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An enchanting town lying in the foothills of the Dolomites.
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Asolo's fame and poetic aura are indissolubly linked to Caterina Cornaro (1454 - 1510), the Queen of Cyprus who took possession of the area in exchange for the cessation of her island to the Venetian Republic. Under her augis an elegant court sprang up, dedicated to a life of culture and ease. Unfortunately little remains of her castle today, though the ruins are nevertheless imbued with great charm and fascination.
Indeed the land around Asolo has always captivated the heart of man: hence its uninterrupted history of more than 2000 years. From the Paleovenetians and Romans, who built aquaducts, thermal baths and a theatre, to the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with its overwhelming presence, from the Romantisicm of the 1800s, attracting artists and intellectuals, to the present day. We remember that the enigmatic Giorgione depicted its hills, rendering them immortal in art as well as nature.
A visit to Asolo should take in the Piazza Maggiore, with its Renaissance-period fountain, the Loggia del Capitano, which houses the Civic Museum, and the ancient Duomo, built on the site of Roman ruins, which houses works by Lorenzo Lotto and Jacopo Bassano.
The fortress dating back to the period of the Ezzelini rule was restored at the end of the last century, and offers a fascinating walk through the surrounding hillside: from the fortress to Borgo Casella with its wholly Medieval appearance, we proceed along to the Foresto Vecchio until the house of the musician Francesco Malipiero and the 14th century church of San Angelo.
Other recommended places to visit include Borgo S. Caterina, where the house of Eleonora Duse, famous actress and friend to Gabriel D'Annunzio, passed her last years. In the plain underlying the town is the Villa Barbaro at Masèr, a magnificent example of Palladio's skill. Robert Browning, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James and Giosuè Carducci are among some of the many illustrious names associated with Asolo.
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