A short journey from Venice is Treviso, an often overlooked, but absolutely magical Italian town. As part of the Veneto in the north east of Italy, Treviso offers all the charm that has made the region famous: Cobblestone streets, romantic sights, amazing food, and beautiful canals. Being overshadowed by neighboring Venice, however, it also offers a break from tourist lines, and overpriced souvenirs.
Over the years, Treviso has passed through the rule of various powers. The Romans, the French, the Austro-Hungarian, the Lombards, the Calligari, and many more have fought over it. It was the Venetians, however, who ruled over it the longest, and who built the city that exists today. To protect the city from invaders, the Venetians built walls around the town, never imagining what charm this fortification would bring to it. Today, the walls mark the city center. Its portico entries invite visitors in to discover all the beauty it has to offer.
The town is further beautified by the parallel dance of the two rivers that circle it. With their waters running side by side, the Sile and the Cagnan bring peacefulness to the atmosphere that permeates the walls, the streets, and the very air of Treviso. Once again, Venetian influence can be felt, as it was them who strategically used the two rivers. Taking advantage of the Sile, which runs through the city center, the Venetians built waterways that they would use to navigate into the city. These waterways were mainly used for two purposes: Powering flour mills, and bringing in merchandise. The mills brought commerce and wealth into the town, and the waterwheels that powered them can still be seen decorating the canals around the city. The old fishmarket, the economic center for the commerce brought in from Venice, still exists today. Visitors can visit the small island sitting on the Sile, buy fresh produce, and enjoy an afternoon eating tiramisu (the town’s original dessert) and drinking prosecco wine.
History and architecture lovers can rejoice in the opportunity to spend the day seeing Treviso’s squares, palaces, and churches. The San Francesco church, the church of Saint Lucy, and the church of Saint Nicolo present varied styles in their architecture, but share a soulful feel to them. Dante’s son and Petrarch’s daughter rest peacefully in the tombs of these churches. The Lords’s square, built during the Renaissance, is the main square in the city, followed by Piazza Rinaldi. The two palaces, Palazzo dei Trecento, and Palazzo di Podesta are beautiful examples of architecture, which vibrate with history and beauty.
Treviso is also a haven for anyone needing some retail therapy, as it is the headquarters of several important retailers like Benetton, Lotto Sport Italia, and Diadora. Bicycle lovers can buy from Pinarello and follow one of the bike paths in and around Treviso, traveling the beautiful countryside, and visiting its vineyards.
This stunning town, decorated with canals, arched architecture, and a pale red color is one of the brightest hidden gems of the region. It is a place to relax, breathe-in, leave behind the worries of everyday life, and welcome the essence of Italy.