A unique heritage of art cities and places rich in history
BELLUNO – MONTE PELMO
Monte Pelmo is an imposing mount that borders the Val di Zoldo to the north, it is 3168 m high and is flanked to the west by another mountain group, slightly lower, called Pelmetto. The Pelmo was the first peak of the Dolomites to be climbed: in 1857, in fact, the Englishman John Ball was the first to reach the top of the mountain, later declaring that he had chosen this one in particular because it seemed to him the most beautiful of all the peaks of the Dolomites. At the base of the mountain there are three base camps, located along the most popular paths for hikers; of great historical and landscape value is the Mondeval plateau, which is easily accessible. From there, with a crossing of about 6 hours, it is possible to reach the beautiful Giau Pass.
FUN FACT: given its double monolith conformation, Mount Pelmo is also called “el caregòn de’l Padreterno”, that is, the “throne of God” in dialect, due to the valley of its glacial cirque visible to the east.
PADOA – ABANO TERME
Abano Terme, located on the Euganean Hills, is the main center of the Euganean Thermal Waters, a set of natural springs of very ancient origin. The beneficial power of thermal water, combined with hotels that host up to 250,000 tourists a year, has made Abano one of the most important mud-therapeutic and thermal resorts in the world. Its thermal waters, which reach a temperature of 87 °, come from the Alps and flow from the Poggio di Montirone, enriching themselves along the underground path with minerals.
The city center is divided into two areas: Abano Vecchia, the historic center, and Abano Nuova, the tourist center. Characteristics of the historic center are the many noble villas, today mainly used as museums or hotels.
FUN FACT: the inhabitants of Abano Terme are called Aponensi; According to some, the term aponus derives from Latin and has relevance to water, but the etymology is still uncertain.
ROVIGO – PO
The river Po, 652 km long, is the longest Italian river, as well as the one with the largest catchment area. Born in Piedmont, from Monviso, it crosses the entire northern Italian arc and then flows into the Adriatic Sea; through its course, it partly marks the border between Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna and entirely divides the latter’s territory from the Veneto. It was known since the times of ancient Greece with the name of Eridanòs; instead, for the Celto-Ligurians who lived in the area from the 9th century BC the Po river was known as Bodinkòs, linked to the concepts of digging and deepening. The ancient Latin name Padus, from which the adjective Padano to indicate the plain and the final name Po, should derive precisely from this etymological root.
FUN FACT: among the many legendary creatures that are said to live in the river, the “Borda” stands out: a frightening monster that grabbed and dragged underwater those who walked along the banks.
TREVISO – ASOLO
As of 2020 it is part of the “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” club; Asolo is a small town in the Marca Trevigiana, nestled on a hill, surrounded by vineyards and dominated by a fortress. Defined by Giosuè Carducci “the city of a hundred horizons”, it was the destination of many artists in the past, from the English poet Robert Browning to the Italian actress Eleonora Duse.
The symbol of the city is the Castle of Queen Cornaro, built in the 10th century as the seat of the Venetian podestà; from 1489 to 1510 it became the home of Caterina Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia and lady of Asolo, from whom the palace took its name. It was during the years of her stay at the Castle that Pietro Bembo wrote Gli Asolani. Today, it houses the city’s theater named after Eleonora Duse.
FUN FACT: Since May 26th 2005, Asolo has also appeared on a postage stamp: this is part of the “2005 Tourism Series” and depicts a glimpse of the city with the Civic Tower and the medieval fortress.
VERONA – MOLINA WATERFALLS
The Cascate del Molina Park is located in Fumane, not far from Lake Garda. Covering an area of almost eighty thousand square meters between caves, waterfalls and rich vegetation, it is an oasis of peace ideal for a hike in the midst of nature or a relaxing trip.
Inside there are three itineraries that differ in length and difficulty of travel; the simplest, the Green Route, leads to the Spolverona Waterfall and the Green and Black Waterfalls. The second is the Red Trail, which allows you to admire, amongst other things, the Double Covolo Waterfall and the Bear Waterfall; finally, the last path, the Black Path, leads up to a panoramic point from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire park.
FUN FACT: few people know that in 2013 the singer Giorgia chose the Parco delle Cascate del Molina to record a part of the video clip of her song Quando Muore una Stella.
VICENZA – CALÀ DEL SASSO
Calà del Sasso is a stepped path that connects Valstagna, a hamlet of the municipality of Valbrenta, to Sasso, a hamlet of Asiago. In the 16th century, transport links between the plains and the mountains were very difficult due to the lack of connections but for Valstagna the only source of income was the cutting and transport of tree trunks downstream: for this reason, in 1398, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, made the Valle del Sasso passable by building a very long stone staircase of 4444 steps and a total height difference of 744 m, flanked by a canal that allowed the trunks to descend to the Brenta river. The staircase was widely used by the Venetians from the 15th to the 18th century to transport timber to the city’s Arsenale.
FUN FACT: according to popular belief, based on a legend regarding two youngsters from Sasso, if two engaged couples walk the entire staircase hand in hand, they are destined to love each other forever.