MORNING: The Abbey of Santa Maria of Vezzolano lies in the countryside, near the small village of Albugnano. There are some farmhouses close by where you can sleep, have breakfast and dine. However, you can also choose to stay in hotels in a nearby city; in fact, the abbey is only 35km from Turin and 40km from Asti. The abbey can only be reached by car as there is no public transport connection. You can visit the abbey from 10 am to 5 pm in the winter and till 6 pm in the summer. The abbey is one of the most interesting examples of Romanesque heritage in the Asti countryside. It dates back to the 11th century and includes a cloister with precious 12th – 14th century frescoes and other rooms open to visitors. In the church, interesting for the sculptural decoration of the façade, there is the famous rood screen, or pier, decorated with multicoloured sculptures.
LUNCH: You can have a snack in the kiosk next to the abbey or drive further and go to one of the farms in the area,where you can try the typical Piedmontese cuisine.
AFTERNOON: You can explore the countryside near the abbey, admiring the hills planted with vineyards, among which there are hidden other small chapels and Romanesque churches, such as the Church of San Secondo in Cortazzone, the Church of San Nazario and Celso in Montechiaro d’Asti and the Church of San Lorenzo in Montiglio. You can also visit the wineries in the area and taste their excellent wines. Otherwise, you can visit the neighbouring town of Asti, famous for its medieval churches such as the 12th – 14th century San Secondo and San Pietro in Consavia, for example, and other buildings of the medieval age.
DINNER & EVENING: If you choose to spend the whole day in the countryside, you can dine and sleep in a farmhouse and enjoy the beauty of nature. If you choose to visit Asti, you can dine in one of its great restaurants or taverns and stay overnight in a hotel or bed and breakfast.