|Subject: northern Italy Itinerary - Part II|
ITINERARY 2, from Milan to Venice by car (this itinerary will show you
Veneto's villas, the Veneto wine route and great architecture by famous
artists (Palladio, Giorgione and Giotto)):
- 1 day (120 km): Take the A4 motorway to Bergamo (*) and get up to the medieval down town, at the top of the hill, by cable car (you can't use cars the center). Visit Piazza Vecchia, St. Maria Maggiore church, the Baptistery, Colleoni's chapel, and walk around the center. Go back to the motorway and come off in Sirmione (**). Sirmione is a peninsula of lake Garda. Cars are not allowed in the down town. Visit the Rocca Scaligera (a castle), and the Grotte di Catullo at the top of the peninsula (Romans villa ruins, great view of the lake). Then go to Salo' on the lake for the night.
- 2 days: If you like mountains and like skiing too, you can go to some well know ski resorts in winter or have beautiful walks in summer (Dolomiti mountain (*)): Madonna di Campiglio, Ortisei, and Cortina d'Ampezzo. Great views, landscape and trekking circuits.
- 1 or 2 days (54 km): Go back to the motorway and come off inVerona (**). Verona was Romeo's and Juliet's city. Visit its great squares in the center, palaces, churches, the great Verona Arena (a Roman theater still used for lyrical representations - I cent.), the castle, and the Scaligero bridge on the Adige river.
2 days (48 km): Go to Vicenza or Padova and use one of these city as a base (Vicenza is smaller and there is less traffic than in Padova). Visit Vicenza (*). Walk through the down town, visit the Basilica palace, the Olimpico theater and some churches. Bassano del Grappa: It is a medieval town between the hills, walk over the nice bridge over the Brenta river. Bassano is well know as producer of a white brandy named Grappa. Maser (*) (a few kilometers east from Asolo): great countryside villa (Barbaro - XVI cent.) with frescos by Palladio. Don't miss the Villa's cellar where you will taste the local wines. Treviso: It is an enjoyable medium size town with a Renaissance style down town crossed by canals. Visit the cathedral (XV cent.), St. Nicolo' church (XIII cent. in gothic style), Piazza dei Signori, and walk around the center. Castelfranco Veneto: Visit the cathedral (XVIII cent.) that is located into the town center boarded by walls (castle's walls). In the Cathedral there is a well know picture painted by Giorgione. 7.5 km north from Castelfranco there is Villa Elmo (it is close to Fanzolo di Vedelago), a great villa with frescos by Palladio. If you like wine, drive around Valdobbiadene, you'll find many big and small cellars that sell great wines (especially the Prosecco white one).
-1 day (30 km): Go to Padova (**). Visit the Palazzo della Ragione (a palace - XIII cent.), the heart of the medieval city. St. Antonio church (AD 1232 - named the Saint by padovans) where many great artists worked to build the church). The Scrovegni's Chapel where you'll find great frescos by Giotto (AD 1305). - 1 day: Drive through the Padovan countryside (Euganei hills). This is another great district for wine. Try to go into small cellars : don't be surprised if the owner gives you a glass and tells you to taste wines from casks freely, it is possible in this area! Montagna: its down town is boarded by walls (the best preserved ones in Europe). Visit the Cathedral (AD 1400) and Pisani Palace (AD 1560). Nearby Montagna you'll find other countryside villas. Este: there is a nice castle (XIV cent.), now a museum. Monselice: Visit the castle (XI-XII cent.) where there is beautiful furniture, arms, and tapestries; the Cathedral (AD 1256). Abano Terme is a well known spa resort. Don't miss the Praglia Abbey (*) (XII cent.) in the countryside around Abano.
1 day (30 km): take the SS11 road to Venice and stop in Stra where there is a villa (*) (Pisani - XVIII cent.), now Nazionale Villa, with great frescos. In Riscossa there is another villa (Seriman - XVIII cent.). Oriago: visit Foscari Villa (*) (better know as la Malcontenta Villa), XVI cent. built by Palladio. Ciao, Marco in Milan (Italy).