BELLUNO | Brent de L’Art
A rocky conformation located in the municipality of Borgo Valbelluna. The term “Brent” derives from the local dialect and indicates a stream that flows in a deep and narrow valley, while Art, from artus, means rocky gorge. The walls of the Brent de l’Art, formed due to water erosion, and characterized by the alternation of lighter and more compact layers, consisting of calcareous and fossil sands, and calcareous-marly layers, generally of a brick red colour due to the presence of iron oxide. To hike along the marked trails, the use of hiking boots is recommended, while the descent into the stream and canyoning or kayaking can only be done if accompanied by mountain guides.
FUN FACT: near Mel, in the centre of Borgo Vallbelluna, the Blue Grotto is hidden, a secret place with emerald waters, reachable on foot starting from the Castle of Zumelle.
PADOVA | Selvezzano Dentro
Municipality west of Padua, it consists of a plane of alluvial origin from which the Montecchia and Mottolo hills rise. Selvazzano Dentro is crossed by the Bacchiglione river which divides the city into two parts. The adjective “dentro”, meaning “inside” of the town name derives from the position of the city on the right of the river. A few steps from the towncentre, in the hamlet of Feriole, is Villa Emo Capodilista, a sixteenth-century residence designed by the Veronese Dario Vortari and probably built in 1578. Commissioned by the noble Paduan Capodilista family as a hunting lodge, it preserves refined frescoes and a luxuriant Italian garden. Nowadays it is possible to visit or stay in the villa which, in 2004, was the set of the film The Merchant of Venice.
FUN FACT: the town is home to Villa Melchiorre Cesarotti, the country home of the famous author, frequented by famous people such as Ugo Foscolo and Madame de Stael.
ROVIGO | Porto Tolle
It is a town based in the hamlet of Cà Tiepolo, in the furthermost area of the Delta, surrounded by the waters of the Po and the Adriatic Sea. It is a very recent territory formed by alluvial deposits brought by the river. The branches of the Po di Maistra, Po di Gnocca and Po di Venezia divide the area into three islands: Ca’Venier island, Donzella island and Polesine Camerini island. Towards the end of spring Porto Tolle becomes a small corner of Provence, indeed around Ca’Mello, on the island of Donzella, fields of lavender are cultivated. The harvest takes place by the end of June, a part is distilled to produce soaps and perfumes and the rest is used to produce essential oil.
FUN FACT: Sacca degli Scordovari, a vast stretch of water between the entrance of the Po di Gnocca and the Po di Tolle, is the largest ” garden” in Italy to cultivate mussels and clams.
TREVISO | Vidor
In the town of Treviso on the left of the Piave, a necropolis dating back to the 4th century was found in 1986. The area was popular in Roman times, as there was the passage of the ancient Via Claudia Augusta Altinate, and in the Middle Ages, close to the Piave, a river port was built that regulated access to the river. Towards the beginning of the twelfth century, the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Bona was erected, founded by Count Giovanni Gravone to house the relics of the saint brought back from the Holy Land. During the Great War, the building was almost destroyed, in the 1920s it was restored maintaining the simple layout and the typical Romanesque and Gothic elements. It is possible to visit the Abbey in March for the celebrations of the patron saint of Vidor.
FUN FACT: one of the peculiarities of the Abbey are the ophitic columns of the cloister, a Romanesque architectural element that symbolizes the double nature, human and divine, of Christ.
VERONA | Lazise
Lying on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, it has an ancient history. Its name derives from the Latin “lacus”, which means ‘lake village’, it was a land of pile dwellings as well as a Roman village and, in the Middle Ages, a very prestigious castle. Between 888 and 961, during the first Kingdom of Italy, it depended directly on the sovereign, that is, it was a “free city” not subject to any feudal lord. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was the land of the Scaligeri of Verona, who surrounded it with turreted walls and built the fortress and the port. The lakeside of Lazise is the main attraction of the town: it is possible to indulge in pleasant walks on the shores of Lake Garda, which start from Lazise and arrive in Bardolino.
FUN FACT: Lazise is considered the first municipality of Italy: in 983 the emperor Otto II, for political interests, granted the population to enjoy legal and fiscal autonomy.
VICENZA | Schio
It is one of the major towns near Vicenza located on the planes in the Upper Vicenza area, crossed by torrential water courses: the Leogra, the Timonchio and the Livergon. Known for having become the capital of the national textile industry around 1870, its name derives from scledum, a Latin term that indicates a plant of the oak family. A must-visit is the Jacquard Garden, built around 1859, whose name derives from the adjoining theatre named after the French Jean Marie Jacquard, who invented the weaving loom. The building, work of the architect Antonio Caregaro Negrin, initially designed to house functional structures for textile production, represents an example of a late romantic garden.
FUN FACT: in an article in the Toronto Daily Star of 1922, Ernest Hemingway wrote that the city of Schio is “one of the most beautiful places on earth”.