Castelfranco Veneto: Known all over the world as the birthplace of Giorgione, this walled town has a long history for its strategic position in the centre of the region Veneto.
Castelfranco Veneto Province Treviso
The walled town. Giorgione's home town. Castelfranco Veneto lives on the myth of the most extraordinary and mysterious artist of the XV century, considered as the puzzling genius of light and colour.
Only a few of his works are available today, but they are among the most valued art works of Italy: like the hermetic Frieze of Casa Marta Pellizzari, deemed to have been the artist's home, and the renowned altar-piece left in the Cathedral portraying a Madonna with the Child, San Francesco and San Liberale, just recently returned to the town after a long restoration work.
Built by the rulers of Treviso in the XII century to defend the borders with the Padua and Vicenza territories, Castelfranco is the walled town by definition: an imposing four-sided wall construction made of red bricks built over a pre-existing embankment, whose name - Castelfranco - meant "duty-free castle" because its first inhabitants did not pay taxes.
The spectacular square named after Giorgione is the heart of this town that still preserves great architectural and art works within its walls. These include the Cathedral (Duomo), built between 1724 and 1746 on a project of Francesco Maria Preti and which contains many art works, frescoes by Paolo Veronese, paintings by Jacopo Bassano, Paolo Piazza, Pietro Damini and other painters of the Venetian school of the XVI, XVII and XVII centuries.
Between 1600 and 1700, Castelfranco was the home town of some important scientists such as Jacopo, Giordano and Vincenzo Riccati, of the architect Francesco Maria Preti, and of the renowned musician Agostino Steffani.
The landscape around Castelfranco, like the renowned Asola countryside, charmed and inspired many a poet and writer: the diarist Marin Sanudo praised its military features, while Ippolito Nievo was bewitched by the "vague and gracious prospect of the village lit up by that tiny crooked moon quarter".