Asti lies at the foothills of the Alps and is located in the Monferrato hills and situated midway down the valley of the Tanaro River. Asti has been an important center in the Piemonte region since the Roman times. It has survived through numerous burnings and battles for power. Today the economy of this city is largely based on wine, fruit, vegetables and meat in addition to its textile and engineering industries. Famous people of this region include the poet Vittorio Alfieri and writer Isacco Artom.