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October 31, 2012 / TAB

Veneto- Asolo

     Asolo has pre-historic origins and then became a Roman settlement in the first century BC.  During the Middle Ages, Venice gave the rule of Asolo to Caterina Cornaro, the Queen of Cyprus. The remains of her castle are central to the city and today is a theater. The upper castle, the Rocca, towers over the city and countryside from its defensive perch. 

      Plaques along the walkway into town give important facts and associated dates for the development of the city. Following the walkway, I was greeted by a field of still blooming wildflowers. They make me smile with their happy faces. 

 

     Entering the city though one of its gates, I found myself in front of the Zen fountain, dedicated to one of the important Venezian families. Immediately, I thought of the Aurelio Zen character in several mysteries. He was from the Veneto and perhaps a descendant of this family. On the corner is the house belonging to the more modern writer, Freya Stark, which has the remains of a Roman theater in the garden.

 

     The city has some quaint porticos leading the way to the city center and the catherdral. Inside which can be found works by ‘il Bassano”, Jacopo da Ponte, Lorenzo Lotto, and a Titian copy altarpiece with angels by Torretti ( master of Canova). The Palazzo della Ragione is opposite with a frescoed loggia. The Town Museum is housed there with a special room dedicated to another famous resident, the actress, Elenora Duse. 

cathedral

Town Museum loggia

Town Museum loggia, lower castle tower with clock

battle scene on loggia

     Behind the town fountain with its winged lion of St. Mark’s, entrances to the old Roman aqueduct are blocked from visitors but there are sign boards with photos and details to see. Overlooking this piazza, is one of the many grand villas in the area.

     After lunch, I walked out towards the cemetery, passing more interesting buildings, including one with a robot lawn mower. I need one of those. 

Palazzo Beltramini

House of Eleonora Duse

 

Villa degli Armeni

robot lawnmower

     The small plain-fronted church of Saint Caterina houses some amazing 14th century frescos.

Of course, there are always things that just catch my eye.

Asolo from the lower castle overlook

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