“The Tower that takes your breath away.”
The Tower that takes your breath away. And not for its 199 steps staircase, but for the panoramic view over the rooftops of Asti that you can appreciate once you reach the top.
But the Troyana Tower is much more than this: it is a legacy that bears witness to a piece of the city history and to one of its most powerful families.
The tower, owned by the Troya family palace, was built in the Thirteenth century in a nerve center of the medieval town. The position, strategically very significant, underlines the prominent role that the family occupied in the social environment of Asti.
The family could boast of a flourishing activity of money lending in different parts of Europe (Germany, France, Belgium) and the building of a palace and a high tower was part of the policy to show the wealth accumulated by the members of this family. A prestige testified also by the city chronicles that remind the prohibition, broken by the Troya, to raise towers higher than the one owned by the Bertramenghi and Scarampi families (44 meters against about 36 meters).
But in the early years of the Fourteenth century this family was involved in the fierce struggle between two opposing factions, that of De Castello and that of Solaro, allies of the Troyas. The latter were driven out of the city and deprived of all their properties within the city walls; anyway, after an exile lasting little more than a year, the family came back to the palace and started some renovation works to the building, which will deliver it to history in its present version. These interventions drastically modified both the planimetry of the palace and the tower, which nowadays is characterized by twelve mullioned windows with round arches distributed on three floors and a terminal band made of three lines of small arches in alternating terracotta and sandstone, typical of Asti area.
The tower and the palace belonged to Troya until the extinction of the family in the Fifteenth century; in 1560 they passed to Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Savoy, who assigned the tower to the public function of ringing the hours. Its bell visible on the top; completely restored and placed in its original position, it dates back to 1531 and it is one of the most ancient in Piedmont.