Asiago, Province of Vicenza, Veneto
Situated on the plateau of the same name (the Altopiano di Asiago), in a valley surrrounded by forests of evergreen trees, near the border with Trentino-South Tyrol in the Prealpi hills. It is a major ski and summer resort: in winter the plateau is a heaven for cross-country skiers, in the summer for cyclists, with its over 500 km of low-traffic roads. In the vicinity is the Asiago Astrophysical Observatory of the University of Padua.
- Altitude: 1000 m a.s.l
- Population: about 6,500 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 36012
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0424
- Patron Saint: St. Matthew, celebrated on 21 September
- Frazioni & Localities: Sasso di Asiago, Turcio
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History - Antiquity
Human settlements were present in the area since paleolithic times. Around the year 100 AD, a group of settlers from souther Germany (Bayers and Tyrol) and from Denmark colonized the area and were known since then as the "Germans of the Vicenza mountains" - and their language, called "cimbro", is still spoken by some older people.
History - the Middle Ages
On 29 june 1310 the inhabitants of the area established a federation of Seven Communes, officially called "Spettabile Reggenza dei 7 comuni", Asiago, Conco (actually an 8th commune since 1796), Enego, Foza, Gallio, Lusiana, Roana, Rotzo - one of the earliest democratic governments in history, which enjoyed a relatively large autonomy from 1310 to 1807, though nominally accepting the lordship in the course of the centuries of the Scaligeri, Visconti and since 1404 the Republic of Venice.
What to see
- east of the town, the huge Sacrario Militare, with tombs of 33,086 Italian and 18,505 Austrian-Hungarian soldiers who died in a major battle between Austrian and Italian forces on the Isonzo Front in World War I.
- 3 km to the southwest a Museum of the 1915-18 War, in memory of the terrible fighting in the trenches of the plateau.