Towards the sea, along the Via Francigena
Since ancient times the Via Francigena has been an important route for communication and pilgrims, along which there were cultural and commercial exchanges among populations with different values and cultures.
Piemonte had a particularly important position as the transit area between the Alps and the Pianura Padana.
Owing to this, even after the Roman period, Torino/Augusta Taurinorum had a key role as the nodal point of the routes towards the most important Alpine passes, and towards the Holy Land and to Roma, using the consular road to Vercelli and Piacenza and the Roman roads like the Fulvia, which headed towards the sea along the hills of Monferrato through the Asti and Alessandria areas, whose importance can still be seen in the large number of religious buildings and abbeys found along the way.
In the province of Asti, the Romanesque churches are a heritage and an attraction of great artistic, historic and picturesque importance: these are valuable medieval remains that are particularly concentrated in the northern part of the province, Basso Monferrato, between the rivers Po and Tanaro: some have reached the present day in good condition, while others, isolated on knolls and hills, have been restored.
In the same way, every part of Alessandria province reveals signs of the slow and steady passage of people, merchants and pilgrims who left important marks of religious tradition, beautiful places where it is not difficult to find little gems of great historic and artistic importance, such as parish churches and Romanesque churches, as well as representations of popular culture.