Asolo – Italy

Main Square, Asolo, Italy

Main Square, Asolo, Italy

Asolo is a town and comune in the Veneto Region of Northern Italy, about 60 kilometres north west of Venice. It is known as “The Pearl of the province of Treviso”, and also as “The City of a Hundred Horizons” for its mountain settings. The town was originally a settlement of the Veneti, and was mentioned as Acelum in the works of Pliny. In the early Middle Ages it was under the jurisdiction of the Bishops of Treviso and a possession of the Ezzelino family. Later Asolo was the capital, and seat of the court, of the fiefdom of Asolo, which was granted by the Republic of Venice (to which it belonged) to Caterina Cornaro, the former Queen of Cyprus; in 1489 it was granted to her for life, but in 1509 when the League of Cambrai conquered and ransacked Asolo, Caterina fled to exile and died in Venice a year later. Under her reign, the painter Gentile Bellini and the humanist Cardinal Pietro Bembo were part of the court. In 1798, the Italian impresario Antonio Locatelli built the Asolo Theatre in the former audience hall of the castle of Caterina Cornaro. The theatre was later purchased by Florida, for the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The theatre was disassembled, shipped to Sarasota, Florida, and reassembled in one of the museum’s galleries in 1952. It was then decided that the theatre should be reassembled into a usable theatre, on the museum’s grounds in the late 1950s. The newly constructed theatre opened in 1958, and is now the home of both the Asolo Repertory Theatre and the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. The town was also home to the English poet Robert Browning, the actress Eleonora Duse, the explorer Freya Stark, the violinist Wilma Neruda and the composer Gian Francesco Malipiero.

The main sights of Asolo are the remains of an amphitheatre (in the Villa Freya) and of an aqueduct, Rocca (castle, late 12th-early 13th centuries), the Castle of Caterina Cornaro, now home to the Eleonora Duse theatre, the Palazzo della Ragione, housing the city’s museum and the Cathedral, built in 1747. In the interior is the Assunta altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto. It is a wonderful town to just stroll leisurely  and enjoy a coffee at one of the cafés overlooking the main square.

Photograph taken with a Nikon D100 & 12-24mm lens at 12mm on 10th May 2006


One comment on “Asolo – Italy

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