“Here Asti becomes Hasta: the place where you enjoy the Roman history of the town.”
Before gaining fame with its excellences, before the splendor of the Middle Ages, in short, before Asti became as we know it, there was Hasta: a Roman settlement established in the second century BC, before than other Piedmontese towns, such as Alba and Turin itself.
The Domus located in Via Varrone is the perfect place to discover and enjoy the most ancient phases of Asti’s history, through the suggestions given by the archaeological site.
The undisputed protagonist is the mosaic, unique in Piedmont for its high quality, which decorated the floor of the dining room, called triclinium, of this house belonging to a wealthy class family.
The Domus must have been not only beautiful and refined, as evidenced by fragments of colored plaster that made the walls more waterproof and aesthetically pleasing, but also provided with all comforts of the time, including an “undefloor heating system”, called “hypocaust” (that means “underground fire”). It was made of small terracotta pillars, which are still visible in the archaeological excavation; they were used to create a cavity under the floor, in which the warm air could circulate thanks to the action of an oven.
The Domus was located just north of the Decumanus Maximus, the main road that crossed the city from east to west. The wealthier classes decided to build their houses in this area probably because of the proximity to the Forum square.