A list of things to do during your holidays...

1. Asolo

La Rocca

La Rocca, symbol of the city, offers spectacular views of the old town and the piedmont landscape. The irregular polygon structure, dating back to a period between the late XII and early XIII century, but the first settlement is dated between the X and XII centuries.

Il castello della regina Cornaro - Queen Cornaro's castle

The castle, together with the "Rocca", is one of most important symbols of Asolo. It seems to date back to the X century, although there are no reliable data to indicate the origin of the plan. The castle was in 1242 Ezzelino's private residence and from 1339 it became the seat of the mayor of Venice. 

La cattedrale - The cathedral

The first documented mention of the complex dates back to the 969, when it is named "ecclesia in honor Beatae Virgins Mariae constructa". In 1584, according to the description of a pastoral visit, the church must have assumed that the structure that can still be seen. In 1606, following the collapse of the roof in addition to the coverage, also the apse and the altar were rebuilt.

At the inside of the cathedral, you can admire two paintings of Jacopo da Ponte and Lorenzo Lotto. The external facade is due to an action completed in 1889 and designed by Pietro Saccardo that juxtaposed the visible facade to the old one.

Museo civico - Civic museum

The current museum was painted in the mid-sixteenth century. The first group of museum collections was formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century thanks to Bartholomeo Fietta, Domenico Manera and Giovan Battista Sartori Canova's donations.

The recent refurbishing includes the Archaeological Section (ground floor), the Art Gallery (first floor), Section Caterina Cornaro, the Treasury of the Cathedral, the Section Eleonora Duse and Freya Stark (second floor).

 

Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm

2. Venezia

Piazza San Marco - St. Mark's Square

Venice's largest piazza, Saint Mark's Square, is the city's main meeting place. Lined by cafes, shops, and a number of museums, here is the place to get a glimpse of the Venice's glorious architecture and the sea.

Palazzo Doge - Doge's palace

During the 1,000-year reign of the Republic of Venice, its headquarters – and the residence of its leader, the Doge - were at the Doge's Palace, now a museum. Get a glimpse of the rooms occupied by Venice's executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as go on the Secret Itineraries Tour, which include access to tortune chambers, prisons, and the bridge of sighs

Basilica di S. Marco - St. Mark basilica

This superb example of Byzantine architecture next to the Doge's Palace is dedicated to Venice's patron and is Venice's main basilica. Treasures inside Saint Mark's Basilica include glistening Byzantine mosaics and paintings by leading Venetian artists.

Ponte di rialto - Rialto Bridge

This ornamental stone bridge on the Grand Canal is one of the most famous bridges in Venice and is an icon of the city. Take a stroll across the Rialto Bridge and enjoy its lively shops and markets.

Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually just called the Frari, is a church in Venice, northern Italy. One of the greatest churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica.

It stands on the Campo dei Frari at the heart of the San Polo district.

The church is dedicated to the Assumption (Italian: Assunzione della Beata Virgine). The Franciscans were granted land to build a church in 1250, but the building was not completed until 1338.

Work almost immediately began on its much larger replacement, the current church, which took over a century to build. The campanile, the second tallest in the city after that of San Marco, was completed in 1396.

The imposing edifice is built of brick, and is one of the city's three notable churches built in the Italian Gothic style. As with many Venetian churches, the exterior is rather plain. The interior contains the only rood screen still in place in Venice.

Titian, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school of painting, is interred in the Frari.

Galleria dell'accademia

The leading place to see Venetian art from the 14th to 18th centuries is the Galleria dell'Accademia. Its collection of works by Paolo Veneziano, Tiepolo, and Titian make it one of the top museums in Venice.

Penny Gugenheim Collection

Modern art lovers will love the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the first contemporary art museums in Italy. The museum houses priceless works from the leaders of 20th century painting including Pollock, Klee, Mondrian, and de Chirico.

Giro in gondola - Gondola ride

While a gondola ride is not always the romantic activity it's cracked up to be, it is quintessential Venice. A gondola ride through the city's network of canals is also a fantastic way to explore some of Venice's most famous bridges and buildings.

Carnevale di Venezia - Carnival in Venice

Venice's best known festival is Carnevale – Carnival – which sees several weeks of celebrations in which Venetians dress in period dress, masks, and other finery. The festival, which typically occurs in February, is always packed with entertainment, food, and thousands of costumed revelers.

3. Murano & Burano

Murano

Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon. It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. It was once an independent comune, but is now a frazione of the comune of Venice.

Murano was initially settled by the Romans then, from the sixth century, by people from Altinum and Oderzo. At first, the island prospered as a fishing port and through its production of salt. It was also a centre for trade through the port it controlled on Sant'Erasmo.

From the eleventh century, it began to decline as islanders moved to Dorsoduro. It had a Grand Council, like that of Venice, but from the thirteenth century, Murano was ultimately governed by a podestà from Venice. Unlike the other islands in the Lagoon, Murano minted its own coins. Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and the destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291.

Murano glass is still associated with Venetian glass. Murano's glassmakers were soon numbered among the island’s most prominent citizens. By the 14th century, glassmakers were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution by the Venetian state, and found their daughters married into Venice’s most affluent families.

While benefiting from certain statutory privileges, glassmakers were forbidden to leave the Republic. However, many of them took the risks associated with migration and established glass furnaces in surrounding cities and farther afield - sometimes in England and the Netherlands. Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on high-quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass.

Today, the artisans of Murano still employ these centuries-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass jewelry to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers. Today, Murano is home to the Museo del Vetro or Murano Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian, which holds displays on the history of glassmaking as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through the present day.

Burano

Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. Like Venice itself, it could more correctly be called an archipelago of four islands linked by bridges.

It is situated near Torcello at the northern end of the Lagoon. The island was probably settled by the Romans, and in the 6th century was occupied by people from Altino, who named it for one of the gates of their former city.

Two stories are attributed to how the city obtained its name. One is that it was initially founded by the Buriana family, and another is that the first settlers of Burano came from the small island of Buranello, about 8 kilometres (5 miles) to the south.

Although the island soon became a thriving settlement, it was administered from Torcello and had none of the privileges of that island or of Murano. It rose in importance only in the 16th century, when women on the island began making lace with needles, being introduced to such a trade via Venetian-ruled Cyprus. Burano is also known for its small, brightly painted houses, popular with artists.

The colours of the houses follow a specific system originating from the golden age of its development; if someone wishes to paint their home, one must send a request to the government, who will respond by making notice of the certain colours permitted for that lot. Other attractions include the Church of San Martino, with a leaning campanile and a painting by Giambattista Tiepolo.

4. Bassano del Grappa

Museo della grappa - Grappa museum

The Poli Grappa Museum is an experience for those who love this great Italian distillate, but also for those who simply are nearby Bassano del Grappa. The property is well managed and organized with the ability to taste / smell with an aerosol technique various types of grappa. 

Ponte Vecchio - Old bridge

The bridge of Bassano del Grappa, called Ponte Vecchio bridge, is also known as the Alpine Bridge and is the subject and title of a popular song of the Alpini. The story begins in 1209, when the bridge was built. In 1567 this structure was swept away by floods. Andrea Palladio designed a new bridge in 1569, initially proposing a project that was completely different from the previous one. The city council rejected the project, requiring the architect to not deviate too much from the traditional structure. So in the summer of 1569 Palladio returned to a project based on a wooden frame, so that its flexibility would be able to counteract the impetuosity of the river Brenta, maintaining the visual impact . The bridge was supported on four wooden poles triangular in shape, aligned to the flow of water, and was covered by a roof supported by Tuscan columns ; This bridge, since ancient times was the main way of communication between Bassano and Vicenza. In 1748, the bridge was swept away again by a flood and was rebuilt three years later by Bartolomeo Ferracina . During the Second World War the bridge was blown up by partisans on February 17, 1945 to protect the city. The Ponte Vecchio was rebuilt in 1947, according to the original design of Palladio, in nine months. After the name of the old bridge, he added the words "Alpine bridge" because they were seen as the biggest supporters for its reconstruction.

Museo civico

The Civic museum was opened in 1840. In the heart of the historic center of Bassano del Grappa and was the first museum in the entire mainland of Venice. The civic collections are made up of rich collections of herbaria, entomological and mineralogical collections, sculptures, 4000 drawings, 20000 engravings, ceramics and paintings by Italian masters from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. The gallery, in particular, has more than 500 paintings, among them the largest collection of works by Jacopo da Ponte in the world and a rich documentation of his workshop. Canova's section collects two thousand original drawings, the letters, the library, the sketches, numerous casts and the unique monochromes series.

Monte Grappa

In World War I, after the Italian defeat at Caporetto, the top of Monte Grappa became the pivot of the Italian defense, so much that the Austrians tried to conquer it to have access to the Veneto plain. During the Second World War, Monte Grappa was the refuge of the Grappa partisan. Right on the Grappa a bloody raid by the Nazis and fascists (loyal to the Republic of Salò) against the partisans took place. The fighters who were not killed on the spot, were hanged publicly in the near Bassano del Grappa. The Monte Grappa is considered one of the most beautiful bike-paths in Italy. The Monte Grappa was in the 70s and 80s, several times placed in the path of the Giro d'Italia (Tour of Italy).

5. Marostica

Partita di scacchi - Human chess match

Performed every two years in september, this human chess game is played on the square of Marostica. It occurs every second Friday, Saturday and Sunday (The festival lasts three days). The story of the Chess Game dates back to 1454 when Marostica belonged to the Venetian Republic. It happened that two nobleman, Rinaldo D'Angarano and Vieri da Vallonara, fell in love with the beautiful Lionora, daughter of Taddeo Parisio, the Lord of Marostica's castle. As was the custom in that time, they challenged each other to a duel to win the hand of Lionora. The Lord, not wanting to make an enemy of either suitor or lose them in a duel, forbade the encounter in conformity with Venetian Law. He decided the two rivals should play a chess game: Lionora would take the winner as her husband. He furthermore decided that the loser would in any case join his family, marrying Oldrada, the younger sister. The game took place on the square in front of the Lower Castle, with armed living persons carrying the ensigns of Whites and Blacks. It played in the presence of the Lord, his daughter, the Lords of Angarano and Vallonara, the noble court, and the entire population. The Lord also decided the challenge should be honored by an exhibition of armed men, with fireworks and dances and sounds. So the armed men entered the field: archers and halberdiers, foot-soldiers and knights. Then came the Lord and his court with an anxious Lionora, who was secretly in love with one of the two rivals. With them were Lionora's faithful nurse, noblemen and their ladies, the herald, the master of arms, falconers, pageboys, maidens, standard holders, musicians, farmers and their wives; the Whites and Blacks with their kings and queens, rooks and knights, bishops and pawns: and the two suitors, who decided the moves. After the victory, fireworks and music were offered according to the Lord's orders. As Lady Lionora had secretly informed the population, should the winner be her beloved, the Lower Castle would be illuminated by white light, so that everybody could share their joy. This event is repeated today just like the first time, in a framework of sumptuous costumes, multi-color banners, martial parades, exquisite elegance.

Castello inferiore - Lower castle

The Lower Castle dates back to 1320 and guards the main entrance through the town walls, the castle was built for Cansignorio della Scala and is now the site of the Town Hall and the Tourist Information Centre.

Castello superiore - Upper castle

Although the castle dates back to the thirteenth century with its walls that completely encircle the town, it was built on the site of a Roman fortification. There are two ways to get to the castle either by taking a walk or driving up a precarious road. Once at the top of the hill, walking around the well kept ramparts, you will enjoy a wonderful sight both soutwards on the plain and northward on the Asiago plateau. Another pearl that you cannot miss if you love nature and pristine landscapes.

6. Cittadella

Il duomo - The cathedral

The cathedral was built between 1774 and 1826 by three eminent architects: Domenico Cerato designed the building's layout, Ottavio Scamozzi gave the temple its characteristic neo-classical style, while Carlo Barera oversaw the building's completion. Worth of note is the sacristy of the cathedral with "Supper of Emmanus" by Jacopo de Ponte and "La Deposizione" by Lazzaro Bastiani who was the member of Bellini's circle.

Palazzo pretorio - Magistrates hall

Palazzo Pretorio (Magistrates Hall) was recently reconstructe as the decentralised seat of the council offices. It represent the power of the Paduan State first and later of Venetian Republic. The interior reveals a remarkable wealth of recently discovered frescoes, while the exterior is best noted for the pink marble portal dating from 1500, with two medallions bearing the effigy of Pandolfo Malatesta. Today it hosted important national exibitions.

Vista dalle mura - Views from the walls

The walls are very high and the views are fantastic. You can look down into the old town area and also at some of the beautiful buildings that surround the wall and moat area.

7. Possagno

La casa di Canova - Canova's house

Possagno is the birthplace of the great sculptor Antonio Canova. His house is now a museum and next to it stands the monumental "gipsoteca", or the collection of almost all the original plaster models of his sculptures and some sketches in clay. In the front yard, still lives a great "Pignera", an Italic Pine, planted by Canova himself in 1799.

Il tempio di Possagno - Possagno's temple

The immediate view of the Canovian Temple surprises the visitor. Like the Pantheon, it consists of two main elements: a large rotunda with a dome open to the sky, symbol of the cave that represents the world in its entirety and, surrounded by a double-columned arcade that, on the other hand, represents the sacred wood, the forest of columns. All the elements can be traced back to classical Greek and Roman philosophy that links heaven and earth in a solid unity.

8. Strada del prosecco: Valdobbiadene & Conegliano - Prosecco wine route: Valdobbiadene & Conegliano

About the wine route

This is the most sought-after route of Italian wine in the world. Golden nectar that is tended and cherished among the rolling hills of the high Marchlands of Treviso. The panorama that opens up between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene is breath-taking: moving up from the plains you can make out the grandeur of the Dolomite mountains, catch a glimpse of the solemnity of the ancient castles scattered about, breathe in the spiritual peace of the churches and abbeys or admire the splendour of the noble villas and mansions. The common denominator in all these charming features has the aroma of wine – a taste that derives from the past and runs along the oldest 'wine-route' in Italy; a route that has been designed to accompany the visitor and guide him or her in the discovery of man's relationship with the vine from the past to modern times. The Road of Prosecco and Wine of Conegliano-Valdobbiadene hills represents a continuous treasure-hunt where every bend along the way reveals a splendid landscape. The route is divided into four sections which are proposed here as touristic routes to follow:

 

Itinerary A, from Conegliano to Refrontolo – a set of marvellous panoramic views that follow on one after another which seem to come straight from the brush and palette of an artist, so mild and gentle are the rolling hills and small scrubs. The route starts in Conegliano the town of Cima that houses the prestigious old Scuola Enologica (School of Oenology), and ends in Molinetto della Croda at the foot of a twelve-metre waterfall, an enchanting experience for the aromas and silence of the place.

 

Itinerary B, from Refrontolo to Colbertaldo - this route runs through the Quartier del Piave, a succession of hills covered in rows of vines where various shades of green colour the landscape. This is the homeland of writers, poets and opera-singers. Meadows, vineyards, 'casere' and cultivation of the vines all over the steep slopes, almost down as far as the edge of the roads.

 

Itinerary C, from Valdobbiadene to Campea – this takes the visitor up to the area where Cartizze is cultivated, a superb wine which as the legend goes is served at the banquets of the gods.

 

Itinerary D, from Campea to Conegliano - here the steep slopes are abandoned for the more gentle hills, where other crops are cultivated alternately with the rows of vines and the panorama sweeps down as far as the placid plains of the Marchlands of Treviso.

9. Tour along Ville venete

This interesting route takes you along the banks of the Brenta river linking Padua to Venice. The Riviera was "discovered " between the '500 and the '700 by the rich Venetian nobles who made it a privileged holiday destination. By the time many beautiful villas were built, designed and painted by the great artists of the time, visited by intellectuals, poets and kings, lived as a country home in which to celebrate lavish water processions and lavish parties . Going up the Brenta canal, you can see more than fifty villas, summer residences of the Venetian nobility. The first of which, isolated and surrounded by greenery, is the Villa Foscari known as the "Moaning" designed by the famous architect Andrea Palladio. Gliding slowly over the water still meets Villa Priuli, Villa Allegri, Villa Moro, Villa Mocenigo, Villa Gradenigo and slipping between the sinuous curves of the river you arrive at the resort and here Mira Villa Widmann Rezzonico Foscari and check the Valmarana barn, both of which can be visited by appointment.

Along the way, some of the most important mansions are open to visitors.

 

Info:

http://www.ilburchiello.it/

http://www.battellidelbrenta.it/home.php

 

Villa Barbaro (Maser)

Villa Barbaro, also known as the Villa di Maser, is a large villa at Maser in the Veneto region of northern Italy. It was designed and built by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio, with frescos by Paolo Veronese and sculptures by Alessandro Vittoria for Daniele Barbaro, Patriarch of Aquileia and ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I of England, and his brother Marcantonio an ambassador to King Charles IX of France.

The villa was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1996.

The interior of the piano nobile is painted with frescoes by Paolo Veronese in the artist's most contemporary style of the period. These paintings constitute the most important fresco cycle by this artist and were inspirational to many of the frescoes painted by other villa artists at that time.

The frescoes have been dated to the beginning of the 1560s, or slightly before. The land originally belonged to the Pisani and then the Gustiani families, before becoming property of the Barbaro family. Authorities vary as to the dates given for the building of the villa. The architectural historian Adalbert dal Lago states it was built between 1560 and 1570, while others state that the villa was mostly completed by 1558: Hobson concurs with dal Lago that the date of commencement was probably 1560. By this date Palladio had provided the illustrations for one of Daniele's publications, a commentary on the writings of the Roman architect Vitruvius. Hobson credits Daniele with the idea of not only building the villa but also the choice of architect and the sculptor Alessandro Vittoria.

While Daniele was better-known as a connoisseur of the arts, it was for the use of Marcantonio's family and descendents that the villa was intended in the long term. After the Barbaro family died out, the villa passed through the female line into the ownership of the Trevisan and then the Basadonna families, followed by the Manin.

Ludovico Manin, Venice’s last doge, sold it to Gian Battista Colferai who had rented for some years. Having been allowed to become ruinous in the villa was purchased in 1850 by the wealthy industrialist Sante Giacomelli who began to renovate it, making use of the work of artists like Zanotti and Eugene Moretti Larese. During the Great War, the villa was used as a headquarters by General Squillaci of the Italian Third Army.

In 1934, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, founder of the Venice Film Festival and father of Giovanni Volpi, acquired the villa for his daughter Marina, who continued the restoration. Marina’s descendants still live there today.

In 1996 UNESCO declared the villa to be part of a World Heritage Site, "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto" which includes more than twenty villas. It is open to the public. The complex is also home to a farm that produces wine named after the villa.