Most travelers to Italy are familiar with the popular tourist spots such as Rome, Florence, Venice, Bellagio and the Cinque Terra.  But for sheer Italian charm, the town of Asti, in northern Italy, is second to none of the above.  Located in the Piedmont region, Asti is famous for its wine.  (After all, the wine center of Asti, California was named after it,)  Best of all, Asti is not over-run with tourists, like the aforementioned favorites.

There are numerous small piazzas in Asti, each with its own church and museum.  It also has a central piazza, but being limited in time, Darlene and I opted for one of the smaller.  Being in a wine district, the town abounded in wine tasting bistros.

As I walked through the town with my camera and camcorder, I was especially impressed with how happy all the people seemed to be.  There seemed to be laughter and smiles on the faces of everyone I observed.

Because it is not a tourist hot-spot, Asti does not exactly abound in hotels.  Consequently, Darlene and I put up in a bed-and-breakfast in a small village on the outskirts of town.  Despite being somewhat rustic, dinner was absolutely delicious, and our proprietress prepared whatever we desired for breakfast.

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