` September 17: Asolo, Villa Barbero, Villa Emo

September 17: Asolo, Villa Barbero, Villa Emo

Saturday, September 17 was the first official day of our tour. Mom and I arrived the evening before at the (Venice) Mestre train station, where we were greated by the enthusiastic and energetic Rita, our tour guide. We spent Friday night in a hotel in Castelfranco, Rita's home town, and the next morning started our tour with a walkabout in the lovely town of Asolo.

The other two poeple in our tour, Dick and Marilyn, didn't meet up with us until Saturday afternoon, so Saturday morning was a private tour of Asolo.

Asolo, and all the places we were to visit over the week, is in the province of Veneto (VE - ne - to). Venice is also in Veneto. I guess it's the capital. Veneto appears to be much less visited by Americans than, say, Tuscany or Umbria.

  1. The fountain in the center of Asolo. The lion - symbol of Venice - is a recurring motif.

  2. Cathedral - Mom in front.

  3. An unusual Madonna: not a typical Assumption scene, so it's theorized it may be a dream of the saints.

  4. Curves.

  5. Red, blue and green.

  6. Round windows and wrought-iron balconies. To the left - a Venetian-style window, with the Eastern motif.

  7. Arches and shutters.

  8. Looking down through the arch.

  9. A villa (the castle?) in Asolo.

  10. A villa on the hill - it's at the topmost point, to the right.

  11. See? I told you!

  12. Our beautiful tour guide Rita in a beautiful garden of a very upscale hotel.

  13. Partially exposed old frescos in an old church.

  14. Another villa - not Palladian, but perhaps influenced by Palladio?

  15. Rita calls this the oddest structure in Asolo. I think it's up for rent.

  16. Here's a glimpse into why that may be.

  17. Town gate.

  18. The iron curly bars on the tower are there for structural support.

  19. The castle is down below, and the fortress is up atop the hill.

  20. A graceful Neptune (?).

  21. My Villa Barbero (also known as Villa Maser, after the town). A week of touring villas did not budge me. This is my favorite. This is by Palladio, 1560. I especially liked this shot of the villa with the odd pointy iron thingy on top the gate.

    The villa proper is the main, tall building in the center. It is flanked by two barchessa - one on either side. Then, on either end, is the dovecote. The barchessa were used by the local farmers and tradesmen, both for working and for storage. The dovecotes were apparently used to house doves, as carrier pigeons (?). So we were told.

  22. Villa Barbero (BAR-ber-o), this time without the gate.

  23. Another graceful Neptune.

  24. Our tour, left to right: Charlotte, Rita, Marilyn, Dick. Marilyn and Dick are from Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. She is a real estate agent, and he's a builder.

  25. Along the road. Mom or Rita will have to jog my memory here. (Note that for Villa Barbero, I was not permitted to take photographs of any of the beautiful interior frescos and murals by Paolo Veronese. Villa Barbero also contains sculpture by Alessandro Vittoria.)

  26. A statue weeps over the road.

  27. Guarded by a stone wall.

  28. Peaceful Italian villa landscape. It was a cloudy day, but not yet raining. That was to come tomorrow.

  29. I love the red shutters and the green growing wildly.

  30. The different buildings coexist in harmony.

  31. Villa Emo, by Palladio, 1564. Located in Fanzolo in Vedelago. The interior fresco cycle is by G.B. Zelotti and followers. (Agagin, I dig the pointy star on the gate.)

  32. OK, maybe it was raining a little. Here we see one of the barchessa.

  33. A glance aside.

  34. Weren't we here already? The villa part of Villa Emo.

  35. In the corner of the front porch - an homage to maize - corn stalks topped with a fern.

  36. At the bottom of a fountain.

  37. And above.

  38. A magnificent door of circular squares.

  39. Villa Emo, the long view.

  40. And a bit closer up.

  41. The workers' quarters.

  42. Villa Emo, as much as you can get in one shot.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: October 1, 2005.