Church and Convent of the Capuchin Friars
On one of our long walks in Asolo, we took the Rialta di Santa Anna, which took us to the Church and Convent of the Capuchin Friars.
We found out that the Church was founded in 1587. It was then abandoned at the end of the 18th Century, and like many other Convents in Italy, it risked being razed to the ground . For a time, it was deserted; then it became barracks and a hospice for the poor. In 1928 it was restored and came under the leadership of the same religious order.
Over the last few years, the Convent has been modenised (mainly on the inside). However, it still has the ancient appearance and is typically Franciscan in appearance and atmosphere.
There is now a memorial tablet which can be found under the atrium (it was once set in the facade of the Church). This tablet has verses by Ada Negri and is dedicated to Eleonora Duse and "to this solitary place".
Behind the Convent is a small cemetary, which for centuries was set aside for the poor. At the start of the 20th Century, a few families from Asolo began to build their first tombs here. Eleonora Duse was fascinated by the site and decided to make it her last resting place. She died in 1924, and, as she wished, is facing Monte Grappa. It was such a quiet, restful location when we finally reached the top of the hill and could see the Convent and the small cemetery behind it. The St. Anna Cemetery tomb of Eleonora Duse is quite lovely. It it made of white marble and almost lies flush to the ground. It just has her name and the dates of her birth and her death...very plain considering the flamboyant life she lead in the theatre.
Note: This photo was taken from a booklet given to Allan by the shopkeeper's mother. Our photo did not turn out.
Beautiful Gardens Abound
On one of our many walks while in Asolo, we stumbled upon many beautiful gardens. Most of them are private; however, the fences are of wrought iron and have wide openings for viewing and picture taking.
We were in Asolo in October, and there were still plenty of beautiful flowers and shrubs to admire.
We also noticed a good deal of construction going on near this location. As well as we could tell, new apartment/condo structures were being built. Fortunately, they are within keeping of the existing architecture.
This particular road was on a Foresto (it should be noted that all the roads which lead out of Asolo are called Foresti).
On a walk along the Contrada, at the end of it, we saw a strange house that is somewhat in disrepair. There were some workers inside doing work. This house is called Casa Longobarda (Longobard House).
Paladini defined it as an "architectural oddity". Regardless, it remains one of the best known elements of the iconography of Asolo and is praised, with affection, by the locals.
Ironically, it has nothing to do with the Longobard civilization, being some thousand years younger.
This Casa is the result of Francesco Graziolo who built it with his son Bartolomeo (which can be read on the inscription on the facade.)
He was a Lombard sculptor and architect
It catches the eye because its architecture is so unique, and the house is so tiny compared to the other buildings in the town.
It was so good to see that they were repairing it.
Beautiful Architecture in Asolo
I had my nose in the air, eyes pointed upward, most of the time in Asolo because everywhere I looked, there were beautiful arches, balconies, windows, chimneys, rooftops, and hilltop vistas.
It's quite a remarkable place if one is interested in architecture. There are the GOTHIC influences as seen in the arcades; MULLIONED AND TREFOILED WINDOWS; Venetian influences from the 1300's when Venice ruled Asolo; some ROMANESQUE as evidenced in the Cathedral; also the influence of Andrea Palladio, famous architect.
The picture is just typical of Asolo...so many balconies and almost all of them are laden with flowers.
Asolo, A quick GET AWAY from city life
"One hour by car to the quiet life"
If you are visiting Venice, Padova or Vicenza you might tire of the busy lifestyle and wish to spend some time relaxing in a peaceful village. Asolo could be your answer.
This village perched on the side of a tall hill, has many things to offer, two castles, a nice piazza, great restaurants, and some small streets for walking and taking photos of this village.
Asolo is about one hour from Padova by car. Parking is found at the bottom of the hill with a convenient bus that takes you up for one euro. You can also find parking above, but this will be more costly.
Walking from the lower parking lot is a bit more serious kind of walking uphill, so if you are not in shape for this, don't plan on it.
Centered around the piazza are many restaurants, and along the street coming up the hill are some nice shops. Beware of gourmet food that does not have a price on it, always ask...how much?
"Along the piazza"
We visited Asolo when they were having a flea market, and this is a photo from that day. It was not a large market and we saw just about everything in just under an hour.
The bakery on the corner has gelato and features some very tasty baked goods.
We did not eat in restaurants here, instead we went to Monfumo, a village north of Asolo. You will find the tip for this restaurant listed under Asolo since it is very close.
Incidentally there is a well know slow food restaurant in Pagnano, which is also 5 minutes away from Asolo. For this ristorante you will need reservations in most cases.
You will soon see a tip for this restaurant listed under Asolo.