Is there a living style of the Prosecco Hills? As well as the “à la marinière” style of Saint Tropez or the "60ies Riviera" of Portofino and Capri? Discovering a trend that is conquering more and more design and interior design enthusiasts.
Let’s start with history. The Treviso countryside experienced a period of peaceful serenity until the fall of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, the style then was that of the Venetian villa which, while adapting it to rural needs, was nourished by the fashions in vogue in the elegant Venetian palaces of the time. At the end of the 1700s Napoleonic domination arrives, then the Austrian one followed by two world wars that forever changed the physiognomy of many Venetian towns, whose manor houses and characteristic stone farmhouses were swept away by the fury of the war.
After the war, and in particular from the 1960s, the reconstruction began and the symbols of what has become today the unmistakable rustic-chic style of the Prosecco Hills was born precisely from the need to “create” and embellish their homes with the few resources that families had at their disposal at the end of the war.
Starting from tables and chairs strictly in poor wood and straw; today is defined as “osteria’s style” and has become a cult, from which took inspiration – actually it seems after eating in a restaurant in Milan – Giò Ponti who elevated it to design icon status with the creation of the 1957 Superleggera model.
Speaking of seating, in all the chicest villas in the Veneto hinterland, rattan and wicker furniture could not be missing, a fashion that came from the East and then quickly spread to Anglo-Saxon countries. The first cane processing plants appeared in Italy at the end of the 19th century, giving life to beautiful baskets (the profession of the “basket maker” was very widespread) and furniture with the curved lines typical of the Liberty style in vogue at the time. It became one of the main industries in the Treviso area, a sector that almost disappeared with the advent of cheaper raw materials. A tradition that is still alive in the gardens of many villas, where two sister armchairs or a wicker rocking chair are never missing under a porch or a veranda, and which is strongly relaunching thanks to the popularity of the Nordic-chic style.
And we come to the lights, perhaps the most distinctive trait of the stylistic code of the Venetian countryside. If the most sought-after inns and taverns used the typical Venetian lanterns, a poor art product because, initially, created from the scraps of Murano glass processing, then tied with iron wire in order to create a colored lampshade, the rural houses used the single light bulb hanging from the ceiling that was coated with “recycled” materials, such as handmade doilies and colanders, an idea that has been revived by many contemporary designers.
Another unmistakable details are the decorations and objects made with the waste from wine processing. We are obviously on the Prosecco Hills where, from the 1960s onwards, with the rediscovery of vine cultivation, the conditions for diffusion were created for what is today the largest industry of these hills.
Recycling in this case has the only limit of imagination: the characteristic green glass demijohns, once used to market bulk wine as the bottles began to be used only from the 60s onwards, are transformed into lanterns and led lights containers, while barrels and boxes of wine become book holders and menu holders.
And what about the mise en place? In addition to the classic trattoria’s checkered tablecloths, the fashion of “Mussolente stripes” has spread in the Venetian countryside; the fabrics made by the Eger artisan company whose history starts in the 19th century in distant Bohemia when Francesco Eger moved to Veneto and founds his own company. In the 1960s, with the boom of second homes, Eger fabrics were found in the homes of the Venetian Dolce Vita, primarily Cortina from which fashion spread throughout the Veneto, thanks to its extraordinary Egyptian cotton in natural fibers, very pleasant to the touch. The glasses are those in Murano glass, while the ceramics, for the lucky ones, are still the floral services of the historic Venetian fine porcelain companies such as Fontebasso in Treviso or Antonibon in Nove.
And everywhere, as a centerpiece or to decorate drinks and dishes, the flowers of these hills are used, from lavender, also used to perfume linen and keep insects away, to corn ears that are collected together with the precious grain.
A recognizable and truly unique style in the world that tells us about a “paradise”, the one that welcomes visitors today, made up of elegant rolling hills and vineyards created by loving hands who have snatched it from a destiny that could not have been so generous.
To live an experience in the “Hills of Prosecco” style or buy local products, you can visit the site of visitproseccohills.it, the network of companies, which extends from Asolo to Montello passing through Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which aims to safeguard and promote these wonderful hills.