is the work of the Asti painter Ottavio Baussano.
Palazzo Mazzetti di Frinco
The building testifies to the affirmation of the Mazzetti family within the Asti aristocracy. The building was enlarged from the end of the seventeenth century, when the Mazzetti bought and joined the adjacent medieval buildings, then proceeding with their reshaping in a single noble palace.Since 2000 Palazzo Mazzetti has been owned by the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti Foundation, which oversaw its restoration. It is now the headquarters of the Asti Museums Foundation and hosts temporary exhibitions of international importance. It holds and displays the civic collections consisting of paintings, sculptures and objects of remarkable artistic quality.
Ottolenghi Palace – Palazzo Ottolenghi
The building took on its current appearance after 1754 on the initiative of Count Carlo Gabuti di Bestagno, who, probably, entrusted to Benedetto Alfieri, the task of modernizing the existing medieval buildings in a single and more modern building. The palace was then purchased in 1851 by the Ottolenghi family and since 1932 it is owned by the municipality. It has rich furnishings and rich is also the pictorial decoration. In 2016 the restoration of the atrium, the grand staircase and the reception hall was completed.It houses the “Garibaldi” Museum of the Risorgimento and Partisan Division, the Historical Institute for the Resistance and the Museum of the Imaginary.
Crypt and Museum of Sant’Anastasio
Located in the so-called Palazzo del Collegio, the museum allows you to retrace the city’s two-thousand-year history through a rich stratification of archaeological remains. The crypt of Sant’Anastasio is the oldest nucleus, dating back to the 11th century, it has recovered columns and capitals from the Roman and early Middle Ages. In the spaces adjacent to the crypt there are visible traces of pavement of the Roman forum of Asti, tombs dating from the seventh and tenth centuries, remains of the early medieval church, of the Romanesque church and of the seventeenth-century church of Sant’Anastasio, demolished in 1907. The stone collections of Asti are exposed here: capitals, corbels, sculpted tiles, cantonal stones dating from the XII and XVI centuries.
Birthplace of the poet Vittorio Alfieri. The building is the result of the renovation of previous medieval buildings, built around 1738 on a probable project by Benedetto Alfieri, the poet’s cousin. In 1901 the building was purchased by Count Leonetto Ottolenghi, a prominent member of the Asti Jewish community, who then donated it to the Municipality. It is currently the headquarters of the Eugenio Guglielminetti Foundation which collects unique testimonies of the activity of the Asti painter and scenographer Eugenio Guglielminetti and preserves its art collections, of the National Center of Alfierian Studies Foundation which studies the figure and work of Vittorio Alfieri, of the Alfieriano museum and of the modern and multipurpose museum educational center of the Asti Musei Foundation.
Palazzo del CollegioIt is a complex of buildings in the heart of the historic center. The buildings form a quadrilateral (with a main view of C.so Alfieri) which delimits the large block formerly known as Sant’Anastasio. For centuries, the area was in fact occupied by the homonymous Benedictine monastery, documented from 1008, but perhaps already existing at the end of the ninth century, if not actually of Lombard foundation (VIII century).Completely transformed after the demolition, in 1907, of the seventeenth-century church of Sant’Anastasio, today it houses, in addition to some schools, the “Giorgio Faletti” Library Foundation of Asti named after the actor and writer from Asti who died prematurely in 2014. The Astense library organizes the Passepartout literary festival every year in early June.
Also known as the “tower of San Bernardino”, it is located on the west corner between Piazza Roma and Corso Alfieri and is now incorporated into the structure of the twentieth-century neo-Gothic castle that overlooks the square. With its 38.55 m. it is, by height, the second tower in the city. It has a square plan and ends with a terrace with Ghibelline dovetail battlements and an underlying decoration with a double order of terracotta and sandstone arches. The pointed windows open on all four sides and are decorated in the last order with the same color pattern as the arches above. For the type of structure and decoration, the tower is dated to the second half of the thirteenth century.
Torre De Regibus.
Located on the corner of via Roero and corso Alfieri, it is the only example of an octagonal tower that survived Asti. It was part of a complex of buildings owned by the De Regibus family that also counted two other towers. These three towers were known by the name of “Three Kings”, which still remains today to indicate the block. It features a series of single lancet windows decorated in terracotta and stone. Its construction is to be traced back to the end of the thirteenth century, it was originally high probably around 39 meters, today, after the severing which had to affect the three upper floors, it measures about 27 meters.
Torre Rossa or San Secondo
In bricks and sandstone. With a polygonal base (16 sides), it is the surviving part of the western Roman gate. Dating from the 1st century AD, in the 11th century it was raised two floors and used as a bell tower at first for the Romanesque church of San Secondo (precisely called “della Torre Rossa” to distinguish it from the patronal or collegiate church) and from 1766 for the parish church of S. Caterina.The Romanesque addition has the lower brick floor and is marked by simple round single lancet windows that open on alternate sides. Under the second string course there is a row of terracotta hanging arches. The upper floor is more elaborate, where sandstone blocks alternate with short brick inserts. The single-lancet windows are divided by cubic capitals. The decoration ends with a last row of hanging sandstone arches. It is the tower, where, according to tradition, San Secondo, patron of Asti, was imprisoned. Palazzo del MichelerioThe complex, former monastery of Gesù delle Clarisse Osservanti dates back to the 16th century. It was enlarged in the second half of the eighteenth century, without altering its sixteenth-century layout. During the Napoleonic period the complex was expropriated and became public property. Put up for auction, in 1870 it became the seat of the Opera Pia Michelerio, which dealt with welcoming and educating the orphans of Asti and its surroundings. Today it houses private offices and is home to the Paleontological Museum which, through the general concepts of paleontology, illustrates the main geo-paleontological events that led to the formation of the Asti area. There are exposed some fossils recently found in the area among which the bone remains of whales and dolphins of the Pliocene age stand out, from about 5 to 2 million years ago.The Asti area has rich deposits of paleontological fossils. First of all, those of the Special Paleontological Nature Reserve of Valle Andona, Valle Botto and Val Grande, an area 7 kilometers west of Asti.
The palace presents itself to the visitor in its predominant Renaissance facies which dominates, but never completely covers, the different souls that make up its extraordinary architecture. The medieval domus, built on a site of Roman settlement, first, and later Lombard, was in fact acquired by the lords Mazzola and transformed by them in the Renaissance sense around 1516.The Palace became, starting from 1710, by donation of Giacomo Filippo Mazzola the “home” of the Opera Pia Buon Pastore, destined to house “perilous and dangerous youngsters and abandoned infants”.During the eighteenth century, the building underwent profound changes which also followed in the following years.Today, Palazzo Mazzola houses the Municipal Historical Archive and the Palio di Asti Museum.The Historical Archive preserves all the documentation of the Municipality of Asti in its activity through the centuries. The documents, which can be consulted by the public, range from the 10th to the beginning of the 21st century: among them, the precious medieval manuscript codes decorated with extraordinary miniatures.The Palio Museum in Asti offers a route dedicated to the historic festival of the city which is also a journey through the city’s history, reconstructed in filigree through the story of its oldest and most prestigious event.
Synagogue and Jewish Museum
The Synagogue has been documented on the current site since 1601. Modified in 1788, enlarged in 1848-50, it took on its present appearance with the renovation of 1888-89. The museum preserves silver, textiles, objects of worship, furnishings, plaques, prayer books, photographs, manuscripts and offers an overall image of the various aspects of Jewish life and culture within the framework of the historical reality of the Jews of Asti, whose presence in City has been documented since the year 812.