saint george's island seen fron riva degli schiavoni venice

The Venice you don’t expect

Venice is to be considered one of the most famous and sought-after touristic destinations. Everyone wants to visit it, breath it, live it at last once in a lifetime. Although its most popular features remain the highlights that still attracts and arouse the curiosity of the visitors through time, I’ve learned to appreciate it also for the less famous things. Sometimes I find myself preferring to take a free walk in the city and see where it takes me, let it surprising me with new spots, corners and calli.

We have to admit that the great and constant attention upon the city also brings its downside. Venice and tourism overcrowding is a long time issue, an increasing phenomenon that touches the very heart of this fragile city. During the last decades, the evolving of mass tourism and most of all of the cruise industry have brought controversial ecological, cultural and urbanistic impact. Problems of such relevance and importance to draw the attention of one of the biggest stylists and icons of our century: Vivienne Westwood. In January 2016 she used her show in Milan for Man Autumn/Winter 2016-17 collection to convey a bigger message, a campaign called Be Specific. The movement tries to raise the collective consciousness to act in defence of the greatest goods we have: “Save our Ocean – Save Venice – Save our Forest” is its motto. Venice is here considered as “a magnificent mirror on the world”, a treasure to be looked after and preserve. In her vision, outlined by the slogan “Venice for the Venetians. Venice for the world“, Vivienne embraces the cry for help of Venetian citizens about topic issues such as the giant cruise boats that are destroying the entire ecological balance of the lagoon, reaching the very heart of the city, and the lack of appropriate infrastructures to manage something like 30 million visitors per year that are literally sinking it. By joining the call of the Association We are here Venice, Vivienne wants to stress the importance of a sustainable tourism, willing to respect the host city and its frail equilibrium.

The problems emerging in the specific case of Venice are, of course, not isolated: many other cities in the world suffer from the same complications. This is why is so important to ask and act for a change in order to give a strong signal to all the other similar realities in the world. Venice is a heritage to the entire world and it’s up to everyone who visits it to guard and preserve its beauty. We all can make a difference in this, through our choices and behaviour. We can decide not to participate in intrusive cruises, to collaborate in keeping the city clean or to indulge ourselves in a less “touristic” itinerary, for example. Another smart thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 am to about 9.30 am) and noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll have the chance to enjoy much better what you are about to see.

Another astute thing to do is going to visit famous and usually overcrowded areas or specific places in strange hours. I find very effective the early morning (from 8 AM to about 9.30 AM) and Noon; you will lose one hour of sleep or you’ll have to change your lunch time but you’ll surely find fewer people around and you’ll enjoy much better what you are about to see.

Today I would like to show you a little itinerary that, yet touching some crucial points of Venice, will show you some other places that, I bet, most of you don’t know.

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The cats of Venice are legendary. These live by an equally legendary bookshop: Acqua Alta

a girl dressed in blue in front of a library in venice

The access to the bookshop, situated at the following address: Sestiere Castello, 5176/B, 30122 Venezia

a venetian cat

Again, these cats are the guardians of the place ūüźĪ

books in a library in venice

As you can see this place is a real mine of books of every kind and genre: books are everywhere

a girl in a library in venice

In this unbelievable place shelves are no the traditional ones: gondolas, pieces of boats, thanks have been readapted to contain the books

books in a library in venice

Books, books, books…

girl with blue dress in front of a venice canal

If you wish you can also read a book sitting in an armchair with a view on the canal

books in a library in venice

A gondola full of books

a girl with blue dress in front of a venice canal

books in a library in venice

In the back of the shop, there is also a stair made of books to reach another beautiful view on the canal

a girl enjoying the venetian landscape from the roofs

As we are moving towards Piazza San Marco we cannot love the superb panorama that can be seen from the roof of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, a new luxury shopping mall born in Venice.

venice seen from the roofs

It is very likely that you won’t buy anything but the view from here is worth to stop by

a girl enjoying the venetian landscape from the roofs

The shopping centre doesn’t have one year of life and yet the word has spread, so it’s highly probable that you’ll find a queue to have access to the roof

venice from the roofs

a girl enjoying the venetian landscape from the roofs

…again, find yourself there when the place opens (10 AM)

people in venice

Tourists enjoying their lunch

a girl standing in front of la fenice theatre's entrance

On our way to San Marco we came across another absolutely magnificent place: Teatro La Fenice

a girl standing in front of la fenice theatre's entrance

Born in 1795, the famous theatre has been the home of world premieres during the 19th and the 20th centuries

a girl standing in front of la fenice theatre's entrance

Attending to the opera or to a concert could be quite complicated, but you can easily visit the marvellous palace

a venetian restaurant

a girl posing of a bridge in venice

a girl posing in piazza san marco in venice

San Marco and its campanile

a girl posing in piazza san marco in venice

detail of a decoration of san marco in venice

San Marco’s decorations are a real collection of pieces from eastern disassembled buildings, brought to Venice by the merchants

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The portrait of the four Tetrarchs is quite a unique piece of its kind. The sculpture group made of red porphyry represents the four Roman emperors and dates back to 300 AD when it was supposed to be in Constantinople

palazzon ducale's statues and sculptures

Where San Marco and Doge’s Palace meet

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Lunch time: a lot of people but still an handleable situation

palazzo ducale's arches

Palazzo Ducale/Doge’s Palace

detail of the sculpures of an column of palazzo ducale

Detail of the capital of a column, Doge’s Palace

sculptures in palazzo ducale's corners

Ebbrezza di Noè/Joy of Noah, 14th century Lombard sculptors

venetian canal

Once overcame Piazza San Marco, suddenly the number of people coming across will start to decrease

venetian canal in riva degli schiavoni

Riva degli Schiavoni

saint george's island seen fron riva degli schiavoni venice

Saint George’s Island seen from Riva degli Schiavoni

venetian landscape

saint george's island ans san marco seen from riva degli schiavoni

Saint George’s Church and the Campanile seen from distance

girl in a calle in venice

A unique window on the Venetian real life

venetian landscape

Sightings from Riva dei Sette Martiri

portrait of a redhead girl on cyan blue wall

The colours of Venice

venetian landscape

Reaching southernmost point of Venice

venetian landscape with typical houses

Splendid houses near the Venetian Gardens

venetian gardens la biennale

Did you know that Venice too has gardens? I think this is the most quite place in all Venice

venetian gardens la biennale

Just few tourist from the Biennale, local people, students

venetian gardens la biennale

A place to relax, enjoy the sun, have a picnic, take shelter from the heat, read a book

girl resting on a bench in a venetian garden

venetian gardens la biennale

Called Napoleonic Gardens or Giardini della Biennale, they are the public gardens of Venice. They were built in 1807 when Napoleon himself wanted Venice to have its green park

venetian gardens la biennale with arch

girl standing next to an ancient tree in venice

venetian gardens la biennale

girl in venice in a vaporetto station

venice corner with typical red houses facing the canal

the arsenal of venice overview

On our way back we decided to pass nearby the Arsenal

 

the arsenal of venice with its two towers

Its construction began in about 1104 to become the biggest and most famous factory of naval and merchant ships and, of course, the very symbol of Venice’s naval power.

 

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This painting by Canaletto shows us the entrance of the Arsenal as it was in 1732 (picture credits)

 

 

 

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Now, that is what is called a navy blue! ūüėČ

 

 

the arsenal of venice with its two towers

It was a real opus magnum, if we realize the it is considered the earliest industrial centre for its complexity and efficiency. All of this just centuries before the 19th Century!

 

 

the arsenal of venice

The Porta magna

 

the arsenal of venice

a girl on a bridge in venice

…to the next! xo

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‚óŹ Bluebird enamel earrings ‚óŹ Vintage foulard ‚óŹ Navy blue dress by Zalando (similar)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚óŹ Vintage cotton coat ‚óŹ Terranova red bag ‚óŹ Calzedonia collant ‚óŹ Old H&M¬† ballerinas¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚óŹ My grandma’s belt ‚óŹ

‚ĚÉ Pics by Antonio and me ‚ĚÉ

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Asolando

Everybody has a favorite place for spring, somewhere special to relish the season and its scented, vivid, soft air. Not too noisy but yet nor desolated; simply a quiet corner. To me, the place that entirely expresses these feeling is Asolo. And I can’t wait, when spring comes, to go back to visit it, spending entire afternoons walking in its streets, inebriated by its beauty. Asolo stands on a landscape shaped by gentle hills, most of them still wooded and some cultivated in vineyards and olive trees.

I’ve often talked about “I borghi pi√Ļ belli d’Italia“. To me, Asolo is the most beautiful amongst them all; a real gem which, not surprisingly, has been the favorite place for artists, men of letters and writers since the Renaissance period, reaching the peak of fame especially in the 19th century.

Its reputation of being a “locus amoenus was certainly encouraged by the arriving of Caterina Cornaro, queen of Cyprus. The Venetian noblewoman had been given in marriage to the king of Cyprus where reigned until 1489, when the island was claimed by the Serenissima. In exchange, the Republic gave her Asolo and its domain, unconsciously giving a start to a court that soon became the epicenter of a prominent cultural circle which marked the 16th century culture. The famous Pietro Bembo – Venetian humanist and scholar of Petrarch and Boccaccio – composed, inspired by his visit at Caterina’s court in 1498, one of his most important work, “Gli Asolani“, the three books dialogue about love and beauty. The medieval castle was the queen’s royal palace but also the place where a rich group of artists and literati used to gather in homage to her, protector of the Arts. Suffice to say the famous painters Giorgione and Lorenzo Lotto were court attendants.

The victorian poet and writer Robert Browning came several times to visit Asolo and literally fell in love with the town. Trying to portray the place in a letter he failed, calling it “indescribable”. “Asolando” is the name of his very last collection of poems, published in 1889.

But Asolo was also the place to live chosen by one of the most famous Italian theatrical actresses between 19th and 20th century: Eleonora Duse. Her 16th-century house is today remembered with an inscription that can be seen at Santa Caterina gate and a specific section of the Civic Museo is dedicated to her. Eleonora was an example of a talented and independent woman of her Age. She had a brilliant theatrical career, spacing from Shakespeare to Emile Zola and Dumas, that was strictly intertwined with her personal life. After obtaining the divorce she had important love affairs with the poets Arrigo Boito and Gabriele D’Annunzio, giving the second one the inspiration to start his theatrical production, influencing the birth of a chapter of the Italian Literature.

Asolo is also the place where the famous explorer, cartographer and writer Freya Stark spent most of her childhood. After an entire life of touring and after her very last travel, at the age of 88, in Nepal, she retired in Asolo where she died 100 years old. Villa Stark and its archaeological park are still open for visit.

Last but not least Asolo was the place chosen by the musician Gianfrancesco Malipiero to live from circa 1920 to his death, in 1973, when he was buried in the garden of his house in via Foresto Vecchio. Asolo inspired one of his piano works, “Poemi asolani“, composed in 1916.

As you can see, many are the figures connected to this ravishing little town. Its natural beauty and the sweetness of the environment surrounding it make Asolo the proper place where retire and linger in search of the Roman otium, to achieve art, music and poetry. All these characteristics also explain its natural vocation to slow tourism and cycle tourism. Personally, Asolo is my favorite destination when I go for a ride with my bike during the summertime.

The best way to visit Asolo is a walking tour. The historic centre is small and only this way you’ll be able to wholly appreciate the richness of the landscape and the romantic atmosphere of the place. The Italian poet Carducci once called Asolo “the city with one hundred horizons”, because of the variety of views that can be experienced from each and every spot of the town.

So, let’s take a walk together.

Girl in pink vintage dress standing in front of a decorated house

The so-called “casa longobarda” on the way to the center of Asolo; actually the 16th-century house of the architect Francesco Graziolo, whose eccentric taste is well expressed in the choice of the symbolic and original decorations of the architecture

Girl in pink vintage dress in front of a decoraded house

The so-called “casa longobarda

Girl in pink vintage dress standing in front of the entrance of a villa

Stunning entrance of a garden in via Santa Caterina

Portrait of a redhead girl, wearing a vintage pink dress

Un giardino all'italiana in collina

A “giardino all’italiana” in via Santa Caterina

A giardino all'italiana in the hills

giardino all'italiana in the hills

Lemon greenhouse in the garden

The lemon greenhouse

Entrance of an historical house

Just one of the beautiful historical houses on the street leading to the center of Asolo

Fountain in

The fountain in front of Santa Caterina’s church

Cipriani Hotel entrance in Asolo

Entrance of the luxurious Hotel Cipriani

Gate leading to an historica center

Santa Caterina gate

Inscription lapidea on the wall of an historical buinlding

Inscription lapidea paying homage to Eleonora Duse’s house in Via Canova

Girl wearing a cintage pink dress standing on a wall of an historical centre

Santa Caterina gate

Girl wearing sixties pink dress in an hisorical center

Via Canova

Vintage entrance of a shop in Asolo

An old shop in via Canova

Historical buildings in Asolo

Piazza Gabriele D’Annunzio

Girl wearing vintage pink outfit in front of stone wall

The foundations of Queen Cornaro’s castle

Alley with historical buildings

Via Canova

Portrait of a redhead girl wearing pink vintage dress and accessories

Stone walls of a medieval building with sculptures

The foundations of Queen Cornaro’s castle

Girl wearing vintage pink outfit in front of a castle

North side of the castle

Gate to an historical centre

The Sottocastella gate

Portatit of a redhead girl wearing a sixties pink dress with a hill landscape in the background

Charming view of the hills

View of an historical centre with stylish buidings

View towards Piazza Garibaldi

Alley with arcade

An alley behind Loggia della Ragione

Historical friezes

Frescoes and heralds on Loggia della Ragione’s wall

Historical buildings

Historical buildings in via Regina Cornaro

Girl dressed in pink on a terrace

The balcony of the Civic Museum

View over historica buildings

Asolo seen from the balcony

Frescoes on a building wall

Frescoes on the Civic Museum’s wall (Palazzo della Ragione) describing Crasso’s defeat against the Parthians

Mosaic on a façade

The 18th cenury facade of the cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mother Mary

Façade

Virgin Mother Mary’s cathedral

Girl dressed in pink in a staircase

Building dominating over a landscape

The valley seen from the Civic Museum

Street with historical buildings

Via Robert Browning

A castle tower

Queen Cornaro’s castle tower seen from behind the cathedral

Balcony with flowers

Via Robert Browning

Street with historical buildings

Via Robert Browning

Bell tower

The cathedral bell tower

A redhead girl wearing pink sixties dress and accessories standing on a balcony

A fountain and a gate

The Zen fountain

A girl in pink dress standing on a gate

Castelfranco gate

A girl wearing a pink s

Castelfranco gate

A girl wearing a pink vintage dress walking under

A stone fountain wirh lian head

The Zen fountain, built by the Zen family in 1571 to have drinking water in their house in the historic centre; still remains a point of reference for all cyclist after the tiring climb of the hill

Portrait of a redhead girl wearing pink dress, earrings and necklace

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Via Foresto Nuovo

Hills landscape with blooming trees and a fortress

The Rocca of Asolo, first used by the Venetians and fortified by Ezzelino and Carraresi family between 13th and 14th century

Portrait of a redhead girl with pink dress and a blooming pink tree

Ancient streets

Via Foresto Vecchio

Fortress on the top of the hill

The Rocca of Asolo

A castle tower

The castle tower

A castle tower

A girl in the castle tower

The watchtower

Centre of Asolo seen from the tower window

Asolo seen from the watchtower

Asolo overview

Asolo

Inside the castle tower an ancient effigy dedicated to Eleonora Duse

An inscription remembering Eleonora Duse Theatre, located inside the castle

The plain seen from the castle

The valley seen from Queen Cornaro’s castle

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A girl walking under an archade

Portrait of a redhead girl

For the make up I choose a classical sixties cut crease with eyeliner and a pink matte lipstick

Closeup on a vintage sixties style dark pink bag from

Original sixties bag found in a flea market many years ago

Detail of a glass flowers pink necklace and earrings

Earrings and necklace made of tiny glass flowers; I bought the first in a vintage shop, the second in a charity Christmas market in Venice

‚󏬆Vintage sixties pink dress from Officine Li Volsi ‚óŹ vintage sixties bag from flea market¬† ‚óŹ Calzedonia lace ivory collant ‚óŹ ivory ballerinas from H&M ‚óŹ vintage sixties glass earrings from C’era una volta vintage shop ‚óŹ vintage glass necklace from a charity market in Venice¬†‚óŹ bee ring from Accessorize ‚óŹ NAU! pink sunglasses¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚óŹ Neve Makeup and fruit sushi lipstick ‚óŹ

Last but not least here you can find a map of Asolo and all its main features ūüėČ

‚ĚÉ Pics by Antonio and me ‚ĚÉ

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

Early Spring Walk Through Cison

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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 pi√Ļ 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 Рno brand; silver necklace Рgift from a friend; early 20th Century pendant earrings Рgift from my mother; fav boots; old bag; NAU red sunglasses Рlast winter collection

*Pics by Antonio and me *

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Getmehomefortea in Feltre, Palazzo Bellati-Villabruna su Via Mezzaterra

The Frozen City

Girl in feltre in san vittore dal pozzo stairs with snow

Feltria perpetuo niveum damnata rigore
Atque mihi posthac haud adeunda, vale

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “Feltria, condemned to the rigor of eternal snows, from me too, who henceforth will scarcely approach you, Farewell!”

Not surprisingly a Roman author, perhaps Cesar himself, uses these words to describe the ancient city of Feltre. The historical town, situated on the southern edge of the Italian Dolomites (in the Belluna Valley) and on the West of the Piave River, still is famous for its proverbial rigorous climate. Since we do love winter, ice and snow, this time of the year seems to be perfect for taking a walk among the characteristic street of the citadel, taking advantage of the fact that quite nobody is around. Despite the cold weather, a few rays of the sun give us that something extra to make our little tour even more enjoyable.

fashion-blog-feltre-violet-green-girls-culture-history-arch-outfit-style

getmehomefortea standing at the gate of feltre with violet hat anche check green cape

One of the most famous and characteristic access points to the citadel is a stairway which, through a gate in the ancient walls right in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral, leads directly to the main square – Piazza Maggiore.

getmehomefortea Vittore dal Pozzo stair with violet hat and green, check wool cape

getmehomefortea Vittore dal Pozzo Feltre arches

getmehomefortea with violet hat and green dress and red lips in the snow in Feltre

The arched gallery – called “Vittore dal Pozzo” – attracts tourists but, most of all, photographers trying to capture its beauty and¬†chasing the best angle to withdraw it. The path is all made of stone with a wooden roof and, not by chance, it is the only one sheltered access to the old town; in effect, it represented the link between two political and social crucial point of the settlement: the cathedral and the Palazzo della Ragione. Such characteristic walks, along with its being castled on the top of the hill, make me often think of Feltre as a sort of little Minas Tirith, full of cobbled alleys, arches and narrow passageways.

getmehomefortea in Vittore dal Pozzo stairway in Feltre

portrait getmehomefortea with violet hat and green handmade dress and deer pendant

getmehomefortea playing with snow in FeltreFeltre salita di Vittore dal Pozzo con la neve

Getmehomeforteablog in Feltre Vittore dal Pozzo stairway with snow

Possibly of Etruscan origins, Feltre’s history dates back to Roman times, when became an import Municipium in¬†49 BC. Thanks to its strategic position it gained more and more importance during the Imperial times, being touched by the Claudia Augusta – a famous Roman road – that linked Opitergium (Oderzo) to Tridentum (Trento) and the Brenner region; furthermore, the city benefited from the proximity to two important waterways, Piave and Brenta. Being a strategic commercial and military junction unsurprisingly, after the fall of the Western, Feltre was targeted by all the foreign peoples that came from the borders of the empire, to become a Lombard dominion in the VI sec. During the late Middle Ages it was ruled by several signorie – Da Romano, Da Camino, Scaligeri and Viscontito be finally conquered by the Republic of Venice in 1404. In 1499, under the Serenissima, Feltre’s defensive structures were strengthened through the construction of a new line of external walls. After this, except for a ruinous destruction in 1509, the city remained under the Venetians until the arrival of Napoleon, in 1797. Finally, we can not fail to mention its key role as war scenario during I and II WW.

From the naturalistic point of view Feltre is not exception indeed. As we proceed up to the stairway a wonderful view is revealed on our left: a cobbled terrace shows, behind the roofs covered with snow, the mountainside of the famous Monte Grappa, which stands towards the South; in the opposite direction, 20 kilometres North, Belluno is situated with its Dolomites National Park. Feltre lies at the centre of an area of enormous naturalistic interest, offering a wide range of pathways, from the trekking and Nordic walking trails, suitable for everyone, to the more challenging mountain paths, for hiking lovers.

Feltre getmehomeforteablog Vittore dal Pozzo stairway

Feltre landscape mountains roof with snow

Getmehomefortea peek-a-boo in Feltre

Feltre landscape view mountains

Feltre Vittore dal Pozzo stairway view

portrait in Feltre with landscape view over the mountains

Reached the top of the hill, on our left, we first find the Palazzo della Ragione, a 16th-century, administrative headquarters in the Venetian period and still the Town Hall. Its characteristic feature is the long arcade, attributed to Andrea Palladio. The palace, since 1684, hosts the Teatro della Senna, wich was chosen in 1729 by Goldoni for the theatrical representation of two of his plays.

Entrance of Palazzo della Ragione in Feltre

Palazzo della Ragione

Getmehomefortea, Palazzo della Ragione, Feltre, entrance

The Palladian loggia

Getmehomefortea, Palazzo della Ragione in Feltre, balcony

Palazzo della Ragione in Feltre, entrance

The Palladian loggia

View from Palazzo della Ragione in Feltre

The view from the Palazzo della Ragione

Baroque statues in Palazzo della Ragione, entranceWindows of Palazzo della Ragione in FeltreEngravings, Palazzo della Ragione entrance, Feltrefrescos writings in palazzo della ragione piazza maggiore feltre

In front of us the view of Piazza Maggiore square opens, revealing the 17th-century Saint Rocc’s church and the so called “Alboino castle”, traditionally attributed to the Lombard period, as the king’s name shows, and¬†rebuilt in the 11th century. On left stands Palazzo Guarnieri, reshaped in the beginning of the 19th Century by Giuseppe Segusini, who gave the building its characteristic Neogothic features. The square feature also the presence of the beautiful fountains the architect Tullio Lombardo gave to the city in 1488.

At the centre of Piazza Maggiore we can see two statues, paying homage one to two 15th Century outstanding men from Feltre: Panfilo Castaldi – a 14th Century typographer considered one of the fathers of movable type – and Vittorino de’ Rimbaldoni – teacher at the very first Greek language school in Venice. A third statue emerges from the square: the lion of San Marco watches over the entire city.

The street which runs through the square is called Via Mezzaterra and connects the two main gates of the citadel: the Imperial gate and Oria gate. Via Mezzaterra was the artery of the social life: it collects a long succession of noble palaces – most of all dating back to the 16th century – still showing stunning frescoes to the passersby. Because of the magnificence of its frescoed fa√ßades, Feltre was indeed called “Urbs Picta“.

Not of minor importance, the citadel also hosts two important museum spaces. The Civic Museum, that features works by important painters such as Bellini and Cima da Conegliano, and the Galleria Rizzarda, a Modern Art gallery mainly displaying artefacts made of wrought iron from the 19th Century, but also owning works by Fattori and Carrà. Feltre also has an important underground archaeological area just under the Duomo, showing some Roman remains, that can be freely visited by appointment.

So our visit is almost finished. Via Mezzaterra ends at the Oria gate; leaving the citadel at our back nothing is lost: still that astonishing landscape surrounds us and we can just and only revel in it.

Piazza Maggiore Feltre in the snow with Alboino castle in the background

Saint Rocco’ church, Tullio Lombardo’s fountains, the Clock Tower and Alboino’s castle

Feltre in the snow, Piazza Maggiore and the citadel

Via Mezzaterra

Getmehomeforteablog Piazza Maggiore Feltre in the snow

Feltre Piazza Maggiore in the snow with Vittorino de' Rambaldoni - Vittorino da Feltre - statue

Vittorino da Feltre’s statue

feltre san marco's statue in piazza maggiore

Lion of Saint Marco

Feltre statue of Panfilo Castaldi in Piazza Maggiore

Panfilo Castaldi’s statue

Getmehomeforteablog in Feltre Piazza Maggiore with Vittorino da Feltre's statue

Wooden door in Feltre with San Marco lions

A wooden door with two Venetian lions in Via Mezzaterra

Feltre, Palazzo Bellati-Villabruna e Chiesa di San Giacomo su Via Mezzaterra

Palazzo Villabruna-Bellati in Via Mezzaterra

Secondary square in Feltre with ancient frescoed building Palazzo Crico Tauro in Piazzetta Trento e Trieste

Piazzetta Trento e Trieste

Beautiful corner in Feltre

Frescoes in Feltre

Palazzo Salce-Aldovini-Mezzanotte with frescoes in Feltre

Palazzo Salce-Aldovini-Mezzanotte with its frescoes

Frescos detail of Palazzo Salce-Aldovini-Mezzanotte in Feltre

Palazzo Salce-Aldovini-Mezanotte, frescoes details

Stairway in Feltre with landscape in the background

Another stairway to the citadel

Getmehomefortea in Feltre, Palazzo Bellati-Villabruna su Via Mezzaterra

Palazzo Bellati-Villabruna

Building with frescos in Feltre

Getmehomefortea, Oria gate in Feltre

Oria Gate

Getmehomefortea, Oria gate in Feltre

Oria Gate

Green wool dress sewed by me; old boots; vintage wool cape; purple wool hat Koan by Coin; vintage silver stag brooch.

*Pics by Antonio and me*

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