Meltar Boutique Hotel
Meltar street, 1 - 36012 Asiago
Tel. +39 0424 460626 - Fax +39 0424 464939
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The Seven Municipalities Plateau, also known as the Asiago Plateau as that is the main town, is in the province of Vicenza, between the Po Plain and the mountains to the south of Valsugana (Trentino).
The first human settlements date back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, while the first stable settlers are from the pre-roman period. In the local Cimbrian language and traditions, there are certain customs which derive from the Goths and others from the barbarians, including the Lombards.
Legend holds that the Germanic population on the plateau dates back to people coming from the Jutland, who tried to invade Italy but were defeated by the Roman army under Caius Marius, and, according to the legend, some of these belligerent people retreated to the plateau mountains, creating the race of what are now the Cimbrians. A second legend around the end of the 19th century, perhaps based on nationalistic aims, says that the Cimbrians descended from southern Germany, around 1000 AD with groups of families from the Bavarian area.
At the beginning of the 13th century, the local people began to organise their forces, and were supported by Ezzelino da Romano (who owned some local estates), and they provided him with their troupes. At the beginning of the 14th century, after the fall of the Ezzelino family, the Seven Municipalities joined in a Federation with the intention of autonomous government and defending their land. In 1310 the Government of the Seven Municipalities was founded. In 1327 the Seven Municipalities passed under the protection of the Scaliger family, and later (1387) the Visconti family, but managed to maintain their institutions and tax benefits. On 20th February 1405 the Seven Municipalities declared their spontaneous dedication to the Serenissima Republic of Venice, following its fate for four centuries until the treaty of Campoformio in 1797. On 24th February 1798, the four delegates from the Seven Municipalities swore their loyalty and obedience to the Austrian emperor and then, with the victory of the French over Austria, on 29th June 1807 the Government of the Seven Municipalities ceased to exist. On 21st October 1866, together with the Veneto region, the province of Mantova and the Friuli region (except for Gorizia), it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. Therefore after five centuries, the “smallest political federation in Europe and the oldest together with the Swiss confederation” no longer existed.
Asiago, like all the other towns on the plateau, was directly involved in the First World War, becoming one of the strongest symbols and inspiring some of the most touching and moving pages of history. The charnel house contains the remains of more than 55,000 fallen soldiers as an eternal reminder of the tragedy of the Great War.
Around 90% of the area of the Seven Municipalities Plateau is not owned privately or by the state, but is jointly owned by the ancient inhabitants, and subject to civil regulations. Joint management of the land dates back to the Germanic laws, and was born when the Government of the Seven Municipalities was founded. Still today, those who have civic use rights are registered with a specific register, grouped by families, and a family head represents them with the town authorities defending the civic rights of each single member. Only 10% of the area is privately owned.