A unique heritage of art cities and places rich in history
BELLUNO – AURONZO DI CADORE
Located along the left bank of the artificial lake Santa Caterina, Auronzo di Cadore is a small town located in the Belluno Dolomites area: rising behind is the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. An ideal destination for skiing and winter sports, and for those who want to enjoy a relaxing break, Auronzo offers many activities: from walks along the shores of the lake to cycle paths covering the entire area.
At the entrance to the town is the Ponte dei Leoni, with two stone lion statues that mark the beginning of the dam that created the artificial lake. The dam was built between 1930 and 1932 to channel the waters of the Ansiei river towards the hydroelectric plant found downstream.
FUN FACT: Auronzo has the longest Bob track in the world: the track, which descends along Monte Agudo, starts at an altitude of 1361 m and covers a distance of 3 km, reaching 45 km / h.
PADOA – PIANORO DEL MOTTOLONE AND ARQUÀ PETRARCA
Described as one of the “most beautiful towns in Italy”, Arquà Petrarca links its fame to the famous poet who chose it to spend the last years of his life. Since 1866, with the insertion of Veneto to the State of Italy, the city has decided to honour him by taking his name. To this day, his house and his cemetery monument are the destination of numerous literary pilgrimages and cultural visits. Arquà also thrives on food and wine tourism: it has joined the prestigious National Association of the Cities of Oil.
A few kilometres above the town, there is the panoramic point called Pianoro, which allows an all-round view of the Euganean Hills. It is a natural terrace located on the summit of Mount Mottolone, famous for its hiking trails.
FUN FACT: from the Pianoro del Mottolone it is possible to admire, alongside the natural panorama of the Euganean Hills, the celebrated Camaldolese Monastery which rises to the north, on the slopes of Mount Rua.
ROVIGO – PORTO CALERI
Porto Caleri, the extreme edge of the Rosolina Mare coast, links its name to the Coastal Botanical Garden, a nature reserve included in the Regional Park of the Po Delta. The Botanical Garden covers an area of about 44 hectares and was created with the aim of preserving the natural vegetation: human intervention is limited to the maintenance of the paths used for tourist visits. To visit the park there are three paths of different lengths built on stilts: the shortest, farthest from the sea, allows one to admire the pine forest; the intermediate one approaches the internal dunes and some plant species; finally, the last, the longest, offers a view of the entire Garden, with many different species of birds.
FUN FACT: in the garden there are dozens of ecosystems including over 220 species of plants: this variety is due to the different conditions of climate, wind, salinity and humidity of the sea and lagoon found here.
TREVISO – CAGLIERON CAVES
In the province of Treviso, in the municipality of Breda di Fregona, there are the famous Caves of Caglieron: a series of cavities dug in part by natural erosion and in part by human excavation. The natural action is caused by the erosive force of the Caglieron stream, which by flowing over layers of limestone, sandstone and marl has created an inlet which over time has taken on the appearance of a cave. As for the human excavation, the purpose was extraction of sandstone, called in Venetian dialect “piera dolz”, that is, soft, malleable stone, used in the sixteenth century for the construction of jambs and architraves. The result was a set of caves that can be visited today thanks to a specially created path, located above the stream.
FUN FACT: some of these caves are used for maturing cheeses produced by a nearby dairy: thanks to the microclimate, this cheese acquires a unique flavour.
VERONA – PESCHIERA DEL GARDA
Peschiera del Garda is the western most municipality of the Veneto region; its territory borders with that of the Lombardy cities of Mantua and Brescia; overlooking Lake Garda. It is a very popular tourist destination, especially loved by tourists visiting from Northern-Central Europe.
Walking through the historic centre, it is possible to admire the Fortress of Peschiera del Garda, enclosed by a pentagonal wall of medieval origin, with imposing bastions and access doors, surrounded by the Mincio river, an emissary of Lake Garda. The western entrance to the fortress is Porta Brescia, above which there is a walkway along where one can admire the entire fortress, as well as the city and the lake from bird’s eye view.
FUN FACT: every year in May the Ponte dell’Arte is held in Peschiera: the pedestrian bridge of Porta Brescia is transformed into an art gallery and hosts the works of painters and sculptors.
VICENZA – ASIAGO
Immersed in the plateau of the seven municipalities, Asiago is one of the major towns for winter and summer tourism in the Venice area. The first settlements in the area date back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic times, the area has been permanently inhabited since Roman times. Asiago ties its name to the Great War: during the Battle of the Plateaus, in 1916, it was completely burnt to the ground and rebuilt at the end of the war.
In the town there are two astronomical observatories that make up the main Italian centre of optical astronomy: the Astrophysical Observatory on the Pennar hill and the Cima Ekar observatory station. Asiago is also the birthplace of the famous writer Mario Rigoni Stern.
FUN FACT: in 1310 one of the first autonomous governments in history was born here, the Esteemed Regency of the Seven Municipalities, with Asiago as its capital: it lasted until 1807, when Veneto passed under the reign of Napoleon.