Lake Garda Italy

Desenzano del Garda

Welcome to Lake Garda Italy!

Here you can get useful travel information for Northern Italy. This travel guide is built with Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda Italy, as the base and it shows you daytrips you can take from there.

Lake Garda Italy

Desenzano del Garda

Day trips Italy


Royal Asolo in the Dolomites

Asolo Italy

The tiny walled town of Asolo has an interesting history and is a pleasant day trip from Lake Garda. It is approximately 155km (98 miles) from Desenzano del Garda along the A4, the A31 and the SS47. It can easily be combined with a visit to Bassano del Grappa, the small town nearby known for its majolica pottery and grappa spirit production.


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Asolo is in a beautiful situation, set among the foothills of the Dolomites and surrounded by cypress trees. It is known as the ‘Pearl of the province of Treviso’ and also as the ‘City of a Hundred horizons’ for its mountain setting and views. The town was ruled in the late 15th century by Queen Caterina Cornaro. She was the Venetian wife of the King of Cyprus and history recounts that he died suddenly after his marriage to her. Caterina became monarch after their infant son, James, died in suspicious circumstances and the Republic of Venice then ruled the island of Cyprus. She was exiled to Asolo and the verb ‘asolare’ was coined by poet Cardinal Pietro Bembo to describe her bittersweet life of enforced idleness which she endured in exile here. In 1798 the Asolo Theatre was built in the Castle of Caterina but it was sold to the State of Florida in 1952 and is now in the grounds of the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. The castle is now home to the Eleonora Duse Theatre.

The narrow streets and grand houses which feature in this delightful town captured the heart and imagination of the English poet, Robert Browning, who in 1889 published a volume of his poetry entitled ‘Asolanda’, after Asolo. The city’s museum is housed in the Palazzo della Ragione and there is an interesting Cathedral, a Rocca (castle) and the remains of an amphitheatre and aqueduct.

The narrow streets and grand houses which feature in this delightful town captured the heart and imagination of the English poet, Robert Browning, who in 1889 published a volume of his poetry entitled ‘Asolanda’, after Asolo. The city’s museum is housed in the Palazzo della Ragione and there is an interesting Cathedral, a Rocca (castle) and the remains of an amphitheatre and aqueduct.

Six miles east of the town lies the Villa Barbaro at Maser, designed by Palladio in 1555 in partnership with the artist Veronese. His beautiful trompe l’oeil frescoes can be seen in the airy rooms of this beautiful villa. This huge country house in typical fashion combined a working farm in the side wings with the elegant arcaded frontage of a grand villa. It is open to the public at weekends.

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