Friday, March 1, 2013

Castelfranco, AKA Ghost town

On the 23rd of Feb, some friends and I got together and decided to go exploring.  It'd been a bit since we'd last been out and about, and as far as I could tell, our choice was relatively inexpensive - so the hubs and I were down.  Our exploring took us to a place called Castelfranco Veneto located in the province of Treviso... about an hour and a half from our little neck of the woods.  I was expecting this huge castle on top of a hill surrounded by trees and moats and walls, but it was quite different.  Castelfranco is more or less a small, music-oriented community that resides within the still standing castle walls of a long ago fortress.  The city that is inside the castle walls is technically referred to as Cittadella.  There's a quaint park that falls right outside of the city walls and a cool moat that separates the park from the main road.  To get inside the city, you pass under one of the four tunnels dug out of the historical walls and eventually find yourself in the center of the town surrounded by random shops and a few restaurants.  The main attractions of note are the duomo and the small museum that share the history of the area and also focuses on the life, work, and death of the painter Giorgione, as he was born in the area.  We were ready for everything, but we were hungry, so we stopped off in a little bistro, got some sandwiches and ate some peanuts (go figure), and then we hit up the duomo first.  It was rather bland compared to the other cathedrals we'd been to recently, but you're still able to appreciate the beauty and phenomenal work that went into constructing it.  Then we hit up the museum; it was nice to see some history, but it left me rather lacking.  It was only two floors, and as I said before, they primarily focused on the single painter Giorgione since that's who their area is famous for. They had some frescoes and a few paintings of his, along with remnants of etchings and sculptures that survived the many years of war between the beginning of the small town up until now.  Since we pretty much did everything within 30 minutes, we decided to wander, and that's when I began to really enjoy myself.  We hit up every street within the walls, going on deserted side-streets and seeing old, run-down buildings that still held a peculiar allure.  We heard piano playing from a small, two-story building in a far corner of the city, and as we walked and the music died out behind us, we were hit with someone belting out opera from a home on a hill.  It was then that I began to notice the posters for singers, advertisements for bands, playbills for upcoming attractions plastered to temporary, plywood walls surrounding construction sites, and on the brick exteriors of the back-alley homes and apartments.  We eventually ran into a small theater and as we made our way out of the walls and into the park surrounding the city of Cittadella from the outside, we heard a saxophonist street-performer floating toward us over the water.  We came to the conclusion that this was the place to come for all things musical.  It was very cool, off-the-beaten-path, interesting, weirdly attractive, though my companions favored "creepy" as their descriptive word.  It was my first day using my new camera outside of the house, so I tried to go all "artistic photographer" with it... my intention was simply to capture our adventure.  Judge for yourself...

The duomo of Cittadella

Outside of the "Casa di Giorgione" Museum

Notice the bits of glass embedded in the concrete... what kind of town is this?!

Clock tower that we walked under to get inside

Street art in a back alley that had been painted on
plywood walls surrounding a construction site


All-in-all it was a good day and we had fun the whole time, even if my cohorts thought it was creepy!  Other adventures await, so keep reading.

Until next time...

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