A shabby appearance, apparently not to be trusted, cold and austere, a nickname that has supplanted the official name. This is how Calle degli Asini, the ancient mule track in Conegliano, looks like. When you come across it, it leaves an impression, negative or positive, as everything that has personality. You can not say it is beautiful, not at all, but is interesting and evocative.
When you hear its nickname, Calle degli Asini, you can immediately hear the sound of the hooves of the donkeys that climb up the hill carrying supplies or work tools. If you look hard enough and use your imagination, you are also able to see two or three of these animals, fulfilling their task with extreme slowness, but endless patience.
The inhabitants of Conegliano do not believe this is the reason why this little street was called Calle degli Asini for centuries. The real reason dates back to 1233. On the 15th of June of that year, Conegliano won a battle against the near Treviso and captured 18 horseman and 29 infantrymen. To celebrate the victory, it seems that my triumphant fellow citizens were transported to the castle on the backs of the prisoners, used exactly as donkeys. They say it is a legend, but why shouldn’t we believe it really happened?
If you end up in Calle degli Asini, don’t get stuck on its appearance. Let yourself involved in what it tells about its past and pay attention to some tangible details of its past: the pavement, made with river stones and called “codolà“, the ruins of some of the ancient defensive structures and, at the end of the street, the oratory of Santa Maria Annuziata (XVI century).
Only in 1955 this short and narrow street took on its current name, Calle Scoto de Scoti.: this is a story I will tell you another time.