Thursday, December 13, 2007

A day in Asolo

So today was another day trip on the train. I went to Asolo which is about an hour northeast of Venice. Really a very quaint and charming boutique town. I never get tired of looking at the architecture, color and decay of Italy. Asolo was a haven for rich Venetians back in the day (i.e. hundreds of years ago) and still is today. At one point in its history it was a fortress town and completely encircled with walls. I took over 150 pics in my short time there so you can tell I really enjoyed myself. I also had a hard time picking some to show you and I think I might have gone overboard!

Shortly after arriving, my new American friend (who lives there via Denver) got a call about doing a job. She has a business in decorative painting and finishes. The man who called was an art dealer in town, originally from Brazil via Canada to Asolo. Great story. There is a very old farmhouse in the country about 15 minutes outside the city in which a wealthy Italian man purchased as a gift for his wife. The nice part is that he did that 2 years ago and she still doesnt know! He hired Mr. Art Dealer to do the renovation, expansion and landscaping on the house because he was an unknown in the city and it would be easier to keep the secret! So now after 1 1/2 years of landscaping and expansion, they are starting to work on the exterior colors and next year the interior (thats where my American friend comes in!). The property is exquisite. You feel like you have stepped back in time in Italy. The views are incomprehensible and he has done a fabulous job on landscaping (over 600 trees and bushes planted---would love to come back in 10 years and see it again). On Christmas Day, Mr. Italy is going to bring his wife to this house and tell her about the great secret! We are only hoping she takes it well and doesnt wonder if he is prone to keeping other secrets from her! :-) If she enjoys living there half as much as I enjoyed my hour or so there, she will be one happy woman.

Back in Asolo, we had a nice, casual lunch and off for more siteseeing. But before we got too far, we ran into a kindly, old man dressed in his best for the afternoon out. We talked briefly and he pulled out a wad of old, faded pictures from his pocket. It was his life and his family there in his hands. Its times like that I wish I was fluent, because I am sure he had many wonderful stories to share.

I got my share of exercise today on the hills but it was all worth it. The best way for me to explain is by stealing a commercial: Roundtrip ticket via train from Venice to Asolo: 7.70 euro. 1 quattro formaggio pizza and a coke for lunch: 11 euro. 7 hours in Asolo and 150 pictures: priceless!


Gil said...

The art that is incorporated in these ancient buildings is totally amazing! Thanks for posting so many pictures as each picture is a work of art and beauty unto itself just as each building is. It is so good to hear that you are enjoying yourself.

Ryan said...

glad to hear that you had a good day. Looking forward to hopefully making it out to Ferrara next week. I'm sorry I missed yesterday, it looks and sounds like it was a good time.