Castelfranco Veneto (Casteo in Veneto dialect) is located in between the main cities of the Veneto region, Treviso, Padova and Vicenza, and is a walled-in city, with its medieval castle still in nearly-perfect condition.
The hometown of the Italian painter Giorgione, the town’s cathedral preserves his famous Castelfranco Altarpiece (“Madonna on the throne with Saint Liberalis and Saint Francis”).
The political crises in Treviso and Padova at the end of the 12th century drove Treviso to build a fortification to counter any attacks from Padova. The chosen location was a strategic position in Castelfranco Veneto: in front of where Via Postumia and Via Aurelia intersected and also in between several other fortified structures. In order to entice people to live in the castle, Treviso's government excused those living there from having to pay taxes, the reason why it was called Castelfranco (“franco” signifying “free” in Italian).
The city is also home to an important music conservatory dedicated to the musician and composer Agostino Steffani. The auditorium and academic theatre of the conservatory are jewels of 18th century architecture that were planned by the architect Francesco Maria Preti.
Info: Municipality of Castelfranco Veneto www.comune.castelfranco-veneto.tv.it