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Situated at the foot of the upland of the Asiago mountains, Thiene is a city which offers various perspectives.
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Its present is taken up heavily with its active role in the field of textile manufacturing, honouring a tradition reaching back to almost 2 centuries: jeans and T-shirts produced here are sold all over Europe. But there are many other sectors in which Thiene has demonstrated its ability at international level: from shoes to wrought-iron and copper, from engineering to the chemical industry.
This blessing and talent for commerce was already noted by the Venetian Republic, who in 1492 bestowed upon Schio the title of city, and the status of free market, exempting it from payment of duties. This was done as a reward for Schio’s military support and loyalty to Venice, though the positive impetus of the city’s inhabitants saw this a a presage of its future, and the facility which it received was properly used to augment its tradelinks.
Thiene thus imposed its economic position and its fortunes began, such that from Renaissance times it grew in strength thanks to its activities in the silk and wool trades, leading to the city’s expansion and the erection of many elegant buildings around the Villa Da Porto-Colleoni (1476). This villa represents one of the main cultural attractions, with its mixed late-Gothic and Romanesque style, and its castle-like appearance (the locals refer to it as 'castle') due to its crenellated walls. Its antique furniture and 16th century frescoes further contribute to its riches.
Other culture sites not to be missed are the church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (15th century) and the civic tower (17th) which functions as belltower to the Duomo. Thiene is also home to the historical 'Renaissance Fair' and 'The Marriage', a faithful reconstruction of the marriage between the Count Antonio Thiene and the Countess Ginevra Porto. Taking part in the magical atmosphere created is certainly a rewarding experience.
Not to be overlooked also is the natural beauty of Thiene, situated at the crossroads of fertile plains, green hills and mountains.
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