Asolan afternoon

The view from the garden bench reminds me that we haven’t been to Asolo for a couple of weeks. The town is what drew my parents to this part of Italy in the sixties, and persuaded them to buy an old farmhouse nearby for their retirement. Every day, I stare at the ancient military fortress, La Rocca, on the farthest crest to the right. It whispers to me of the time when, from the 14th to the 17th centuries, the fort represented part of the defense system of the Venetian Republic.

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We set off at midday and park in the main square by the Caffè Centrale,which is owned and run by Lele and Ezio, my late step-father’s cousins.

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In the Piazza Brugnoli, we look up at La Rocca from a different angle to the one at home, the sky so blue and cloudless it seems to go on forever.

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Passing a taverna offering panini , pasta, and delicious wine, we stop for a bite and a sip before heading down the hill.

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A shop selling Easter goodies catches our eye

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and we continue on past Eleanora Duse’s house (see my post of 18 March 2013), heading to the small church of Santa Caterina of Alexander, which was built, not in its present form, but a smaller building, in the 14th Century. The frescoes by the altar give an indication of the original shape with a sloping roof.

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We sit in quiet contemplation. I’m due to write a scene in my time-slip historical romance Lady of Asolo which will take place here, and I can’t wait to get started.

On our way back up the hill, we stop for a coffee with Luisella, a friend who works at the Hotel Villa Cipriani

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It’s the first time we’ve been there since Mum died, and we feel sad as we remember her loving her visits to the hotel. But the beauty of the day and the setting consoles us, and soon we head back to the car, up the Via Canova.

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Driving home, we catch sight of the wisteria on a building to our right. Spring has sprung, and we’re looking forward to getting out and about for more romance and adventure next week.

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15 thoughts on “Asolan afternoon

  1. Reblogged this on Siobhan Daiko Author and commented:

    I’m re-blogging a post I wrote just over a year ago to tie-in with a excerpt from “Lady of Asolo”:

    “The drive from Aunt Susan’s village, Altivole, took about twenty minutes. Fern found a park, then reached for her rucksack. She took in the sight of the Rocca, its fortifications etched against the azure sky, and decided she wouldn’t go there today; she didn’t feel up to the climb just yet. She’d have a leisurely stroll and find a quiet place where she’d paint.
    Within minutes, she was sauntering down the Via Canova, the sun warming her bare arms, guidebook in her hand. Reading that she should “glance up Vicolo Belvedere, at the corner of the bakery”, she did so. The book said there’d once been a Jewish Ghetto there. Not any more, though. Wonder what happened to it?
    A mansion painted the colour of terracotta rose up on her left. Apparently, it used to belong to a famous Italian actress. Fern strolled under an archway, and caught sight of an elegant palazzo with gold lettering on a wooden sign saying Hotel Villa Cipriani. She peered through the wrought-iron gate into a lush garden, planted with an array of salmon-pink geraniums.
    Next door stood an old house with a balcony, mullioned windows, a portal, and a massive doorway with a shutter and bolts. Recognition rang like a bell. Why? Fern gave a frown and told herself to keep focused.
    Nothing familiar about the small church on her left. Putting the guidebook into her rucksack, she stepped into the building and sat on a pew at the back. This isn’t quite right, I do know this place, but something about it is different.”

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