Asolo, the city of a hundred horizons, a real pearl in region Veneto, an open-air museum near Treviso and Venice
Asolo (pic n°1) is a small, picturesque medieval town located on the hills near Treviso, 50 miles northwest of Venice. Over the centuries, it has won the hearts of several celebrities, like Giosuè Carducci, (the famous Italian poet and writer and Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1906) who nicknamed Asolo "The city of a hundred horizons", or Yoko Ono, Stravinsky, Hemingway, the English poet Robert Browning or the English writer Freya Stark.
The village is surrounded by ancient walls and is dominated by the austere fortress on Mount Ricco. Asolo is a real open-air museum, a peaceful place of the past. It is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, as here every building, street and porch (pic n°4) conveys a sense of beauty and perfect integration with the surrounding landscape.
Let's start our visit from Piazza Garibaldi (Garibaldi Square) (pic n°3), where there is a fountain with and a winged lion remembering the long rule of the Venetian Republic. Walking straight ahead you will reach the Castle of Asolo, dating back to the l0th century, that hosted Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, who was exiled in Asolo in 1489. Today it is home to the theater dedicated to Eleonora Duse, one of the most popular Italian actresses between the nineteenth and twentieth century and the symbol of the modern Italian theater.
A few meters past Piazza Garibaldi, there is 'Palazzo della Ragione', a fifteenth-century building with a characteristic façade decorated with many frescoes. It is home to the Museo Civico (Civic Museum) that has various sections dedicated to archeology, paintings, vestments of the Cathedral of Asolo, and also to Eleonora Duse and Caterina Cornaro.
Absolutely do not miss the medieval Cathedral of Asolo, which contains important works by Lorenzo Lotto and Bassano or the ancient citadel 'La Rocca' located on the top of Mount Ricco, that resembles the prow of a ship ready to sail to the horizon, and enjoy a wonderful view over the underlying town.
For fans of antiquities, there is an appointment that recurs on the second Sunday of every month: the Antique Market, held in the historic center of Asolo.
It is also worth to explore the surroundings. By bike or car, you can reach Maser, where there is Villa Barbaro(pic n°2), one of the most famous villas by Andrea Palladio, recognized by Unesco as a part of the world's heritage.
What about eating and drinking in Asolo? You will find several restaurants, wine bars or taverns where to taste some of the typical local dishes like sardines, "bigoli" (a kind of pasta), and "cicchetti", which are small tasty snacks for aperitifs. Among the typical products we can mention the cheeses Morlacco and Bastardo, the Biso (pea) of Borso del Grappa, and the excellent red and white wines denominated "Montello e Colli Asolani" or the sparkling white wine 'Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG'.
Some pics of Asolo:
View of Asolo (pic n°1); The beautiful Villa Barbaro (pic n°2); The Square of the Fountain (Piazza Garibaldi)(pic n°3); The Porch of Asolo (pic n°4); Asolo Castle (pic n°5); The historical center of Asolo (pic n°6);