Asti

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Asti About this sound listen is a city and comune of c. 75,000 inhabitants located in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy, about 55 kilometres east of Turin in the plain of the Tanaro River. It is the capital of the province of Asti and it is deemed to be the modern capital of Monferrato (Montferrat in English).

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History

Ancient times and early Middle Ages

People have lived in and around what is now Asti since the Neolithic period. Before their defeat in 174 BC by the Romans, Ligures, such as the Celtic Statielli, dominated the area and the toponym probably derives from Ast which means "hill" in the ancient Celtic language.

In 124 BC the Romans built a castrum, or fortified camp, which eventually evolved into a full city named Hasta. In 89 BC the city received the status of colonia, and in 49 BC that of municipium. Asti become an important city of the Augustan Regio IX, favoured by its strategic position on the Tanaro river and on the Via Fulvia, which linked Derthona (Tortona) to Augusta Taurinorum (Turin). Other roads connected the city to the main passes for what are today Switzerland and France.

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