CASTELFRANCO VENETO CITTADELLA
TRADIZIONE E SPETTACOLO ESAGONO CARD
Six towns, a delightful experience of Treasures in the heart of Veneto
The hexagonal area or Esagono stretches along the uneven line where the Veneto plains meet the foothills of the Dolomites, in the heart of Veneto. This region has long attracted tourists to a plethora of cultural, architectural and environmental wonders known throughout the world from Venice to the Dolomites. It now reveals its hidden treasures.
The Hexagon Project (or Progetto Esagono) brings together six historic towns situated in an enchanting natural environment. United by their histories and traditions, these towns offer visitors enjoyable experiences all year round.
The region's vast cultural heritage, its museums and the testimonies of great artists are but a few compelling reasons to discover the Esagono. The delightful history of this disputed land, replete with castles and fortresses, owes much to its topography.
At the crossroads between the provinces of Padua (Padova), Vicenza and Treviso, replete with waterways, a mild climate and gentle countryside, this province offers a magic landscape that everyone can enjoy. Visitors can just strolling in the historic town centres or among colours of nature, enter craft shops, savour our traditional tastes or witness the spectacle of our exciting cultural life.
The medieval town, which nineteenth century Italian poet Giosuè Carducci called "the town of a hundred horizons", stands as an architectural jewel of Veneto in the midst of an enchanting panorama. The Rocca or citadel dominates the old town hosting the castle, the Cathedral, with an altarpiece by Lorenzo Lotto, and the fifteenth century Palazzo della Ragione (House of Justice). The captivating walk along the narrow streets and porticoes of the old town have inspired artists from all over the world.
On arrival the visitor is overwhelmed by the view of Asolo's famous citadel dominating the old town and the surrounding landscape. From its battlements visitors enjoy an enchanting panorama. Fortified in the 13th century on the remains of a fort, it is joined to the Castle by a wall enclosing the whole townInside the castle the Torre Civica (municipal tower) and the smaller Torre Reata (Judicial Tower) surround the Municipal Theatre, named after Italian actress Eleonora Duse.
BASSANO DEL GRAPPA
The town has gained international fame for three characteristic symbols: the Ponte degli Alpini (Alpine Soldier Bridge), Iacopo da Ponte and its fine pottery.
The wooden bridge, designed by Andrea Palladio, the Ezzelini castle, the Municipal museum and a plethora of frescoed buildings embellish the old town. The medieval testimonies blend with Venetian architecture within the three city walls, marking the urban growth of the Roman town. Basson del Grappa's cultural life is replete with events, shows and exhibitions.
The walkway along the walls affords a splendid vista over foothills of the Dolomites and the whole town. The Ezzelini castle stands within the walls rising above surroundings at the top of a steep road crossing the quarter of old shops. The three city walls, the last built in 1370, mark the urban growth of the thousand year-old town.
Giorgione's town conserves the prestige of a historic centre of art within its medieval walls. Giorgione's altarpiece inside the Duomo and the frieze of Casa Marta Pellizzari lie in the heart of the town alongside the eighteenth century Academic Theatre (Teatro Accademico). Frescoed buildings overlook the spectacular piazza lining the castle walls, built by the inhabitants of Treviso in the 12th century to defend their borders.
The unique square of red walls still seems to protect the medieval town as it did at the end of the 12th century when Treviso builders erected the defensive enclosure to guard their territory.
The municipal tower rises above the corner towers and the city walls, with an entrances on three sides to the austere fort. Around the castle lies a pleasant garden, surrounded by a moat and a magnificent walk lined by statues.
The impressive walls surrounding the town, capped by some 32 turrets, have remained almost intact. A path runs alongside the moat offering a picturesque visit. The town dates back to 1220 when the Council of Padua had the town walls built to protect its territory.
The old town treasures some authentic masterpieces: the Torre Di Malta, mentioned in the Dante's Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy), the old Palazzo Pretorio (Magistrates' Hall) and the prestigious community theatre (Teatro Sociale), one of the few with tiered seating in Veneto.
A wonderful example of defensive architecture, Cittadella's walls form one of the best conserved medieval military structures in Europe. In 1220 the Council of Padua built it in a strategic position to guard the territory against external attacks. The approximately circular outline features four gates and 32 turrets. A path alongside the moat offers visitors a picturesque walk shaded by the ancient walls.
With a sublimely theatrical effect, the surrounding walls descend from the hill overlooking the town to the old town, joining the upper and lower castles. Marostica began as a Roman fort and followed the historical events of the neighbouring town of Bassano as the fortification underwent a series of structural changes. The lower castle overlooks the main square where the famous human chess game is played.
The two castles, connected by walls enclosing the old town, mark the limits of Marostica. From the hill, Colle Pausolino, the upper castle dominates the old town and extends with its solid walls down to the lower castle overlooking the main square. The panoramic path linking the two forts lets visitors fully appreciate the architectural and topographical wonders that the town offers.
The imposing neo-classical temple rising above the panorama of hills around Possagno is known for its most famous citizen, Antonio Canova, who designed it as a church for his hometown. The Temple is home to the artist's grave and hosts some of Canova's works: a marble self-portrait, the Metopes (le Metope) and the altarpiece dedicated to Christ's Deposition. A wide avenue connects the temple with the statue gallery and the great sculptor's house.
TRADITION AND SPECTACLE
The lively and exciting cultural life of the towns in the Esagono region offers a plethora of events all year round. Exhibitions, fairs, festivals, wine tasting, gastronomy and great shows will enhance your enjoyment of these places.
Veneto Summer Opera Festival (Opera Estate Festival Veneto) (Bassano, July and August)
This is one of the liveliest and eclectic Italian festivals. In a sublime atmosphere it offers international dances, plays, concerts, jazz, world music, opera and cinema. Four hundreds cultural events between July and August, in the splendour of Bassano and in the other neighbouring theatre towns.
Ballata del Millennio (Bassano, mid September in odd years)
Over five hundred figures dressed costumes from various epochs, animate the town re-enacting the eight most significant moments of the Bassano's millenary history, from the saga of the Ezzelini to the 1944 resistance.
Chess Game (Marostica, second weekend of September in even years)
A live chess game is played in the spectacular piazza under the gaze of the lower castle. Over six hundred living characters re-enact an ancient legend dating back to the fifteenth century recounting the challenge between two young noblemen to win the favour of the daughter of the podestà (Chief Magistrate judge).
Fantadia - International Multivision Festival (Asolo, in odd years)
For a whole week Multivision technology turns the whole town into a spectacle. This exciting form of artistic expression brings together photography and music to create awe-inspiring scenes.
Asolo, second weekend of the month (except July and August)
Cittadella, third Sunday of the month
Marostica, first Sunday of the month
Palio del Castel d'amore - (Love Castle Contest) (Castelfranco, second Sunday of September)
Citizens of the town's quarters and suburbs contend to conquer the castle in the Palio, by seizing the spaces of the medieval town walls.
Voci dell'Evo di mezzo - Voices from the Middle Ages (Cittadella, last week of September)
For a whole week the town goes back to live in the Middle Ages with costumes, traditions and atmospheres evocative of the period.
Umoristi a Marostica - Humorists in Marostica (April - May)
International visual humour exhibition, held for the last 33 years in the halls of the lower castle.
Stagioni di prosa - Prose Seasons (October to April)
Bassano, Teatro Astra
Castelfranco, Teatro Accademico
Cittadella, Teatro Sociale (Community Theatre)
Estate a Possagno - Possagno Summer Festival (July - August)
Piazza Canova hosts a series of events celebrating culture, folklore, food and wine as well as a crafts market. Every year, interesting art exhibitions are held in the new wing of the statue gallery and in the Parco Canoviano.
Rassegne gastronomiche (Gastronomic events)
Bassano: Asparagus festival and gastronomic evenings, April and May
Marostica: Cherry market and exhibition with over three hundred exhibitors, last Sunday of May
Possagno: Culinary delights of the mountain community, May
Castelfranco: Castelfranco Radicchio festival, last Sunday before Christmas.
Travelling in the six towns of the Esagono area opens up a world of discovery, but also very affordable. With an Esagono Card you can benefit from a whole series of discounts. It is easy to get it, too. Just ask for one at any of the participating offices and museums of the towns in the Esagono area and give your name and address.
Where to Benefit from the Card:
Museums: at museums of the Esagono area the card offers discounted admission tickets
Hotels: Local hotels that take part in the Esagono project offer cardholders a 20% discount off the cost of service. Discounts are valid at the weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Restaurants: Restaurants taking part in this project offer all Esagono Card holders a 10% discount off list prices.
Where to Get an Esagono Card:
At all museums of the Esagono area and at the following offices:
ASOLO: Tourist information bureau – tel. 0423.529046
BASSANO: Tourist information bureau – tel. 0424.524351
CASTELFRANCO: Pro Loco (Community Association) – tel. 0423.495000
CITTADELLA: Pro Cittadella (Community Association) - . tel. 049.5970627-049-9359014
MAROSTICA: Pro Marostica (Community Association) – tel. 0424.72127
POSSAGNO: Canova Statue Museum o – tel. 0423.544323