The apartment is in the medieval tower, dating from the 13th Century, of one of the most famous palaces in Asti, the Roero de Monteu
The Roero Family
In the Middle Ages, the town of Asti was one of most important trading centers in Europe. Fortunes were made by it's merchants. Most important among them were the Roero family.
The Roero settled in the Rotatorium District that rand from San Martino church (next doot to Rotarius) to San Giuseppe church. They build many palaces, towers (the height of the tower deonotated the owner's wealth) and houses. Rotatorium came to be known as the greatest noble district in Asti.
By the 14th Century, the power of the Roero family increased such that they hosted Emperor Henry IV of Luxembourg. At the end of his stay, as a sign of gratitude, the Emperor lavished privileges which allowed the district to be considered a free inviolable territory, thus achieving an extra-territorial connotation.
The "Roero di Monteu" Palace
The tower were you will stay was deemed by historian Gabiani as "the most elegant and one of the highest existent towers till the beginning of 19th Century... superb and majestic."
It's probable that the tower was built in the second half of the 13th Century, when builders started to give towers a more aesthetic than defensive function. The tower was approximately 37 metres (about 11 stories!) high. Sadly, in 1814, for security reasons, the tower was lowered to the present height.
The Palace remained important well into the 19th Century. In the 17th century it seated the Prefecture and the Prefect's office. In November 1804, Pope Pio VII stayed at the Palace on his way to Paris to attend Napoleon's enthronement as the French Emperor.
And, now, I am the proud owner of part of the Palace and the tower!
Asti, hometown of the famous dramatist Vittorio Alfieri, boasts one of Piedmont's oldest medieval town centers, second only to Turin, in addition to a rich historical and architectural heritage surviving to the the 20th Century.
In the middle of Monferrato hills, Asti is known all over the world for its wines and every year, in September, it participates in one of Italy most important wine contests - the Douja d'Or.
Asti is also renowned for its Palio, one of the most historical horse-races in Italy. On the third Sunday in September, the Palio parades 1200 medieval costumed actors and 21 horses, culminating in a bareback horse-race.