Rocchetta Tanaro Natural Park
The natural value of the park is its wood: a mixed oak wood with oak, common oak and turkey oak as dominant species. The presence of four species of Quercus, favours the formation of numerous hybrids and intermediate forms hard to classify. Chestnut and black locust, which are important for human activities, are used as firewood, but in the past the were used as vineyard posts. The presence of the beech is a residue of beech forests spread over the entire area at the end of the last glacial period. In the undergrowth we find hazel, ivy and honeysuckle.
Asti, with its rich artistic and architectural heritage, is one of the major art cities of Piedmont The city, indeed, has the largest architectural heritage of the late Middle Ages in the region, which proves its power. There are numerous towers, fortified houses, churches, palaces and domus. The cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, considered the most important Gothic cathedral of Piedmont, the collegiate church of San Secondo, with the relics of the patron saint of the city, the parish church of Viatosto, the church of Santa Maria Nuova, and the church of Our Lady of the Gate, which keeps inside the medieval gate of San Marco, date back to the late Middle Ages. Among the most important baroque buildings, Palazzo Ottolenghi, the Palazzo Civico, Palazzo Mazzetti, Palazzo Verasis-Asinari and also the church, former Confraternity, of San Michele and the former church of San Giuseppe.
Romanesque parish churches
La pieve è una chiesa rurale con annesso battistero. Nell'Alto Medioevo la pieve, detta chiesa matrice o plebana, era al centro di una circoscrizione territoriale civile e religiosa. A essa erano riservate alcune funzioni liturgiche e da essa dipendevano altre chiese e cappelle prive di battistero. Dal Basso Medioevo le funzioni proprie della pieve passarono alla parrocchia. In provincia ricordiamo: Abbazia di Vezzolano (Albugnano), Cripta di Sant'Anastasio (Asti), Pieve di San Secondo (Cortazzone), Chiesa SS. Nazario e Celso (Montechiaro), Pieve di San Lorenzo (Montiglio),...
A truffle is the hypogeous fruiting body that is identified with the aid of dogs and hand-picked: It is very expensive and it is considered luxury food. The typical penetrating and persistent smell develops only after curing and is intended to attract wild animals (pig, wild boar, badgers, dormice, foxes), even if grows underground, to spread the spores contained and perpetuate the species.
The vineyards are found almost everywhere in the hills of the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero. They characterise the landscape, history, customs, habits, in other words, they are crucial for the economy and for the survival of the people in the towns and scattered farmsteads. These prestigious vineyards produce grapes for excellent wines: Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Grignolino, Dolcetto, Barbera, ... Among the dessert wines we shall mention the Brachetto d'Acqui, Moscato and Asti.