Cles has about 7,000 inhabitants and is the geographical, administrative and economic center of the Val di Non. It extends over a plateau overlooking Lake Santa Giustina and is surrounded by orchards. From the center, in a few minutes, you can reach Bersaglio, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the valley, and then climb to Mount Peller.
History and Art
The origins of Cles date back to the Neolithic era, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds. In the historical center is the Palazzo Assessorile, a medieval building where the political life of the Val di Non took place. Reopened to the public, it offers a historical and artistic journey with architectural and figurative elements from the Renaissance period. In the Sala della Colonna, instead, there is a copy of the Tabula Clesiana. A bronze tablet, found in Campi Neri in 1896, which bears the edict with which, on 15th March 46 AD, the emperor Claudius conferred Roman citizenship on the inhabitants of the river Noce valleys.
The ancient and monumental parish church of Santa Maria Assunta overlooks the square of Cles. The churches itineraty includes the Church of San Vigilio (in Pez), indicated by tradition as the oldest. The fourteenth-century Santa Maria Delle Grazie, called La Madonnina (Piazza Granda), frescoed by Carlo Bonacina. Sant’Antonio and the Convent of the Franciscan Friars (Spinazeda), Santa Lucia (Caltron), Santi Pietro e Paolo (Maiano) founded at the end of the 12th century, San Tommaso (Dres), San Vito (San Vito Alto) , Santa Maria Assunta (Mechel), San Lorenzo (Mechel) and finally the Holy Crucifix, called Sant del Chjatar (in Faè, outside the town).
Do not miss some prestigious buildings in the historic center:
- Palazzo Scotti, seat of the Municipality. The palace was built in 1855 and the distinctive feature is the linearity of the facade. In the atrium some tombstones are in memory of historical events;
- Casa de Maffei, today Caffè Bertolasi. It dates back to the 16th century and has a Renaissance architecture. The facade is adorned with elegant windows, one of which is enriched by a composite capital;
- Casa Riddo, now Casa Corradini. Ancient building of which the last renovation dates back to 1688. The façade is characterized by an octagonal erker that culminates in a hexagonal tower;
- Palace Dal Lago de Sternfeld. From 1728 it has a neoclassical façade with baroque references. The stone portal is surmounted by an elegant wrought iron balcony. Inside there are valuable stucco ceilings and a bust of the Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria. The doors of the ancient prison cell of Palazzo Assessorile are exhibited in the atrium.
If you love the charm of castles, Castel Cles is located on a hill in the middle of the valley, to the north-east of the village. It was built by Bernardo Clesio, a powerful bishop and cardinal prince. In the 16th century, in fact, it brought together various medieval buildings and built two city walls. The first with three large sticks on the north side without battlement and the second on the south side with Guelph battlement.
If you wish to discover the most beautiful places, at the Pro Loco (Tourist Info) you will find the map with the Paths in the Green. Walks around the town to admire the most panoramic points. Instead, if you want to explore the surroundings and the mountain of Cles, you can find the map with the itineraries Live the territory.
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