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Visiting the Veneto's villas & villages: Your views????

Visiting the Veneto's villas & villages: Your views????

Mar 7th, 2009, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,120
We were there at the end of April beginning of May which was the "Bridge Week" between 2 holidays, April 25 and May 1. Perhaps that had something to do with the opening hours.
yestravel is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 03:05 AM
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We got home last night. I will post a more extensive trip report ...or maybe several reports, as we visited such a variety of regions.

But the short version of events is as follows:

1. Le Risare (above) is an immaculate, quiet, very well restored historic property whose proprietor was very pleasant and helpful, as was the Ukrainian housekeeper Alina (sp.?)

For 80 E/ night, we got a good-sized room in a beautifully converted outbuilding with beamd ceilings and fireplace (laid with wood and with "firestarters" supplied) + a glorious bathroom with huge glass-walled shower.

Add to that a great breakfast of fresh baking, coffee/ tea, juices, cereal, fruit, sliced meats, cheeses, yogourt, etc.

Nearby are good reasonable restaurants -- 5 minutes to hip, youthful "Era Ora" in Campo San Martino, 15 minutes to the quaint, homey "Taverna degli Artisti" in the historic centre of Cittadella.

2. Casa Valiversi (above), at the foot of the hills of Sesto Fiorentino just outside Florence, is, at 95 E, more expensive but it is also a designer's dream house of great style and one might even say luxury:
- monogrammed towels + pillow cases;
- the breakfast china is a handpainted custom order, ie. "Casa Valiversi" printed on the reverse of each piece
- the furniture is a mix of antiques and modern pieces and it all looks like the decorators just left that morning.....

The owner, Mirella, is an antiques dealer who prepared an abundant bkfast AND offered to lead us by car to a great but hard to locate restaurant in Sesto F -- it is called "Aqaba" and serves pizzas (and also full meals) in a super-hip pavilion of huge arched windows and high, high ceilings and very, very cool modern decor.

Mirella, concerned that we had an early flight and since the Florence airport ("A. Vespucci"/ AKA Peretola) is THE WORST signposted and hardest to locate airport I have ever seen, also offered to guide us by car to the airport!

3. The Veneto and the villas....Well.....No, I would not do that area again.

The farmland of the Venetian plane has been devastated -- there really is no other word -- by light industry, commercial development and random residential settlement.

Driving is generally difficult as you are really never out of a built up area. There are some bypasses and some new roads are being built. But the villas require driving through small, ugly towns (e.g. Piombino Dese, for the V. Cornaro and the V. Marcello) and their ribbons of creeping growth.

We started with Treviso, where we could not park because we could not find any place that sold parking coupons (what a weird approach -- why not use pay and display machines?)

Castelfranco Veneto and Cittadella have pretty walls but not much more....

We travelled to Asolo, wh was kinda cute....but no more so than 100 Tuscan or Umbrian towns.

The Villa Emo was a delight; it was one of the few villas open in this season and on the weekdays available to us. But -- like virtually all the villas, it seems -- it is surrounded by crappy village development.

So....we decided to go further abroad.

4. We drove one sunny day up the east side of Lago di Garda, then cut across the mountains, via Rovereto to Schio (then picked up a motorway to get home).

Absolute heaven in the off season. The lake is stunning and the mountain roads were clear, well maintained and fast.

En route to Garda, we passed Vicenza and Verona and I realized nothing -- not even the V. Rotonda -- would induce me to visit either city by car.

Or Bassano del Grappa -- huge, sprawling, terribly ugly on its edges.

We did however climb the Cima del Grappa to the 1500 m altitude, beyond wh the road to Feltre was still blocked by snow (as we knew before we ascended).

And Feltre is a charming, lively small city, whose public bldgs we explored -- we were allowed just to wander into and around the renaissance Sala degli Stimmi on our own, while municipal workers went about their business all around us.

5. Our final weekend was spent near Bergamo, at a friend's country place. Bergamo is another huge-seeming city but if you can make your way to the citta alta (upper town) you have a great and delightful surprise awaiting you.

It is small but glorious and the churches, incl the Chapel of Colleone, superb.

And we found v central parking in a space that had an ATTENDANT who actually took CASH. Incredible!

PS: On re-reading I realize I have pretty much said all I need to about this area. So I may re-post this as a trip report, then move on to my reports on Venice, Rome and Florence.
tedgale is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,120
Thanks for the report. Couldn't agree with u more about driving in the cities in the Veneto -- horrible. Glad to hear that you liked Bergamo as we'll be there at the end of out trip this Spring. I gather u would recommend a visit to Villa Emo?
yestravel is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 09:35 AM
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great info - thanks. Looking forward to your complete report Ted.
cobbie is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 11:30 AM
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I have just completed an album of the places we stayed so if you are interested in le Risare and/ or Casa Valiversi, you can see them on the following:

Yes, I thought the Villa Emo was delightful. I think it is getting an infusion of cash from the new owners, a local bank. (Until 4-5 years ago it was in the possession of the family that built it 450 years ago) What is remarkable is that it is not a large house, really -- very compact and very practical. You can imagine living in it (sort of).
tedgale is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 01:03 PM
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The place with the Tiber views looks exquisite but am confused about its name. Walked right by it on the 19th on our way to Piazza del Popolo!
TDudette is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 04:18 PM
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The address is Lungotevere Marzio and right behind the bldg is Piazza Nicosia. Its next door neighbour is the Bulgari (jewellers) HQ building.

The agency with which it is now listed calls it Apartment "Miguel". (Why a Spanish name???)
tedgale is offline  
Apr 4th, 2009, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I visited Villa Emo when it still belonged to the family and found it impeccably maintained.

With a few exceptions, Palladio's villas were built to be livable and practical. Many are much smaller than Villa Emo.
Zerlina is offline  
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