The beautiful Palladian Villa Maser, a UNESCO Heritage site

It’s only natural that wine bloggers like us would spend an inordinate amount of time talking about and writing about wine. We are wine bloggers after all! And that’s what we do.

But sometimes, we get so immersed in wine that we forget that Italy has so much more to offer beyond its food and wine heritage, resources, and traditions.

The photo (above) reminded us that Asolo township (in Treviso province) is the home to one of the biggest gatherings of villas designed by Venetian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, who is considered to be the father of western architecture and the model for neoclassical design from the Renaissance onward.

It was Palladio who studied and started to base his works on the writings of Roman architect Vitruvius, whose manuscripts on architecture had been recently discovered at the time.

The Villa Maser is not only one of the most famous examples of Palladian architecture but is also one of the sites included in UNESCO Heritage registry (under “City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto”). In case you’re not familiar with it, UNESCO stands for “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.”

Not only is the Villa Maser beautiful to see from the outside, it also contains some of Italy’s greatest works of art on the inside, like the frescoes of Paolo Veronese, a contemporary of Palladio and one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance. He is known primarily today for his large history paintings. And he’s one of the three great Venetian painters to emerge from that era (Titian and Tintoretto are the others).

You can visit the villa (click here for the website). And it’s also the backdrop for numerous concerts and exhibitions throughout the course of the year.

So the next time you head to Prosecco country, don’t forget that you have a UNESCO heritage site at your finger tips!

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