` Sunday, September 18: Veneto in the Rain

Sunday, September 18: Veneto in the Rain

We visited three towns: Castelfranco, Treviso and Brassano del Grappa. The last, as you might guess, is indeed the birthplace of grappa, a strong liquer. It rained all day, sometimes hard, sometimes light. I intelligently left my umbrella back in Austra ("Italy is warm and sunny", I decided then) but Rita had extra umbrellas. We ended up eating on the top floor of a restaurant that was covered with a canvas (removable?) roof, so we heard the drumming of an insistent downpout throughout dinner. When the rain is safely ensconced, it sounds cozy and right. Mom and I split a risotto with local mushrooms.

Castelfranco is the birthplace of Giorgione, a painter. Treviso, in addition to the rain, is a watery kind of place - streams and canals throughout. Brassano is notable as the staging place for the Alpini in WWII, the men who fought the fascists in the mountains.

  1. But first, we stopped to tour Pope Pius X's birthplace and museum. He came from humble beginnings. Pope Pius X was recognized as a saint. The Catholic Forum has a very good life history. He was pope from 1903-1914, and canonized in 1954. His memorial day August 21. His will read: "I was born poor. I lived poor. I wish to die poor."

  2. The interior of a very old but still in use theater in Castelfranco.

  3. People leaving church on a rainy day.

  4. The lion of Venice rules even time.

  5. The fortress in Castelfranco and a statue of Giorgione, favorite son. A very short description of Giorgione da Castelfranco describes him as a painter in the Italian High Renaissance, Venetian School. He is credited with introducing the landscape as a stand-alone subject, as well as introducing the female nude. (Well, I'm sure the female nude was always a subject ... -mrm.) 1477-1510 (dates uncertain).

  6. A closer look at Giorgione.

  7. The courtyard of (I believe?) a Jesuit seminary or something along those lines.

  8. One room in this seminary/monastery is stunning - paintings date from 16th century (or earlier). I really must start taking notes when I'm on tour. That is when I'm taking a tour.

  9. I love these windows. I don't know why they don't carry them at Home Depot.

  10. I don't know if you can see it - peer closely! - but this monk scrivener is wearing glasses. According to Rita, this is the firt known instance of someone being portrayed with glasses. Castelfranco Veneto takes its hallmarks where it can. No, seriously, this indicates that perhaps around these time, polishes lenses started being used widely to help people with their vision. And if you still ccan't see the glasses, check your vision ... :-)

  11. This is a picture of a lamp. The buildings and arches are just bonus.

  12. I don't know why the buildings lean like that. We're nowhere near Pisa.

  13. My beloved lamp and an arched window. I think we really should have a renaissance, as it were, of arches of all sorts in our architecture. It just makes you happy to look at them. When was the last time a window filled you with delight?

  14. Today, our bountiful lady dispense water, good ol' H2O. In times past, wine: red from one, er, spout, and white from the other. This is a replica of the real thing.

  15. I guess I just found this charming, alongside small shrine. Charm. We also need more charm.

  16. A close-up of the shrine.

  17. We are in Treviso now. In fact, we probably have been for a while. I love this smallish pink villa. We played a game of "I could live there." I decided I could live there. Although my favorite town is Vicenza (see Wednesday, September 21.) And of course we all agreed we could spend springs and autumns in Venice.

  18. Outside my pink villa is a large pit open the air, which used to be (they think) a Roman bath or source of water. The mosaics were uncovered not too long ago and are in great shape as they've been covered up for centuries. These mosaics date from Roman times.

  19. Fishies.

  20. A beautiful young man.

  21. Rita with an eroded lion. Who can blame it, with all this rain.

  22. The lion takes umbrage at my remarks. (I love this guy.)

  23. His partner on the other side of the church. At least I think it was a church.

  24. The most romantic spot in the world, or at least in Treviso.

  25. Columns and arches and a windvane. Columns. That's another thing we need more of. Columns, arches and charm. Can someone plase pass the word to Home Sepot?

  26. I guess th is is an Art Shote(tm).

  27. Hills seen from Brassano. Over there is where the Alpini fought the fascists in WWII. The town does not forget and has a lane of trees decorated with flowers in memory of the fallen heros.

  28. This is my attempt to show you the row of trees that are decorated in memory of fallen soldiers.

  29. One such tree, with plaque and flowers.

  30. Brassano from Palladio's bridge. YEs, he did the bridge. It's been reconstructed any number of times, but always after his design.

  31. An Alpini fighter, painted above the bridge.

  32. We are rewarded with good food and warm company.

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: October 2, 2005