Asolo, the town of a hundred...kisses!

Discovering the liaison between the small town and the kiss in the history of art.

by Valentina Scarpa Bandelloni
Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets

A walk to discover the liaison between the small town in the province of Treviso and the kiss in the history of art, from Canova's Asolo origins to the original exhibition "One more kiss".

The scene of legendary love stories, Asolo boasts an important liaison with the kiss, one of the most celebrated expressions of love in the history of art. Our title plays, in fact, with the nickname “the town of a hundred horizons”, which the poet Giosuè Carducci dedicated to it, and with one of the most cited texts written about the kiss, the verses that Catullus composed for his beloved Lesbia:

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred,
then another thousand, then a second hundred,
then yet another thousand, then a hundred.

Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets
Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets

The best things in life can never be kept; they must be given away. A Smile, a Kiss, and Love.

(Robert Browning)

The starting point for our walk is offered by the exhibition One more kiss set up, until 13 March 2022, in the Civic Museum, curated by Enrica Feltracco and Massimiliano Sabbion, which tells the kiss through 42 artists, including Daniele Fortuna with his colorful wood sculptures and the street artist Tony Gallo, with works of various artistic genres, from painting to glitch art.

When kissing is mentioned in the history of art, two are perhaps the most famous artworks: that of Hayez and that of Antonio Canova with his Cupid and Psyche who, portraying the winged God descended in flight towards his beloved, stops the intensity of the moment that precedes the union of the lips of the two lovers.

Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets

The history of Antonio Canova is inextricably linked to that of Asolo and its Civic Museum, whose constitution began to be talked about following the death of the famous sculptor. In fact, Canova began his career, thanks to the interest of his grandfather stonemason, in the Asolo workshop of Giuseppe Bernardi, known as il Torretto, who became his first master.

After Canova’s death, in 1825 his nephew and pupil Domenico Manera and later in 1836 his half-brother Mons. Giambattista Sartori Canova donated to the Municipality, respectively, the Cenotaph of Canova and the marble statue of Paris, now exhibited in the Sala della Ragione, the most important of the Museum which also houses some works from the exhibition.

Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets

After the visit to the exhibition, our walk continues at the Caffè Centrale, in Piazza Garibaldi almost in front of the Civic Museum, theater for decades of the social life of the town, where you can stop for an aperitif, perhaps with a Colli Asolani Prosecco DOCG wine, the maximum enological expression of this fertile and productive territory.

And speaking of art, the sparkling wine to taste can only be signed by Montelvini, a company that has been based on the Serena family’s commitment to the territory for over 138 years. To them, great patrons-of-arts, we also owe the recent project of the Rediscovered Vineyard which consists in the recovery of an ancient vineyard, located in the historic center of Asolo in front of the Villa Contarini degli Armeni and the famous Italian garden of Villa De Mattia, which will give life to a special wine.

Asolo, the town of a hundred…kisses! — Veneto Secrets

A few meters from Caffè Centrale, it is also worth visiting the Civic Tower, which is part of the ancient Castle of Caterina Cornaro. From the top floor you can enjoy a 360° panorama that goes from the Rocca di Asolo to Monte Grappa and fully understand the meaning of the nickname “the town of a hundred horizons”.

At the end of the morning, you can stop for lunch at Due Mori, a modern trattoria that offers one of the most beautiful views of Asolo and dishes cooked with only the help of an original wood-burning stove.

Useful Info

Musei Civici di Asolo

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