The tiny town of Asolo is located in the Treviso province and is part of the Veneto region, which includes Venice. The town is about an hour or so by train to the northwest of Venice. This is where we spent a month in the CIMBA (Consortium International MBA) program, housed in an old convent (Exconvento di San Pietro) building. The town of Asolo used to be a summer retreat for Venice's upper crust, and it shows in the mansions still in existence today. There are huge villas around town and buildings with plaques that say "Napoleon Stayed Here on ..."
Perhaps the most distinctive sight in Asolo is this 11th-century fortress looming above the town called La Rocca (rock). The CIMBA facility is located directly below the fortress. This is a shot looking up at La Rocca.
Across the street from our apartment is this 16th-century Villa Contarini-Armeni set on top of a hill. This part called "Il Fresco" is actually only the entrance to the mansion. There's an underground passage from the entrance to the house proper, which is hidden by the trees. Many a night when we come home from the bar or school, there'll be a guy walking around the building you see here with a flashlight. Seems a bit strange...
Yet another mansion just below the town of Asolo. This is actually someone's front porch. And yes, that is a peacock roaming around the marble flooring. The mansion is huge, and the garden in front of the porch is even bigger. Must be nice to live here!
The heart of Asolo is the main town square, Piazza Garibaldi. At the center of the square sits a 15th-century fountain (Fontana Maggiore) with bas-reliefs and the winged lion of Veneto, crafted by Antonio dal Zotto.
Yours truly standing in front of a 15th-century house just a couple of doors down from our apartment. The Lombard House (Casa Longobarda) was designed by Francesco Graziolo, Queen Cornaro's architect. Cool carved stones on the columns around the main door and on the balconies.
This is the main street in town, Via Browning, named after the English poet who made his home here. Kinda cozy ain'it? Actually there's only one street running through town, a couple of side streets run off from the main street into the residential "suburbs".
On Via Browning, you'll find the best place to get a couple scoops of gelato (Italian ice cream). Here Carol and Cheryl are enjoying some of that fine confection...MMmm!
Here's a shot of the clock tower in the Queen's Castle (Castello Cornaro), which was the palace of Caterina Cornaro from 1489 to 1509. The Eleonora Duse Theater is located inside the castle. Now, the castle houses a bar in its large courtyard, which overlooks a boccie-ball court. The castle bar serves up a great glass of prosecco (local sparkling white wine) and sgroppino (delicious frozen drink made with vodka and lemon gelato).
A beam of sunshine pierces the clouds and shines down on Asolo. Cool.
Scene from La Rocca -- the castle at the top of the hill above our school. We got in just in time to take a quick look before they closed. This was the last day we spent in Asolo.
Looking down on the town of Asolo from La Rocca. The parking area is in the main (only) town square, Piazza Garibaldi. Epoca, our local hang-out (aka that evil place), is just behind the trees in the parking area. The Queen's Castle with its large courtyard, boccie-ball court, and wide clock tower can be seen just to the left of center of the photo.
A path of 276 steps leads to La Rocca from the entrance of the school. This is the only section without a fence along the outside, and the shrubbery hides a 30-ft drop. I can't imagine what it would feel like to fall off the edge of these steps! Although, one of us knows exactly how it feels...