Maiolica di Nove
Maiolica of Nove
For those who want to dive into the history of the Veneto, the first stop north of Vicenza is Marostica, the walled Medieval city where it is possible to attend the legendary chess match played in period costumes every September on even years. Another famous event, the Dama Castellana in Conegliano, brings back to life old games, competitions and festivities from the XV century that are performed in ancient costumes between September and October. Among the walled cities in the area, tourists should not miss a visit to Soave, an example of military architecture, the Montagnana hamlet in the Padua area on the boundary with Vicenza, and Cittadella, for its beautiful elliptic structure. There are also towers, fortresses and old castles in Villafranca, Este, Serravalle and Malcesine, and for those who are fond of legends, you can stop in Montecchio Maggiore to visit the castles of the two unlucky lovers that became famous in Shakespeare's tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.
Ponte Vecchio in Bassano
Continuing on, it is worthwhile to stop in Bassano del Grappa, between the Brenta River and the Grappa Mountain, a place famous for First World War events. In the center of the city it is still possible to see important architecture and frescoed palaces, but the symbol of Bassano is the Ponte Vecchio, the wooden bridge known as "The bridge of the Alpine soldiers". While you're here, don't forget to taste the grappa (a liquor obtained by distilling grape pomace) in one of the historical shops of the area. A few meters from the bridge is Palazzo Sturm where the Museum of Ceramics is located. Together with the Ceramics Museum in Nove, this museum collects pieces of undisputable value produced by the Antonibon School and other main schools that have developed this art for more than three centuries. There are still hundreds of companies that produce ceramics, and to have an idea of how they continue the tradition of their forefathers just follow the directions to Nove or to the smooth hills towards Asolo, a jewel of the Treviso area, the "city of one hundred horizons" chosen by artists and writers for its magic atmosphere and charming landscape.
The Three Graces
Following in the steps of Robert Browning, Ernest Hemingway, and Eleonora Duse, in a few minutes we reach Possagno, famous as the birthplace of Antonio Canova whose plasters, temperas and drawings still remain in the house and in the Gipsoteca (Museum of Plasters) enlarged by Carlo Scarpa in 1957. From here it is possible to continue on towards Valdobbiadene, the beginning of "the White Wine Valley". The views from the vineyards and of local production are particularly breathtaking , the same views that inspired Giovanni Bellini, Giambattista Cima, Giorgione, Titian, Jacopo da Ponte, Canaletto, Marco Ricci, Francesco Guardi and all the other masters who succeeded in describing the colors and shades of the Veneto Region.
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