The Altopiano di Asiago between the River Brenta and River Astico is the largest plateau in Europe, a jewel of nature that enchants with its incredible beauty. It is here the Meltar is located.
The entire plateau rests on a base made up of Dolomite, while the upper layers are formed of Gray Limestone (rich in fossils). The geomorphology of the whole area is dominated by karstic which means that water very rarely settles on the surface.
From a naturalistic point of view the great variety of ecosystems makes the altopiano di Asiago particularly attractive. The area can be divided into two zones: the first goes from 700 to 1000/1100 metres above sea level and also includes urban cores, the second is represented by mountains that reach over 2000 metres above sea level where there are pastures and lush deciduous and coniferous forests that are home to rare animal species such as deer, roe deer, chamois, squirrels, foxes, marmots and stoats. The skies of the Altopiano di Asiago are dominated by golden eagles whose majestic elegance can be admired by those lucky enough to spot them.
The botanical richness of the Altopiano di Asiago includes magical floral species such as martagon lilies, narcissus, gentians, rhododendrons, heather, edelweiss, carnations and dandelions. One of the particular beautiful parts of the Altopiano di Asiago is Piana della Marcesina where typical peat bog vegetation predominates and where some sections are surrounded by fences to protect the extraordinary botanical species.
On the Altopiano di Asiago there are more than 100 mountain farms which are the mostimportant pasture system in the entire Alpine arc due to the number of pastures and size.
The Altopiano dei Sette Comuni, also known as the Altopiano di Asiago, from the name of its main town is located in the Province of Vicenza between the Po Valley and the mountains south of Valsugana (Trentino).
Its history dates back to pre-Roman times with human settlements dating back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic eras. In the local language and linguistic tradition called "cimbra" artefacts were found which can be traced back to the Goths or other barbarians, including the Longobards.
At the beginning of the XIII century the Sette Comuni began to organise themselves militarily and a century later they united into a Federation with the aim of governing themselves and defending the local area.
After they came under the protection of the Scaligeri and the Visconti while maintaining their own tax institutions and privileges. In 1405 the Sette Comuni made an act of spontaneous dedication to the Most Serene Republic of Venice which continued for four centuries, until the treaty of Campoformio (1797).
The city of Asiago, like all other towns in the Altopiano was directly affected by the events of the First World War becoming one of its strongest symbols and inspiring some of the most touching stories and most moving testimonies. An eternal reminder of the tragedy of the Great War is the sacellum ossuary that contains the remains of more than 55 000 solders fallen in battle.
Around 90% of the area of the Altopiano dei Sette Comuni is collectively owned by the ancient inhabitants, and subject to regulation by civic uses. The custom of managing the territory through collective ownership originates from Germanic law and started with the foundation of the Spettabile Reggenza dei Sette Comuni. Even today, those entitled to civic use are registered in a specific registry which groups them by family nucleus, and the head of the family or whoever takes their place represents the right of civic use of each individual member before the Municipal Administration. Only around 10% of the local area is privately owned.
The Altopiano di Asiago: a land rich in history and emotions, testimonies of ancient civilisations and the sacrifices of war.