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Treviso: Everything You Can’t Miss

Nestled in the heart of the Veneto region, Treviso is a city that enchants visitors with its rich history, artistic and cultural treasures and a welcoming and lively atmosphere. It’s a place where tradition blends seamlessly with modernity, perfect for a relaxing yet stimulating visit.

Treviso’s unique character lies in its being crossed by two rivers, the Sile and the Botteniga, which lend it a decidedly romantic atmosphere. A small gem inextricably linked to nearby Venice, Treviso nevertheless boasts a strong identity of its own.

The city’s history comes alive in its many buildings brought back to their former splendor after the bombings of World War II, which heavily damaged the oldest part of the town. There are countless artistic and architectural gems to discover.

Treviso and its surroundings are compact and easily explored on foot, which is why it is considered one of the greenest destinations in Europe.

But let’s find out together what makes Treviso a must-see destination.

A Dive into History

Treviso’s origins are ancient, dating back to Roman times when it was known as Tarvisium. During the Middle Ages, the city flourished under the Republic of Venice, of which it retains numerous architectural and artistic vestiges. The medieval walls, canals, and historic buildings are just a few of the traces of its glorious past.

Artistic and Cultural Marvels

Piazza dei Signori and Palazzo del Trecento

The beating heart of Treviso is Piazza dei Signori, dominated by Palazzo del Trecento. This 13th-century building was the city’s political center and now houses cultural events and exhibitions. Overlooking the square are some of the most representative historic buildings, such as the Palazzo del Podestà with its Torre Civica, the Palazzo Pretorio with its unmistakable 17th-century facade, and the Pinacoteca comunale.

The square is the ideal place to start your visit, immediately immersing yourself in the lively and historic atmosphere of Treviso.

Loggia dei Cavalieri

Also within the perimeter of Piazza dei Signori is the Loggia dei Cavalieri, built in 1276. Another architectural gem of Treviso, it was once used for meetings and jousting tournaments and is now a symbol of the city’s power and history.

Via Calmaggiore

Via Calmaggiore is the street that connects Piazza dei Signori to Piazza del Duomo. Originally laid out as a cardo during the Roman era, it once represented the link between the city’s religious and political life. Today, Calmaggiore is the main shopping street, lined with elegant buildings with facades from different eras. Here you will find the windows of the most exclusive shops, under the arcades that lend an air of timeless refinement.

Treviso Cathedral

Continuing along Via Calmaggiore, you arrive at Treviso Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle. Of ancient origin, the first building dates back to the early Christian era, the current structure dates back to the 11th-12th centuries and was built in Romanesque style, and was later rebuilt in Neoclassical style in the 18th century.

The main characteristic of the Duomo is its seven domes and is striking for its imposing size and the frescoes by Tiziano inside.

Church of San Nicolò

Despite the Duomo, the largest church in the city and which is definitely worth a visit is the Church of San Nicolò. It is a grandiose 13th-century building with a Latin cross plan, with three naves and five terminal chapels: it is considered one of the most important examples of the Gothic style in Italy. The interior is decorated with precious frescoes by Tomaso da Modena and his pupils, dating back to the 14th century.

The Fountain of Tits

A curious attraction is the Fountain of Tits, one of the most famous symbols of Treviso, located in the courtyard of Palazzo Zignoli. It owes its funny name to the figure it represents, a female statue characterized by two buxom breasts from which water gushes. Originally, wine flowed from the statue’s breasts during the celebrations for the appointment of the new Podestà, a custom that testifies to the festive spirit of the city.

The fountain that can be seen on the street is a copy; the original, from 1559, is kept in a case in the Palazzo del Trecento.

Fish Market Island

Considered the world’s most unique fish market, Fish Market Island stands as a proud emblem of Treviso’s rich heritage. Born in 1856 from the union of three islets on the Cagnan Canal, the island’s purpose was to relocate the fish market from the central Piazza dei Signori, deemed “troublesome” by the city’s lords. Since then, the fish market has thrived on this island, an uninterrupted testament to Treviso’s culinary traditions.

Connected to the mainland by an iron bridge adorned with fish sculptures, the island’s very essence is captured in its aquatic embrace. 

Buranelli

Treviso’s charms extend beyond its historical center, evident in the enchanting neighborhood of Buranelli. This picturesque district, traversed by a network of canals (locally known as “cagnani”), is a haven of romantic and evocative vistas. Bridges gracefully connect the neighborhood’s historic houses, each whispering tales of the past.

The most renowned of these canals is the Buranelli Canal, named after a prominent 16th-century merchant family. Today, Buranelli exudes a tranquil ambiance, offering a delightful escape. Restaurants lining the canals invite visitors to savor local specialties, while charming shops beckon with their treasures. In times gone by, the canals served as a gathering place for women to wash their clothes. 

Dante Bridge

Treviso’s waterways are adorned with numerous bridges, each possessing its unique character. Among these, Dante Bridge stands out as a literary landmark. Situated at a captivating crossroads, in 1856, n recognition of the great poet Dante Alighieri’s sojourn in Treviso, the city erected a stele on the bridge, immortalizing his presence. Dante himself immortalized this very spot in the ninth verse of Paradiso, the final book of his Divine Comedy.

Cultural Gems

Treviso’s cultural tapestry extends far beyond its captivating exteriors and historical landmarks. The city’s museums serve as treasure troves, housing invaluable collections and exhibitions spanning diverse eras.

The network of Treviso’s civic museums encompasses three magnificent venues, each nestled within the heart of the city:

  • Museo Civico di Santa Caterina that houses an impressive collection of ancient art.
  • Museo Luigi Bailo, recently restored, this museum showcases masterpieces from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Ca’ da Noal – Casa Robegan, an ancient medieval complex now serves as a captivating venue for temporary exhibitions.

A Gastronomic Adventure

Treviso’s culinary scene is a symphony of flavors. The city is renowned for its “cicchetti,” bite-sized morsels of culinary delights akin to Spanish tapas. The vibrant Fish Market Island provides the perfect setting to embark on a cicchetti adventure. 

Beyond the island, traditional trattorias await, inviting diners to immerse themselves in the authentic flavors of Venetian cuisine. “Bigoli,” thick pasta noodles, and “radicchio di Treviso,” the city’s signature red chicory, are just a few of the culinary gems to be discovered. Whether nestled in the heart of the city or perched along the riverbanks, these trattorias offer a taste of Treviso’s culinary soul.

Treviso is a city that knows how to surprise and fascinate. Its rich history, artistic and cultural beauty, and vibrant social life make it an ideal destination for those who wish to discover the Veneto in all its authenticity. 

All you have to do is plan a visit and be won over by its timeless charm.

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