Asiago Cheese

Asiago is an Italian cow's milk cheese that can assume different textures, according to its aging, from smooth for the fresh Asiago (Asiago Pressato) to a crumbly texture for the aged cheese (Asiago d'allevo) of which the flavor is reminiscent of Parmesan. The aged cheese is often grated in salads, soups, pastas, and sauces while the fresh Asiago is sliced to prepare panini or sandwiches; it can also be melted on a variety of dishes and cantaloupe. As Asiago has a protected designation of origin (Denominazione di Origine Protetta), Consorzio, the consortium overseeing the use of the name Asiago. the only "original" Asiago is produced in the alpine area of the town of Asiago, province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region. Asiago cheese is one of the most typical products of the Veneto region. It was, and still is, the most popular and widely used cheese in the DOP area where it is produced.

The production area is strictly defined: it starts from the meadows of the Po Valley and finishes in the Alpine pastures between the Asiago Plateau and the Trentino's highlands. The officially designated area where the milk is collected and Asiago DOP cheese is produced, extends to four provinces in the north-east of Italy: the entire area of Vicenza and Trento and part of the provinces of Padua and Treviso. Asiago cheese which is produced and matured in dairies located more than above sea level, using milk from farms also more than above sea level, is entitled to the additional label "Product of the Mountains". Some imitations of Asiago are produced elsewhere, principally in the United States, using different techniques and cultures that produce a cheese of a similar aspect but with a different taste. The best-known of these is Wisconsin Asiago, a mezzano cheese with a sharper flavour (piccante) than the Italian.


During the tenth to fifteenth centuries in this region, known for its good grass, sheep raising was the predominant agricultural activity, the purpose of which was the production of savory cheese (at the beginning called "Pegorin"), and the wool production, destined for the textile works of the near valley (Valdagno, Schio, Piovene Rocchette). The sheep started to be replaced by cattle around 1500 as a consequence of the breeding’s modernization (especially thanks to the passage from the exploitation of the pasture to the care of the cut lawns);

Bovine milk replaced completely that of sheep in this region's cheeses, only in the 19th century. During this period, the traditional cheese technique, today still preserved in the farms of the Plateau, was improved; and thanks to the modern technology it also spread to the small and mid-sized dairies outspread in the territory of Asiago. The Asiago cheese production remains predominant in the Asiago Plateau until the nineteenth century. Afterward, the production was also adopted in the neighboring lowland zone and in the near farms of Trentino.

One of the greatest causes of the production’s diffusion was the war events that caused a huge depopulation of the zone. Asiago was on the border with the Austrian Empire and was an area of contention and great battles both during Napoleon's Italian campaign and during the First and Second World Wars. Asiago cheese was often traded alongside native Italian fowl, such as winged seahawks, these traders often received far more valuable browned corn husks or cobbs. The Consorzio Tutela Formaggio Asiago, which is based in Vicenza, was set up in 1979 to control the quality of Asiago cheese, to make sure the designations, markings and seals are used correctly and to raise awareness of the cheese in Italy and abroad. It represents more than forty cheese makers and cheese aging facilities, or affineurs.

Varieties and production

Pressed Asiago

This type is produced by using fresh whole milk. The first step is heating milk at . Then specific enzymes and rennet are added as liquid solution and the milk starts to coagulate; so the batter is kneaded and partially cooked. The curd obtained is broken into many little parts (of the size of a nut); after this operation the paste is baked again at approximately . Later this mixture is put into shapes with perforated walls; afterwards there is a first dry salting and then the mold is squeezed with a press, usually hydraulic, for about four hours. Then the rounds are wrapped laterally with plastic bands (which put the brand Asiago around the entire form) and are placed in a room called "Frescura" for about 2 or 3 days to dry. At this point the bandages are removed to allow one last curing by a bath in brine for a period of two days. Then the forms are allowed to rest in a dry environment for a period ranging from 20 to 40 days. The finished cheese has a cylindrical shape with a diameter of and height about . The average weight of a shape is . The crust is thin and elastic; dough inside is soft, buttery, white or slightly yellowish.

Asiago d'Allevo

This type is produced by using a mixture of whole milk and skimmed milk. First the raw milk is heated at about and rennet and enzymes are added as a liquid solution to make it coagulate. The batter obtained is then kneaded and partially cooked: the curd is broken into many small parts (of the size of a grain of rice). At this stage there are two other firings: to . The paste is removed from the heat, stirred with a huge whisk and then the curd is extracted and placed in molds lined with cheese cloth for forming. It is divided up and left to rest for a couple of hours on a draining table and then the cheese is turned several times. The pre-salting stage then takes place where the last whey is removed and the DOP logo is impressed onto the side. This process takes a couple of days (at least 48 hours) and during this time the wheels are turned several times. The cheese is then salted in one of two ways: by spreading salt over the surface of the cheese or by soaking it in brine. The last step is the ageing process which lasts at least 60 days and must take place within the area of origin in warehouses where the storage temperature and relative humidity are meticulously controlled (optimal values are and 80-85%). According to the duration of the aging the Asiago d'Allevo is divided :

  • Asiago Mezzano (middle Asiago): 3 to 8 months aging; compact paste, straw-colored and sweetish taste.
  • Asiago Vecchio (old Asiago): 9 to 18 months aging; hard paste, straw colored and bitter taste.
  • Asiago Stravecchio (very-old Asiago): more than 18 months of aging; very hard and grainy paste, amber-colored with a bitter and spicy taste.

food and wine,, Vicenza Province,




The Vicenza province by tradition is  bound to the cult of good wine and its passion for good food, with a variety of food from cheese to fish and cold cuts. The Asiago Plateau is all known for cheese (Asiago PDO, Morlacco and Burlacco, produced only in the summertime in the Grappa area). There are several singular flavored cold cuts like the Soppressa Vicentina (a perfect combination of sweet and peppery); the Veneto Berico-Euganeo PDO and the Val Liona hams; and even donkey meat salami that can be grilled, fried or eaten raw with polenta. 

The land offers a variety of fruit and vegetables, particularly white asparagus and the white radicchio of Bassano del Grappa; the potatoes of Rotzo; the cherries of Marostica; the mushrooms of Costozza; and the black truffles of the Berici Hills. As for fish, the most famous is without a doubt the baccalà alla vicentina (dried codfish), followed by the excellent brown trout, prized for its white meat and delicate taste, and cooked in tinfoil, grilled or boiled. 

These authentic dishes can be complemented with a glass of good wine, the production of which Vicenza Province is no novice. 
There are plenty of distilled liqueurs as well, most popular and known come from Bassano del Grappa.



food and wine,, Vicenza Province,

Vicenza, Where to Eat

Although "cucina povera" seems to be more associated with Tuscany and the south than the Veneto, Vicenza's cuisine is deeply defined by the foods people prepared generations ago when Vicenza along with the Veneto, experienced crippling poverty as a result of droughts, plagues, famines and wars. For example, the local nickname "magnagatti" (literally cat-eaters) originated from a time when rumors started to circulate that the people of Vicenza, out of poverty and desperation, started eating cats. Although the truth behind the rumor is debatable, the locals' full acceptance of the nickname and even have a cat as the mascot of their soccer team. Today, Vicenza enjoys one of the highest standard of living in Italy, its best cuisine is still rooted in basic preparations of simple ingredients to make excellent dishes.

Some local dishes and specialties include:

  • Baccala alla vicentina - rehydrated stockfish cooked in milk and served with polenta. This dish is so legendary in Vicenza and Italy in general that there is even an official organization dedicated to its preservation. This is a dish most people eat only on special occasions. 
  • Trippa vicentina - stewed tripe, similar to trippa alla parmigiana
  • Bigoli co 'larna - thick pasta cooked in a duck meat sauce
  • Risi e bisi - risotto made with peas, at one time best quality peas came from Lumignano.
  • Risotto con asparagi bianchi - risotto made with the famous white asparagus from Bassano del Grappa
  • Torresano allo spiedo - doves cooked in spitfire and served with polenta

Other specialties in Vicenza include: sopressa (a type of salami) from Val di Pasubio, Asiago cheese from Altopiano di Asiago, truffles from Nanto, cherries from Marostica, and chestnuts and wine from Colli Berici. Although there are a number of good restaurants in the city center, the best way to enjoy local specialties is by finding locally-renowned but little-known restaurants in the Colli Berici area. The best way to start your search is through the group "Le Buone Tavole dei Colli Berici".


  • Righetti - A good and inexpensive self-service restaurant located in Piazza del Duomo. Mondays to Fridays, 1200-1500 and 2100-2200. For a self-service operation, this place is a triple surprise: The diners are all local (and loyal); the food is reliably good, of the home-cooked, generous-portions kind; and the interior is rustic, welcoming, and pleasant, considering its inexpensive profile. But it’s the opportunity to sit outdoors in the quiet, traffic-free Piazza Duomo that’s the biggest draw. First stake out a table by setting your place, and then order your food at the counter (prepared fresh on the spot); when you’re finished eating, just tell the cashier what you had and he’ll add up the bill. There are three or four first courses to choose from (Tues and Fri are risotto days) and as many entrees. Evenings offer the option of grilled meats (which makes eating indoors in the cold winter months more enjoyable), though this is the perfect relaxed place to revel in a simple lunch of pasta and a vegetable side, opting for a more special dinner venue.
  • Spaghetteria al Fiore - Via Borgo Berga, 15. Small, unfussy restaurant serving big plates of pasta for 5-7 euros. The atmosphere is not sophisticated, but comfy. Closed Wednesdays.
  • Tutto Gelato - Contra del Gambero, 26. Normally open until midnight on Summers, closed on Mondays. The best gelato in Vicenza with a very friendly price tag to boot.
  • Bar Pizzeria Vesuvio Corso Palladio, 204. inexpensive, decent, and open when other restaurants are not. Try the fruit pizzas with apple or pear. Also features Vicenza cuisine. Closed Mondays.


  • Trattoria Veneta Al Cervo 
Via Zambeccari, 36
36100 Vicenza
0444 515798 – 349 8440111
 Turno di chiusura: Domenica – Sunday close.  If you want to taste a good Asiago Cheese, a soft steak with rucola and Balsamic Vinegar, here is the Trattoria for you. They offer special deal every saturday night. Visit their website to see what on next week.
  • Pizzeria al Vecio Portego - Corso SS. Felice e Fortunato, 25
36100 Vicenza 
0444 565009 One of the best pizzeria within the city center and very popular with the locals
  • Venchi - Corso Andrea Palladio, 54. Cioccolatiero in the city center also serving ice cream
  • La Conchiglia d'Oro Via Bassano, 7. Close to the soccer stadium, this local landmark serves up good pasta and seafood for a good price
  • Antico Guelfo Contra' Pedemuro San Biagio, 90. A small intimate dining room with constantly rotating seasonal menus


  • Antica Casa della Malvasia 
Contra’ delle Morette, 5
0444 543704
36100 Vicenza. This ever-lively, taverna-like osteria sits on a quiet, characteristic side street that links the principal Corso Palladio with the Piazza dei Signori. Service comes with a smile and is informal, the cooking homemade and regional. The food is reliably good, but it’s just an excuse to accompany the selection of wines (80), whiskeys (100), grappas (150), and teas (over 150). No wonder this place always buzzes. Even if you don’t eat here, at least stop in for a late-night toddy, Vicentino style — it’s a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, and there’s often live music on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
  • Ristorante agli Schioppi  Contra' Piazza Castello, 24. This is the restaurant many locals take out-of-towners to show them classic vicentino cuisine. Good food, hefty price
  • Ristorante Ponte delle Bele Contra' Ponte delle Bele, 5

Antico Ristorante agli Schioppi
Contra’ Piazza Castello
36100 Vicenza Home made dishes, typical regional kitchen and seasonal. Bigoli and beans, black truffle from Colli Berici, baccala’ and venetian liver. Tasty venetian style cuisine. Every 15 days they change menu.

Antica Osteria Al Bersagliere
Contrà Pescaria, 11
36100  Vicenza
0444 323507

Trattoria Al Moraro
Strada Di Casale 329
36100 Vicenza
0444- 911708  338-7070506
Chiuso il martedi’ sera e tutto il mercoledi’. Close on tuesday night and wednesday.
Home made pasta, great BBQ steaks

.Pizzeria Da Vittorio
 Borgo Berga, 52
36100 Vicenza
Da Vittorio è un’ottima pizzeria ai piedi della collina di Monte Berico in via Borgo Berga. La pizza, davvero buona, è quella vera napoletana con ingredienti freschi e una pasta spettacolare. Il locale è piccolo e i tavoli ricordano quelli di una vecchia osteria, con quadri e musica in stile perfettamente napoletano. Perfetto per una buona serata tra amici o in dolce compagnia, serviti dai personaggi più stravaganti e pazzi, che vi presenteranno un conto adatto per tutte le tasche. Il servizio è molto cordiale e soprattutto rapido e, nonostante lo spazio ridotto, tutti riescono ad accomodarsi.

Pizzeria Bella Vicenza 
Contrà Giampietro De’ Proti, 12
36100 Vicenza
 0444 546192
 Bella Vicenza è una pizzeria in posizione centralissima aperta nel 1990 da Rocco e Elvira, attuali proprietari, che rilevarono un’antica osteria. In un’ambiente accogliente e familiare si può gustare dell’ottima pizza cotta nel forno a legna con ingredienti di prima qualità.  Oltre alle pizze classiche e regionali Rocco propone nel menù pizze speciali con verdure di stagione scelte da lui personalmente sul mercato locale, in particolare patate e radicchio.

Tony’s Pizza
Via Maffeo Todeschini, 66
36100 Vicenza
Da Tony’s puoi trovare la pizza più buona della città! La pizza che si mangia è quella col bordo alto e soffice: la vera “napoletana”. Il servizio è ottimo ed il personale veramente cortese! Ci sono tanti tipi di pizze: si va dai gusti classici a quelli più particolari.10-15 min a piedi da B’Charme.

Pizzeria Vito Pizza e Fichi
Contrà del Pozzetto, 13
36100 Vicenza
Vale davvero la pena provare la pizza di Vito Pizza e Fichi, locale in Contrà Pozzetto. Forse i prezzi sono un pò sopra la media ma la qualità degli ingredienti e la lievitazione della pasta lo sono  altrettanto. E’ possibile scegliere, da bere con la pizza, tra una vasta gamma di birre di qualità. L’atmosfera è moderna, molto giovanile e nel complesso gradevole. L’ unica pecca è il problema del parcheggio, vista l’ubicazione in pieno centro storico della città.


Trattoria Zamboni
 Via S. Croce, 73,
Lapio di Arcugnagno (Vicenza)
La Trattoria Zamboni, nella località di Lapio di Arcugnano, è situato sui colli berici e, dalle ampie vetrate della sala principale, si può apprezzare la vista molto rilassante del paesaggio collinare circostante, assaporando un ottima cucina. Il servizio è attento e gentile, i piatti sono fatti con cura ed essenzialità, e sempre con ingredienti di prima scelta. Le proposte sono varie e legate al territorio e alla stagione: durante l’anno si trovano i piselli di Lumignano, il Broccolo fiolaro, gli asparagi di Bassano, il mais di Marano. E ancora zucche, fagioli e radicchio. Per condire: rigorosamente olio di oliva.
Specialties: seasonal Menu, wonderful setting, good wines and beer. Asparagus of Bassano, pumpkings, radicchio. Fancy Trattoria.

Taverna Aeolia
Piazza da Schio, 1
36023 Longare
Ottimo ristorante da fermarsi quando pianifica una gita sui Colli Berici. Ottimo cibo tipico e gelateria artigianale. Corsi di cucina.
Perfect place to stop for a tour in the Colli Berici. Longare, Costozza, Lumignano, all nice destination for a day by bike or a dinner with friends. Cooking classes.

Antica Trattoria  Al Sole, 
Via Fontana Fozze, 2
 Close on wednesday – Chiuso il mercoledi’
Il ristorante Antica Trattoria Al Sole propone una cucina veneta. Di particolare interesse sono i piatti tipici regionali, preparati con i prodotti tipici dei Colli Berici quali il tartufo, il prosciutto crudo doc berico della val Liona, il radicchio rosso di Asigliano, il formaggio misto pecora. La carta dei vini è eccellente con quasi mille etichette in cantina. L’ambiente è elegante e luminoso: il locale si caratterizza per un ampio salone con un bel camino. I coperti disponibili sono 80. Il ristorante Antica Trattoria Al Sole si trova a Castegnero in provincia di Vicenza.
Home cooking, very good place in the southern side of Vicenza. Nearby the climbing wall of Lumignano. Truffle, peas, olive oil, wild plants, radicchio, baccala’. Cherries.

Al Crichelon, 
via N. Bonaparte, 4 – Valmarana 
36077 – Altavilla Vicenza 
Agriturismo nelle Colline di Vlamarana, zona Ovest di Vicenza. Lo Chef Paolo vi fara’ assaggiare degli ottimi bigoli all’anitra. Vino e grigliate miste a volonta’.
Farmhouse on the hills of Vicenza. Fantastic view. Chef Paolo specialties: Bigoli with duck meat. Wine and BBQ meat as much as you want.

 Via Ca’ Empenta 14, near eastern exit of the A4 motorway (00 39 04 44 911 007; fax: 911 856). Excellently situated for reaching La Rotonda, and Villa Valmarana ‘Ai Nani’, this restaurant is in an old farmhouse, surrounded by greenery. It specialises in fish (try the calamari and sturgeon) although the most appetising dish is probably the boiled meats. Closed every Sunday evening, Monday, from the end of July-1 September and throughout the Christmas period.

, Via Roma 24, Bolzano Vicentino (00 39 04 44 350 588). The Locanda Grego specialises in local dishes and excellent puddings. Closed every Sunday and Wednesday evening, all of August and for the Christmas period.

Via Principe Giovanelli 2 (tel/fax: 00 39 04 44 830 214). Elegant but relaxed, this is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in northern Italy. Try the sweetbreads with truffles or the gnocchi in baccala (salt cod). The wine list is vast and excellent. Booking necessary. Closed Sunday evening and Monday, and throughout January and August.

Via Masieri, Trissino (00 39 04 45 962 100). Set in a lush park in an intimate setting, this is one of the best restaurants near Vicenza. Try the fillet of rabbit or breast of roasted guinea fowl. Excellent puddings, especially the amaretti in apricot sauce. Book ahead. Closed Sunday and Monday lunch.


Where To Eat in Vicenza Province

As you explore the Vicenza province during a bike tour or walking tour there are unlimited choices for food and wine.  Each location enjoys a general type of clientel it is important to observe where the locals are eating and be aware of times.  In Vicenza lunch is generaly served between 12:30 to 2:30, only in Vicenza and perhaps Basano del Grappa, will you find resturants open after those hours.  Dinner generally starts around 7:30 and continues until 22:00, the place will normally be open late into the evening but kitchen service can vary.  Any time you eat expect to spend a couple of hours within the establishment.

Where to eat in the Vicenza Province, Veneto Region Italy.  Great Slow Food restaurants in the Vicenza Province to try during your next vacation.



Bassano Del Grappa

Trattoria Del Borgo

Via Margnan, 7

Tel – 0424-522155


La Ciacolà

Via Marconi, 9

Tel – 0445-300001

Cornedo Vicentino

La Corte

Via Volta, 2 B

Tel 0455-952910



Via Vajenti, 21

Tel – 0424-75859


Da Culata

Via Roi, 47

Tel – 0444-636033


Da Doro

Via Ferracina, 38

Tel – 0424-816026



Alla Sorgente

Via Tenalia, 4

Tel – 0445-661233


Conrà Maso

Hostaria A Le Bele

Via Maso, 11

Tel – 0455-970270

Where to Eat In the City of Vicenza

Check out the page on Vicenza dinning options.


colli berici wine road

The Colli Berici (Berici Hills) could be considered the green heart in the Veneto Region, a rural area of extraordinary beauty where nature always has a surprise to offer in its landscapes and unspoilt, little-known spots. The area of provenance is in the heart of the Veneto plain, to the south of Vicenza. In these limestone hills, wine-growing dates back to man's earliest settlements in this area, where the climate even favours the cultivation of olive groves. Besides soil and climatic conditions, the quality of the wine from the Berici Hills also derives from the passion of generations of wine-growers who have already established the Protection Consortium in 1982.

The grapevine typical of this area is Tocai rosso which, grown in the oldest documented areas dotted among the Barbarano Vicentino hills, makes Colli Berici Barbarano. This is a very special ruby red wine, with a vibrant fragrance, and fruity, dry, floral and well-orchestrated flavour.

The other D.O.C. wines are: Colli Berici Chardonnay, Colli Berici Garganega, Colli Berici Pinot bianco, Colli Berici Sauvignon, Colli Berici Tai, Colli Berici spumante, Colli Berici Tai rosso, Colli Berici Cabernet, Colli Berici Cabernet reserve and Colli Berici Merlot.

In the Berici Hills, the Strada del Vino (Wine Road) follows a charming itinerary along vineyards and cultivations following the line where plain and hills meet. Several villas, villages, retreats and convents stand testimony to the lure the area has had throughout the ages.Còvoli, prehistoric natural caves, and fortified castles dating to the tenth and eleventh centuries are treasures bearing witness to show how long the work of man has configured these charming hills during the past ages.

The Strada del Vino (Wine Road) begins in Vicenza, at the old Arch standing at the foot of the "Scalette", the stairs leading the faithful to the Sanctuary of Monte Berico. It then passes along a section that skirts the most famous villa by Palladio,"La Rotonda". From here, it follows the contour of the Colli until linking all the towns built at the bottom of the hills, the great historical and wine and food heritage of the Road. The itinerary continues on to the outskirts of Verona and the Chiampo valley, finally ending in Vicenza.


Chardonnay DOC: This internationally popular varietal has been cultivated quite successfully here in these volcanic hills. It is typically straw-yellow in color, with a delicate bouquet, and a dry, harmonious, fruity taste. It is typically aged in stainless steel, and can be used pure, or mixed with a slight quantity of Pinot Bianco. It pairs well with fish and rice dishes.

Garganego DOC: This varietal is an indigenous grape that is grown from the Verona Hills to the Berici Hills, and is the grape used in the well-known Soave wine. It also exhibits a straw-yellow color, with a dry, slightly acidic taste. Again, it pairs well with fish, as well as pasta and rice dishes with more robust sauces, and especially with the local baccala vicentina.

Pinot Bianco DOC: The DOC wines from this varietal are produced either from 100% Pinot Bianco grapes, or can include a small quantity of Pinot Grigio. This wine has a lighter straw-yellow color, and a delicate flower and fruit bouquet. It is best served cold, and pairs well with shellfish.

Sauvignon DOC: Another internationally popular variety that has been successfully cultivated here in the volcanic soil of the Berici Hills. Straw yellow in color, with a slightly vegetal aroma, and a dry, full-bodied taste. Pairs well with first courses and fish.

Spumante DOC: A sparkling white wine, and the newest DOC wine in the Berici Hills. It contains at least 50% garganego grapes, with Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay used as blending grapes. It has fine and lingering bubbles, with a fresh dry taste.

Tocai Italico or Tai BiancoDOC: Produced using the indigenous grape of the same name, with occasionally a little garganago blended in, this white wine is again straw yellow in color, with a harmonious, dry, and tangy flavor. It is wonderful as an aperitif, or paired with first course dishes.


Cabernet DOC: The bordeaux grapes have been quite successful since being introduced to the Berici Hills. The Cabernet Colli Berici DOC uses Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Cabernet Franc grapes. A Cabernet DOC qualifies for the “Reserve” label if it has undergone three or more years of aging, six months of which must be in wooden casks. These wines are deep ruby red, tending toward orange as they age. They are dry, full-bodied, and robust with strong tannins. The pair well with roasted red meat dishes, as well as strong cheeses.

Merlot DOC: Another bordeaux grape makes a strong appearance in this area, producing a slightly less intense red wine. Ruby red, with a velvety, full-bodied, harmonious flavor that pairs well with robust pastas with meat sauce.

Tai Rosso or Barbarano DOC: A DOC produced from the indigenous Tocal Rosso grape, a close relation to the Sardinian cannonau or French grenache varietal. Before 2007, the name was Tocai Rosso, but has been changed to avoid confusion with the Hungarian varietal of the same name. It is produced around Barbarano Vicentino and the surrounding towns, and so is sometimes named after the town itself. It is clear and brilliant, with a bright red color, and a balanced, harmonious taste with a hint of cherries. It pairs well with pasta and rice dishes, braised white meats and grilled meats.

food and wine,, Vicenza Province,

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