This itinerary guides the visitor to the discovery of rare beauties of the Trevigiana Altamarca, pearls of the national artistic and cultural heritage, famous all over the world. The route leads from the Venetian villas of Palladio to the works of Antonio Canova, in a harmonious and evocative landscape, which takes you back in time.
We begin our itinerary in Maser, a town immersed in the green hills, where the vineyards are no longer the masters but also give way to fruit trees (especially cherry trees), lime trees, pines, oaks, and many other centuries-old trees that it is easy to meet during an excursion on foot, by mountain bike, on horseback: you can enter the green hills in many ways, up and down paths that speak of history and nature.
Around the summit of the Sùlder and Collalto hills, the trenches and war observers of the Great War have been brought back to life. From Forcella Mostaccin you can take the educational path “Col de Spin”, with interesting landscape, naturalistic and geological points. The Colle di San Giorgio is a privileged point for bird-watching lovers, with very interesting seasonal passages of migratory birds. Here and there, centuries-old trees dot the landscape, testifying to respect for nature. The hackberry (age 150) of via Verdi, the roron of monte Collalto (located in a mixed forest, to the right of the road that goes to Forcella Mostaccin, about 300 years old), the pine and the beautiful lime trees of Villa deserve a stop. Barbaro di Maser, the house of the peaks on a chestnut in via Giardino. Among our hills you can also admire the Judas tree and the Ginko. The centuries-old trees are also present in the parks and gardens of the numerous patrician villas that you will come across along the road, first of all Villa Barbaro, a splendid 16th century Palladian masterpiece. Some of the villas that dot the area are still inhabited, others used as cellars or museums, even a seat of the Municipality (Ca ‘Nani), so most of them cannot be visited. A visit to Villa Barbaro, also known as Villa di Maser, is therefore a must.
Resuming the path between the hills, it is also possible to stop for a visit in the numerous churches and votive churches that hide small treasures of Renaissance painting.
We leave behind Maser and its villas and continue north towards Asolo and its fortress.
it is one of the most fascinating historical centers of the Veneto. Its beautiful location in the hills, the fact that it has given asylum and hospitality to poets and queens, musicians and actresses combined with the splendid Renaissance scenery of its streets, corners and buildings, make it a place full of attractions in every season. Called “the city of a hundred horizons”, it has a long and rich history behind it. The favorable position and the happiness of the climate made Asolo an inhabited center since prehistoric times and later an important settlement of the Venetians. Acelum, the Roman Asolo went through a period of great growth: the city, which also became a municipium, developed especially between the first century. B.C. and I sec. A.D. Archaeological remains and artifacts – collected in a special section of the Civic Museum – document the presence of a Baths, an Aqueduct, a Forum and a Theater bearing witness to the importance of Asolo in Roman times. Ancient Christian center, already in the sixth century. it had a bishop and kept the episcopal see until 969 when it became a fief of the bishopric of Treviso. At alternating periods between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. it knew the hegemony of several powerful families (Tempesta, Ezzelini, da Camino, Scaligeri, Carraresi) and, finally, of Venice. Starting from the end of the 14th century with the Venetian domination, the city entered a phase of great splendor: in 1489 Venice invested with the Lordship of Asolo Caterina Cornaro, former queen of Cyprus, who gave life to a sumptuous Renaissance court of artists, writers and poets, leaving an indelible imprint on art and in the very ideal of the city. Venice gave Asolo an important urban reorganization and bound it to itself and to its aristocracy in an essential way until the fall of the Serenissima. “Asolo is Venice and Venice is Asolo” is said in these parts, to underline an affinity of atmosphere that is manifested in architecture as well as in spirit. In 1797 Napoleon entered it. In the nineteenth century with the Austrian domination Asolo was affected by reforms of civil institutions and a program of public works, such as the renovation of the Duse theater. Finally in 1866 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Curious casket of the facts of the history of Asolo of the nineteenth century. is the ancient pendulum clock hidden behind the counter of a wine shop in via Browning, near the Teatro dei Rinnovati: here the dates of the city’s history starting from the early nineteenth century are noted. There are many thematic itineraries offered to visitors to learn about or deepen some aspects of the city: historical, artistic or archaeological itineraries (for any information, contact the culture office of Asolo tel. 0423 524637). Everything in the city speaks of a millenary past almost like in the rooms of a permanent exhibition, where you can admire the unique work of nature and the genius of man. The idea of a “widespread museum” finds one of its best expressions here. Asolo retains a medieval imprint, collected within the ancient walls and dominated by the Rocca, an imposing medieval building guarding the town on top of Monte Ricco. The heart of the city can be considered the central Piazza Garibaldi, with the sixteenth-century fountain dominated by the winged lion of St. Mark; from here you can easily reach some of the main monuments of Asolo: the Castle, a lower fortress in the Middle Ages, which was the residence of Caterina Cornaro and her Renaissance court; Modified several times, with the original Reata tower, it now houses the theater dedicated to Eleonora Duse. The Palazzo della Ragione, a 15th century construction with a façade frescoed by Contarini (1560), is currently the seat of the Civic Museum. The medieval Cathedral, the historic bishop’s seat remodeled in the 1700s to a design by Giorgio Massari, houses important works by Lorenzo Lotto (Assunta), Jacopo da Ponte known as Bassano (Assunta), Sebastiano Bastiani (San Girolamo). On the north-east side of the adjacent Piazza Brugnoli, where the Roman baths were located in ancient times, the last section of the Roman aqueduct “la Bot” can be visited. Dominating the same square, from the top of its terraced garden, is the eighteenth-century Villa Scotti-Pasini. In Piazza D’Annunzio, the Beltramini Palace, renovated in the eighteenth century by the architect Giorgio Massari and current Town Hall, and the Casa della Duse, in via Canova, with a plaque dictated by Gabriele D’Annunzio deserve a careful look. Very characteristic are the arcaded streets, the frescoed buildings with mullioned windows, three-mullioned windows and balconies. These include via Browning, where the English poet lived: it overlooks buildings and houses in Gothic and Baroque style, some decorated with frescoes from the 15th and 16th centuries. A little further on are the sixteenth-century Zen Fountain and Villa Freya, home of Freya Stark, in whose gardens, among other things, there are traces of the Roman Theater. Stretching the radius of the distance from the center, the Church of St. Gotthard is worth noting
from the 13th century with interesting frescoes and the Malipiero house-foundation; the convent of SS. Peter and Paul; the Church of S. Caterina with 15th century frescoes. And again, moving away a little from the walls, the Lombard House, the Church of S. Anna, on the hill that houses the cemetery with the tombs of Eleonora Duse and Freya Stark. The Villa degli Armeni, near Sant’Anna, shows frescoes from the 16th century on the facade. with biblical scenes; an underground gallery connects it to the annex called “Il Fresco” which faces the opposite side of the hill, facing the city. To the west of the urban center, in the hamlet of Pagnano, the ancient structure of the “Maglio” survives, a small forge dating back to 1468, in operation until recent years and now restored. Among the buildings and historical monuments it is worth stopping for a moment to admire the surrounding panorama, and why not, take a quick shopping tour in the boutiques under the arcades, and then stop for an aperitif in the small wine bars and wine bars in the center. .
The surroundings of Asolo are also beautiful, offering the visitor numerous opportunities for recreation and fun in nature. The Asolo hills are perfect for an excursion on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike. You can take secondary roads and paths in the immediate vicinity of the historic center or more challenging, both along the Asolo hills and on Monte Grappa. The hiker will be able to pass through a unique environment, where culture, history, tradition and scenic beauty blend with the rarity of plant and animal species found in clearings, woods, springs, streams, water holes. Among the various activities, we remember among other things the 18-hole golf course of the Asolo Golf Club (Cavaso del Tomba – 10km from the center of Asolo), or the possibility of practicing free flight (hang gliding – Paragliding in the municipal area of Borso del Grappa – 15 km from the historic center of Asolo – International Center of Free Flight. Launch area: Campo Croce. Landing area: Semonzo) or motorized (Field for motorized hang gliders and ultralight aircraft Asolo, Lauro. Field of Pleasure Flight and Sportivo Asolo flight).
Continuing north from Asolo, you arrive in another small town nestled in the hills: Monfumo. In the city center it is possible to admire various buildings, including the church, built on the top of the hill where the Maltraversian castle once stood. Of eighteenth-century style, it preserves inside a wonderful fresco by Noè Bordignon (1877) with other valuable works including the Argentin altarpiece (1763) depicting the titular saint and the two angels of the high altar sculpted by Perin Canova, grandfather of the most famous Antonio. From the terrace overlooking the parish church you can admire the vast panorama of the foothills, bordered to the north by the Grappa massif and to the south by the Asolo hills with the famous fortress. Also worth seeing are Villa Corniani-Scotti and Palazzo Bressa.
We now head towards Possagno to immerse ourselves in the birthplace of Antonio Canova, the famous sculptor of the 1800s. The Canova Museum is dedicated to him and his works, set up in the artist’s birthplace which also contains a plaster cast gallery with all the plaster casts of Canova’s works. Also in Possagno it is possible to visit the majestic Temple of Canova, in neoclassical style.
After the visit to Possagno, we resume the itinerary towards the east, towards Cavaso del Tomba, another village with ancient origins, which developed in the Roman and Lombard periods. In its rich history it is worth remembering the strong involvement of the city and the area in general during the First World War. The first line in fact ran from the Asiago Plateaus to Monte Grappa, Meate, Monte Tomba, Monfenera, Piave and Montello and was the scene of bitter battles. There are many crosses that commemorate the sacrifice of many young people who died in the field, also remembered by the two monumental French and German ossuaries respectively in Pederobba and Alano di Piave. Our cultural itinerary ends on these traces of recent Italian history.
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