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Architectural Driving Tour of Veneto

A path in the Tomba Brion cemetery, near Asolo.

Photo: Christian Kerber

Day: 2 On to Asolo

The next morning, I drive about two hours northeast along the autostrada and then on smaller roads through a bucolic landscape to Asolo, the picturesque hill town where Scarpa lived from 1962 to 1972. Asolo proves an ideal base for exploring two more Scarpa designs as well as villas drawn up by that most famous architect of the Veneto region, Andrea Palladio.

Entering Possagno, I make my way to sculptor Antonio Canova’s former home and the adjacent museum, partially designed by Scarpa, known as the Gipsoteca. The building provides an airy exhibition hall of white planes and glass, which harmonizes with Canova’s white casts. As he did at the Olivetti showroom, Scarpa made the best of a narrow plot, designing a cascade of levels that descends toward the cast of Canova’s masterpiece The Three Graces, poised in front of a glass wall with a sparkling pool outside.


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