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titolo

Beni Culturali Asti

 

On the ground floor of Palazzo Alfieri, the Eugenio Guglielminetti Foundation hosts numerous temporary exhibitions. In the permanent exhibition, inaugurated in 2016 in the underground rooms of Palazzo Alfieri, sculptures and scenic designs, i.e. 50 years of Guglielminetti’s activity, are displayed.

 

This tower is one of Asti’s main symbols. It is 44 metres high and the highest medieval tower in Piedmont. It is the only tower which can be visited in the town: the internal wood staircase has 199 steps up to the battlement floor. From here the view over the town and surrounding hills is splendid.

 

The Museum hosted in the rooms of Palazzo Mazzola (14th century), seat of the Historical Archives, illustrates the most significant moments in the history of Asti and its Palio. In addition to documents never exposed to the public, you can see vintage posters, old banners of the Palio and use multimedia stations offering visitors in-depth information and striking images.

 

 

The complex in the heart of Asti previously home to the “Ponte di Lombriasco” family, then “Cotti di Ceres” and now “Gazelli di Rossana”, covers almost an entire block and is made up of two adjacent buildings:

- The aristocratic residence of medieval origin modified in the mid-18th century by the court architect Benedetto Alfieri, which comprises the tower  

- The adjoining residence also of medieval origin, modified in the mid-19th century by architect Valessina according to principals of the "casa da reddito" in order to transform the estate into a business, comprising two large courtyards, various agricultural storerooms, a granary barn and a fabulous stable block with impressive vaulted ceilings. 

During the visit the rooms used in the past as wine cellars and the two large courtyards can be admired.

 

Inaugurated in 2010 this venue takes its name from the old church of San Giovanni; it is the first area of the Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral. In the Spazio San Giovanni precious artworks can be admired, such as the gothic wooden choir of the Cathedral by Baldino da Surso (1477), silverware and paraments, sculptures from the 14th century and gravestones from bishops, as well as the fresco from Gandolfino with the “Madonna della Barca”. The visit leads to the crypt dating back to the 8th century. Of the four capitals the Corinthian ones were from the reconstruction of Asti by Theodoric the Great, the others go back to early middle ages (8th – 9th century).

 

The Synagogue of Asti presents a simple neoclassic exterior with an entrance framed by four columns which hold a gable bearing a good wish message. Internally there are three naves with traditional arched ceilings. At the end of the presbytery is the Aran or Holy Arc, made of ebony by the famous Bonzanigo in 1809: it is a wall cupboard with eight gold sculptured panels. Each panel has a different symbol. The rooms that were once the winter temple host a museum with the liturgical items and other utensils to testify the Hebrew presence in Asti and the multimedia museum “Una finestra sulla storia”.

 

It was brought to its present form in the year 1754 by the Count Gabuti di Bistagno, who had bought it the year before and modified the pre-existing medieval structure after a project of Benedetto Alfieri. The front has the typical aspect of a building by Alfieri, with its central main door with the balcony above. The Museum displays memorabilia, paintings, weaponry and coins from the period 1797-1870, donated by families of Asti. From the rooms, equipped with multimedia supports, you go down to the air raid shelter from World War II, where a touching projection retraces the events of that period.
Since 2016 the Museum of the Italian Garibaldi Partisan Division can be visited: priceless memorabilia previously safeguarded in Florence and Rom are on display.

 

 

Between 1730 and 1751 renovated by Benedetto Alfieri, the building maintains its sumptuous interiors on the first floor with stuccos, transoms and baroque furnishings. Since 1940 it is home of the city art gallery which among other things contains paintings of the so called Maestro di San Martino Alfieri (15th – 16th cent.), works by Guglielmo Caccia, Giancarlo Aliberti, a considerable section on Genovese Painters of the 17th century with two works of Valerio Castello, the wooden microsculptures of G.M Bonzanigo, as well as a rich collection of Piedmontese artists from the 19th and 20th century (Grosso, Delleani, Pittatore, Cagli, Guttuso and so on). The ground floor hosts temporary exhibitions and educational activities.

 

The Museum is set up in the beautiful rooms and cellars of the 16th century palace, in the past seat of the Monastery of Jesus, important fossils such as the Balenottera di Valmontasca (fin whale) and the Balena Tersilia (whale) and a rich collection of fossil shells are exhibited.

 

The museum has a double function, as an archaeological site and a museum. The archaeological site conserves the remains of four churches (from the 8th to the 17th centuries) which were part of the Benedictine Monastery Saint Anastasio and the splendid Romanesque Crypt. The museum hosts the sandstone capitals of the second Romanesque Church of Saint Anastasio (beginning of 12th century). Capitals, shelves, sculptured conical arches (13th-15th Cent.) from the lost Gothic Church of the Maddalena, architectural elements and sculptures of the early and late Medieval periods (including the beautiful frontal of Saint Peter Consavia) corner stones and coats of arms of the family strong houses.

The great tragedian Vittorio Alfieri was born in this house on January 16, 1749. The building came to his family during the 17th century and was “modernized” around  1736 by the architect Benedetto Alfieri (a cousin of Vittorio). Beyond the small atrium there is a trapezoidal, very spectacular courtyard, which opens up to the garden on the left, in which the platan of 1849 stands. The first floor contains the apartments and the birth room of Vittorio Alfieri, who lived in this house only until the age of five years. The building hosts the Foundation “Centro Studi Alfieriani” and the Alfieri Museum.

The tapestry museum was founded by Ugo Scassa in1957 in the renovated rooms of the historical Charterhouse of Valmanera. The laboratory produces tapestries using the ancient technique of the high-warp but the subjects are cartoons of modern contemporary artists (Casorati, De Chirico, Cagli, Klee, Mirò, Kandijnski and others). The combination between a technique which has remained the same over the centuries and that of modern day sensibility creates unique and precious works of art. Many are displayed in prestigious seats and others remain to adorn the gallery of the museum where one can mingle after having observed the patient work of the laboratory workers.

Beneath this inhabited building are the archaeological remains of a patrician house. Of particular interest are the floors with the mosaic centrepiece made using the opustesselatum technique together with the opus sectile method, delimited by a herring bone pattern internally and externally with a plaited pattern. The black and white mosaic is decorated with geometric figures of coloured marble alternated with animals and water plants. Nearby is the opening of the oven used to heat the house using the interspaces in the flooring (known as “hypocaustum” heating). On the surface of one wall, there are traces of ancient decorations which must at one time have been very elaborate.

The archaeological museum is largely made up of four private collections donated to the city in the early decades of the '900. The material includes metal pre-Roman, Greek pottery, Greek and Etruscan magno-and a substantial collection of Roman artifacts: pottery and lamps, terracotta urns, glass, bronzes. The section includes two Egyptian mummies, their wooden sarcophagi, canopic jars and a series of religious-funerary objects.