ASOLO, THE GOAL IS UNESCO
Asolo, which the poet Giosuè Carducci (Nobel Prize for Literature) called "the town of one hundred horizons", aims to achieve a new and ambitious goal.
The Mayor has started the procedure to grant the historical centre of Asolo the UNESCO status of World Heritage Site.
In particular, the City offices have been asked to arrange everything that is required to start this process, through a series of dedicated market investigations, in order to find a company which will develop a feasibility study and a time schedule.
According to the procedure, for those sites which still are not part of the Italian Tentative List of UNESCO, it is possible to submit them for inscription to the competent authority which, for cultural sites, is the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The application must be accompanied by a series of documents which will allow the State to evaluate the request, and it must include: proof of the outstanding universal value of the site, in accordance with the criteria defined by the Guide Lines; a detailed study to compare the submitted site with other similar sites, national and international, to prove its uniqueness on a global scale; a description of the integrity, authenticity and conservation status of the site, and a presentation of effective protection instruments operating on a national or on a local level.
The historical centre of Asolo seems to respond to the definition given by WHC (World Heritage Centre) UNESCO for the category “Cultural Heritage- groups of buildings”. In particular, “groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science”.
Asolo has a lot of different peculiarities to support its application. Its cultural heritage, to begin with, which was passed down by its prestigious millennial history: this shaped the urban fabric, and its testimony is evident on every corner inside the ancient city walls, which branch off from the Fortress. A charming place on the gentle hills of Asolo, the town has been a destination for poets and writers, artists and travellers (from Robert and Elisabeth Browning to Eleonora Duse, or Gian Francesco Malipiero to Freya Stark, Pietro Bembo and Ernest Hemingway) who were able to find inspiration and harmony in this place.
Asolo, also called “the town of the Englishmen and of the women”, cannot fail to remind of Freya Stark, the popular English writer, photographer and traveller, friend of noble Arabic families and of the Queen of England, and who owns Villa Freya’s Garden. It was precisely in this green- coloured sitting room that the lady of the house hosted illustrious personalities for them to take walks, exchange opinions, sip a cup of tea, always surrounded by a scented scenography of roses bushes under the shadows of ancient holm-oaks.
Its atmosphere allows the visitor to connect the passion for history and culture with the taste of the local cuisine, always present in the restaurants and cafes overlooking the typical porches and small squares. A unique ensemble of excellence thanks to which Asolo is part of “I Borghi più belli d’Italia” and “Les plus beaux villages de la Terre” and it can also boast the title of International Cittàslow, Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club, City of Oil, City of Wine and City of Honey. And now the pearl of the Asolani hills aims for the greatest international award.
“Built inside its ancient Medieval walls, Asolo jealously treasures the testimonies of its millennial history, appearing to the visitor like an open-air museum; here you can let yourself be guided by the magical silence and venture into a romantic walk, rigorously on foot, in order not to lose even one of its hidden treasures”, the Mayor Mauro Migliorini says. “Becoming UNESCO heritage is a huge responsibility because those values, according to which the historical centre is trying to be awarded as World Heritage, have to be protected and maintained over time, in a dynamic environment which often requires a difficult balance between the need for conservation and promotion. Becoming part of the List is an acknowledgement on a global scale of the outstanding cultural value of Asolo, which has to be preserved and passed down to future generations”.