The magical strip of land that goes from Grappa to Asolo, with its rolling hills, up to Valdobbiadene, both territories recognized in the UNESCO program, is famous, as well as for its landscapes, for having witnessed important love stories and artistic liaisons.
Following in their footsteps, we go to the discovery of some of the most romantic restaurants and hotels in Veneto through a charming itinerary among castles, historic wine cellars and products result of millenary traditions.
Our story begins in Asolo, one of the most beautiful walled towns in Italy, with one of the most celebrated couples in the art world; Eleonora Duse and Gabriele D’Annunzio, the diva actress and the war hero and poet who, after having met in Venice in 1894, begin a tormented relationship fueled by a mutual creative fire. The theater of their love was Albergo al Sole which dedicated suite 101 to them, a tribute to the Poet, and room 202, where Duse stayed for a long time, still faithfully furnished as at that time. For a romantic evening, don’t miss dinner at La Terrazza Bar & Restaurant, the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the Rocca di Asolo.
The next morning, you can visit the Civic Museum which dedicates some rooms to the couple where, among many objects that belonged to them, you can read the exciting letters that D’Annunzio wrote to Miss Duse.
You may know how dear the land of Asolo is to me, where three Queens of very different royalty sleep. And one of them is also the sovereign of my spirit, deeper in me than under the stone concerning Grappa.
We continue to discover another famous couple, Napoleon Bonaparte, crowned king of Italy in 1805, and his beloved sister Paolina. To immerse yourself in the nineteenth-century spirit of the time that saw him as a protagonist of the Venetian political scene, the next stop is the Palladian Villa Sandi in Crocetta del Montello, where the French leader was a guest.
Today the headquarters of the Moretti Polegato family winery, do not miss the events held in the evocative historic wine cellars, such as the candlelit tasting of the Opere Metodo Classico sparkling wines, a name that plays with a double homage: to the workers who helped who went to the grape harvest and to the artistic artifacts created by the many artists who frequented the villa, including Antonio Canova.
Sculptor so loved by Napoleon, our itinerary continues with a visit to the Gipsoteca in Possagno, just 20 minutes away from the Villa, where the most beautiful plaster casts by Canova are kept, including the very famous one of Paolina Bonaparte, portrayed as the Venus Winner, a work commissioned in 1804 to the sculptor by Paolina’s husband, Prince Camillo Borghese. When the marble was finished and transported to the hall of Villa Borghese, it aroused such interest, given the nudity of the princess allegedly portrayed live, that Prince Borghese had to close it to the public to avoid the crowds.
I know you sometimes allow someone to see my marble statue. I would be happy if this didn’t happen again, because the nudity of the sculpture borders on indecency. It was created for your pleasure, now it is no longer so, and it is right that it remains hidden from the eyes of others.
(Paolina Bonaparte, to her husband)
Continuing on the road to Valdobbiadene, we find the Locanda Sandi, another property of the Moretti Polegato family, a charming restaurant with rooms housed in an ancient farmhouse, perfect for an aperitif in the garden, a lunch on the romantic veranda among roses and crystal chandeliers, or to stay in one of the characteristic rooms decorated in a rustic ‘800 style.
Once in Valdobbiadene, the “capital” of the Prosecco hills, you can take a walk in the new Piazza del Municipio, designed by the Larchs Architettura studio and, through the entrance in Via Mazzini, walk through the picturesque hornbeam tunnel to arrive at the Bortolomiol winery, one of the few that has remained strictly owned by the same family since 1760.
Here you can visit the romantic Filandetta Park, amidst works of art and vineyards, where Ius Naturae organic Prosecco is produced, and complete the experience with a tasting inside the historic Filanda spinning mill, a fascinating industrial archeology location.
It’s now time to go back in time, to the period, between 900-1260 AD, in which the powerful Da Camino family, lords of Treviso, resided in Castelbrando, in Cison di Valmarino, one of the most beautiful and best-preserved castles in Italy. Here was a guest Gaia da Camino, the famous poetess mentioned by the Supreme Poet Dante Alighieri in Purgatory, whom he seems to have known during his stay in Treviso with her father Gherardo da Camino.
In Castelbrando, which can be reached via a fun panoramic funicular railway, you can book the Alcova del Conte suite, the noblest apartment in the castle, the private accommodation of the Brandolini counts who succeeded the Da Camino family.
Per altro sopranome io nol conosco, s’io nol togliessi da sua figlia Gaia. Dio sia con voi, ché più non vegno vosco.
(Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio)
And to continue feeling like in a fairytale, our itinerary can only end with one of the most famous couples in the history of cinema, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, who in Roman Holiday play Princess Anna and her lover who get around Rome with a Vespa, to which one of the experiences organized by Vespa Rent Dolomiti is dedicated.
Both picking up the scooter at its headquarters in Vittorio Veneto or delivered at your hotel, you can book the tour of the Prosecco Castles and stop for a vintage-style picnic among the vineyards based on the products of the award-winning Latteria Perenzin, winner of the Coups de Coeur at the Salon du Fromage 2022 in Paris with the Capra Tonka & Vermouth cheese.
At the end of the Vespa ride, you can take home, as well as the delicious cheeses, the best of Venetian food and wine products by stopping by the PER Bottega & Cheese Bar, the store with bistro of the dairy, located in San Pietro di Feletto, and then continue towards the wonderful Castle of Collalto.
But that is another story that we will tell you soon.
All the experiences described can be booked through Visit Prosecco Hills.