The building of the medieval town’s defences along the lines of the system of fortification still partly in existence, was completed in the fourteenth century, when Asolo became the object of bitter, continuous struggles between the noble families of Verona, Padua and Venice. Probably the city had already had a number of towers and isolated defence works for a long time before that, but the first definite wall-building activities were recorded in 1318 when a so called dry wall was first built along some stretches of the perimeter of the town. Decisive for the definitive form of the wall was the Paduan dominion of Asolo in 1381 and 1388. It was then that work began to “murare burgum Asili” or wall Asolo by Francesco da Carrara without however finishing the work before the final coming of the Venetians who completed the city fortification. The circuit of the walls was not limited to including the entire tightly settled area and the castle complex, but it extended as far as the fortress at the top of Mount Ricco, that thus became a physical part of the town and its privileged point of strategic value, both as a watch tower and for defensive purposes. The circuit of the walls stretched 1360 metres with 24 towers at strategic points and several gates and doors, not all of the same time, where the roads leading into and out of the town passed through. The openings are the Castelfranco gate (also called Loreggia), the Dieda gate, demolished in 1812 for the construction of the Foresto nuovo (also called S. Gervasio), the S. Martino gate, now bricked up and partially visible in the garden of the De Lord villa (outside the wall) or in the garden of the “Casa Rossa” (inside the wall), the Colmarion gate (also called the Bot gate), the S. Caterina gate (also called the Foresto, di Belvedere) and the Sottocastello gate. In modern and contemporary times some stretches collapsed and were demolished. To date there is absolutely no evidence to support the hypothesis, several times advanced and maintained even though unfounded, of the existence of walls in Roman times. Liberally adapted from “Atlante Storico delle Città Italiane – Asolo” edited by Guido Rosada directed by Francesca Bocchi © 1993 Grafis Edizioni Via 2 giugno, 440033 Casalecchio di Reno (BO)

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