Girl leaning against an ancient stone wall in front of a torrent

Early Spring Walk Through Cison


Stone walls around the torrent bed

I do never insist enough about the fact that Italy is full of every kind of treasures. And that is not just referred to the major cities that regularly attract tourists from all around the world,  but also to the smaller ones and the little villages, sometimes less famous but that do not lack in beauty. Everyone who lives here in Veneto goes to visit, sometimes even more than one time in a year, Cison di Valmarino. The little village is part of the club called “I borghi più belli d’Italia“, an association which gathers together all the small historical centers considered to be the most beautiful in Italy.  Cison is placed very near to Follina (about whom we spoke in this previous post of mine) and has just been admitted to this very club last December.

A redhead girl, dressed in black, standing in a creek bed covered with grass

The torrent bed

Portrait of a redhead girl in a garden

Creek bed with trees, sourrounded by cobbled walls and mountains on the background

Portrait of a girl, dressed in black , with red sunglasses and bag, and standing on a stairway

Entrance of a rural house with cobbled walls

Portrait of a girl, dressed in black, leaning on a cobbled wall

Cison di Valmarino is a very small village that lies in the pre-alpine area between Vittorio Veneto and the famous wine country of Valdobbiade. As it happens with most of these charming places, it is an example of exquisite rural architecture in a place where agriculture and viticulture are still vital after centuries. Not by chance, the settlement is crossed by the bed of the Rujo torrent, unfortunately dry at this time of the year, that begins in the northern side of the village where a complex system of mills was active. This area can be visited and has been included in a path called “Via dei Mulini” (The path of the mills), that from the village leads North to the woods. Furthermore, in this northern area, away from the settlement, there is the Forest of Penne Mozze, a large portion of the woods dedicated to the memory of the war dead.

Unluckily no comprehensive archaeological and historical study about the settlement has been done yet. Scholars believe that the area has been inhabited since Prehistoric times and surely it benefited from the proximity to the Claudia Augusta Altinate during Roman times, when the first castrum was built. The appearance of a stable settlement is generally connected to the so called “barbarian invasions”, when the whole area was under the influence of the Lombard Ducato of Ceneda. In the VIth Century Teodolinda, queen of the Lombards, conceded these lands to the bishops of Ceneda and they remained under their control through the centuries, during both Frankish kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire. In the XIth Century,  the area passed to some nobles families, specifically to the Da Camino family, that took posses of the castle. As we have seen elsewhere, during the XVth Century also Cison came under Venice’s influence to be assigned, in 1439, to the Brandolino family that served in battle the Republic of Venice. Their architectural mark and identity still are palpable and give the castle that unmistakable appearance that still fascinates the visitors. I am planning to do a specific post about Castel Brando in the future, as it deserves attentions on its own.

Creek bed with trees, sourrounded by cobbled walls and the village on the background

A girl standing on a stone bridge

Saint Vito church and the clock tower at the sunset

Saint Vito church

Creek bed with trees, sourrounded by cobbled walls and mountains on the background

Portrait of a girl sitting on a cobbled low wall with historical buildings and nountains at her back

A rural village with a stone bridge and historical rural buildings

A narrow street with ancient stone and cobble houses

A redhead girl dressed in black standing on a street of an historical village

A redhead girl dressed in black standing on a street of an historical village, dancing

Profile portrait of a redhead girl, dressed in black, standing in front of a wooden window

So the combination of this double personality, rural and noble, characterizing this little town, has always fascinated me. It also makes me think a lot about the concepts of beauty and usefulness and how they could find, once, a synthesis; a physical conciliation in a tangible architecture. Places like this have very much to teach to the contemporary world, where what in useful and productive has to be hideous, sometimes monstrous; and what is beautiful and delightful cannot be connected to laboriousness. Architecture has a key role in this and I strongly believe ugly places generate ugliness while beautiful places do the opposite.

Walking along the beautiful streets of Cison, amongst the traditional pebble houses, stone bridges and delightful sights of the Alpine foothills, you can easily reach the main square, Piazza Roma, that gathers the most elegant buildings of the village. In fact it is characterized by some noble palaces dating back to XVIIth Century as well as the main church, dedicated to Saint Maria Assunta and Saint Giovanni Battista. A document dates the ancient parish back to 1170, while the church, in its present form, was built in the XVIIth Century and completed in 1740. Behind the church, on the horizon, the view goes up, towards the castle nestled on the top of the hill, overlooking the village just like it was guarding over it.

a redhead girl, dresse in black, standing on a cobbled wall in the sunset

Cison and Castel Brando on the background

Portair of a redhead girl, dressed in black, in the sunset

Adressed in black girl with red bag standing on a wall with tree art nouveau windows

Art nouveau style Villa Ameliatte

Adressed in black girl standing in front of the wooden door of an art nouveau house

Art nouveu style Villa Ameliatte

Historical stone stairway in front of a church

Stairways of SS. Maria Assunta e Giovanni Battista church

A dressed in black girl going down from the stone starirs

Portrait of a dressed in black girl standing on a stairway

Close up of an antique pendant silver earring with embedded sapphires

Antique silver earring

Close up of a silver necklace with a pendant stone

Silver necklace with carnelian pendant

A dressed in black girl with red bag sittinf in front of a stairway

A stone walkway amongts historical stone houses

Such a place – rich in history and beauty, quiet and relaxing – you won’t believe, turns into one of the most visited places in Veneto during summertime. A quite famous event, called “Artigianato Vivo” that takes place every year in august, attracts here an incredible amount of people since early 90s. The whole village opens its houses, courtyards and palaces to selected master artisans, and the entire town becomes, if possible, an even more magic place.

A stone walkway next to a torrent in the middle of an ancient village

An historical village with stone houses and a torrent in the middle

Girl on a stone bridge with a bricks house and mountains behind

A stone bridge on a torrent in an historical stone and bricks village

 Benetton wool coat; black wool sweater from a flea market; 3 euro skirt from the market – no brand; silver necklace – gift from a friend; early 20th Century pendant earrings – gift from my mother; fav boots; old bag; NAU red sunglasses – last winter collection

*Pics by Antonio and me *






2 thoughts on “Early Spring Walk Through Cison

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