Asolo Travel Guide, Italy
A favorite destination for the rich, artists and personalities, Asolo is sought for its wonderful climate, setting in the middle of the mountains and for its superb villas and fabulous residences. Poet Giosue Carducci called it “The Hundred Horizon Town” maybe exactly because of its marvelous setting.
It is also known as the architectural pearl of Veneto region, a medieval village dominated by The Rocca (a fortress built on mount Rocco to guard the town), a village where time has stopped and you can hardly see any new constructions around all the houses are old and you get the impression that they are all hosting some kind of museum but many are lived in and maybe the interior has some changes and innovations from the modern era.
You can easily get to Asolo by car. If you travel from Treviso you have to head to Montebelluna.
Even if it has the size of a village it is also addressed to as a town maybe because of its importance throughout history. The settlement dates back as far as the 1st century BC when the Romans developed Acelum (the Roman name of the town) and built all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay of the rich. Later on the settlement kept its fame being the residence for many powerful families and even improved its splendor when the former Queen of Cyprus was to rule Asolo. She did a great job gathering all great poets, artists and scholars to make Asolo a great cultural center.
And indeed Asolo is compared to Venice when it comes to the number of artistic works per square meter. Just as in Venice you can see great works of art of historical, artistic and cultural value everywhere and the atmosphere it creates is sparkling.
Any time you happen to visit you are sure to bump into some artists as there are frequent exhibitions, but even if the town is an artist’s paradise you can still find your place here as a tourist. Strolling along narrow streets and marvel at everything you lay eyes on is quite an experience.
The first thing you see as you approach Asolo is the Rocca, the town’s fortress perched on the top of the mountain. It is the emblem of the town. It was fortified in the 13th century on the ruins of the ancient fortress and you can get on top for marvelous views. From the Rocca you can get to the Castle as The Rocca is linked to the Castle by a wall that surrounds the town. The Castle dated from the Middle Ages and it was home to Caterina Cornaro. Inside the castle there are the Civic Tower and the smaller Torre Reata surrounding the Civic Theater dedicated to Eleonora Duse, a theatre actress and bearing her name. The Civic Theater also known as the Civic Museum was founded in the 19th century and also hosts Queen Cornaro’s heirlooms.
You can also see a 15th century palace The Palazzo della Ragione housing the City Museum.
The center of the town is in a place called Piazza Garibaldi and it is dominated by a sixteenth-century fountain with the lion, symbol of St. Mark in the middle. Another Piazza is Piazza Brugnoli dominated by 17th century Scotti-Pasini Villa and hosting once the Roman baths. Only the ruins can be seen, the baths are not getting hot water any more unlike the Roman Baths in Exeter, England. Of course this might be due to the altitude of Asolo’s position. It is still nice to see the cubic stones used for road pavements and a part of the Roman aqueduct called "la Bot".
The medieval Cathedral is a real work of art with many famous artists having their imprint within its walls.
But Asolo is also famous for its high class cuisine to match its importance. The many classy restaurants and trattorias that are always full of people say something about how leisure life’s peace is in Asolo. You can sit maybe at the same table great artists used to stay and taste the same fine wines like Merlot, Cabernet, Prosecco, Chardonnay, Pinot, Incrocio Manzoni produced in the region and traditional products like Treviso or Castelfranco radicchio, wood baked bread, cheeses such as Morlacco and Bastardo or the white asparagus from Bassano.
Asolo makes for a great starting point for great walks or rides on horseback or bikes to see the magnificent Mount Grappa, search for mushrooms in the woods, Monfumo vineyards, the beautiful meadows covered with flowers and the shaded valleys.
Asolo was and still is a hub for the rich and famous, for the artists and scholars, but it can be your perfect destination for a vacation in style.