Impressions: Asolo

Known as “the town with a hundred horizons”, Asolo is a tiny village about one hour from Venice. Perfectly encased within verdant hills, protected and protective of its beauty and exclusivity and yet open to all manners of visitors, Asolo has welcomed thinkers, writers, philosophers, travellers, politicians, jet setters. Throughout the centuries, from Renaissance times up until World War II, it attracted the international élite (from D’Annunzio to Browning, and from British Royalty to Marcello Mastroianni); they, in turn, found in Asolo not just a quiet place to retreat and create, but also a place where like-minded people came to hide – a place for higher forms of connection.

Today, the town is perfectly preserved and holds much of its ancient charm. Casual yet precious, its largely untrodden alleys are still easy to peruse at a slow pace, head up, so as to take in the stunning architecture. There’s much to see and yet also much not to see; there’s the sort of peacefulness that becomes contagious – that forces you to slow down, observe, breathe. A fine respite from busier destinations in the region. Read on for a few highlights.

To see

Villa Freya; the Castle of Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, Renaissance woman; the home of 20th century iconic actress Eleonora Duse; Rocca Braida (Fortress) for unmatched panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valley.

To buy

Pinza (a tradiitonal wood-fred sweet bread) from the gastronomia in via Browning; and, just a few steps away, silk scarves and artisan fans at La Bufanda.

To drink & eat

Aperitivo with local Prosecco Extra Brut Asolo DOCG at Enoteca alle Ore; a traditional meal with a view at picturesque restaurant Do Mori.

To visit nearby

Wineries Bele Casel & Case Paolin; Palladio’s Villa Barbaro in Maser (with Veronese frescos all over the inside); the walled town of Castelfranco Veneto; beautifully quaint and untouristy Treviso.

To stay

Villa Cipriani

How to get there

The best way to reach Asolo if you’re coming by plane is to fly to Venice or, better still, Treviso Airports and then rent a car.