Treviso, a few kilometres from Venice, a jewel frescoed on the water. Discover our guide on 10 things to do in Treviso during your stay in Venice!
A few km from Venice, Treviso is a jewel of the Veneto Region. Discover our guide on 10 things to do in Treviso with our little guide.
A complete and detailed guide on 10 things to do and see in Treviso during your stay in the Terre del Veneto.
The city of Treviso
Off the beaten track (Venice is a few steps away) , Treviso enchants the traveller with a peaceful and harmonious coexistence between nature and human constructions. The visit always starts from the historical heart of the city and meeting place for the Treviso people. The Palazzo del Podestà, the Palazzo dei Trecento and the Civic Tower coexist with bars, arcades, shops and historic shops.
Calmaggiore, the most important commercial road in Treviso, with shops protected by arcades starts here. If Piazza dei Signori is the civil heart of Treviso, the Cathedral and the Church of San Nicolò are the religious one, together with the Complex of Santa Caterina, now a museum. Water will keep you company on your peaceful stroll through the city, the predominant but discreet element for which Treviso is as beautiful as Venice but less "postcard" and more real. On this page we recommend the 10 things to see in Treviso during a weekend or a holiday in Veneto.
Piazza dei Signori in Treviso
Piazza dei Signori in Treviso has always been the mundane heart and the parlour of Treviso. In fact, the square stands on the ancient meeting point of the Roman era and it has served as a market, a place for political and cultural discussions and also as a sedan over time.
The elegant, welcoming and well-kept square overlooks elegant arcades, restaurants, bars with their tables, shops and boutiques. The panorama of Piazza dei Signori in Treviso is dominated by three of the most important buildings in the city: the Palazzo del Podestà, which dates back to the 1400s, the Civic Tower and the Palazzo dei Trecento. Piazza dei Signori opens on to Calmaggiore, the main street of Treviso that leads to the Duomo. It is actually a cobblestone alley, narrowed by arcades and historic houses, characteristic and very well kept like all the historic centre of Treviso.
Palazzo dei Trecento in Treviso
This building, built in 1210, dominates Piazza dei Signori and takes its name from the 300 members of the City Council. With its red brick arches, it still hosts city council meetings and is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in the city.
Its interiors are decorated with thirteenth-century frescoes and can be visited on the occasion of exhibitions and cultural events. The signs of the bombing of 7th April 1944 are evident at the top of the façade of this building: a line between the bricks marks a continuous line, like a wound not to be forgotten.Piazza dei Signori also houses a unique building of its kind: it is the Loggia dei Cavalieri, an arched structure with an irregular shape, open, built in 1200 to allow nobles to participate in board games.
Palazzo del Podestà and Torre Civica in Treviso
With its elegant red brick façade, Palazzo del Podestà dominates Piazza dei Signori in Treviso. The building was built in the 13th century and has been rebuilt several times.
Palazzo del Podestà and Torre Civica in TrevisoAs the name implies, it was the seat of the Podestà, which by law could not be from Treviso or neighbouring towns: for this reason it did not have a house and moved there with all its retinue.Today the Palace is also known as the prefecture seat and behind it is the Civic Tower, the highest tower in Treviso that, with its unmistakable crenellated structure dominates Piazza dei Signori. At 1 pm of every 7th April, the tolling of the tower bell reminds of the bombing that destroyed the city in 1944.
Calmaggiore and the Fontana delle Tette in Treviso
Calmaggiore is the most important street in the historic centre of Treviso. Originally it was the Roman Cardo Maggiore and now it is an elegant alley lined with shops, boutiques and historic residences.
Calmaggiore leads from Piazza dei Signori to Piazza Duomo and therefore has always linked the political heart of Treviso with the religious one. A nice walk under the arcades, amid sparkling shop windows, shops and boutiques, to symbolise the perfect harmony between past, present and future and the symbiosis of tradition with progress. Along Calmaggiore you can admire the remains of the ancient Roman road: access is in the basements of the “Argenteria Marza” shop. Continuing, in the courtyard of Palazzo Zignoli you will find a reconstruction of the famous fontana delle tette (the fountain of tits): a small fountain topped by the bust of a woman, from whose breasts water flows. The original statue, dating back to 1559, is kept in a display case at the Palazzo dei Trecento and is worth a visit because the fountain was devised to celebrate the podestà (corresponding today to the mayor) when white wine poured out of one of the fountain’s tits and red wine out of the other for three days.
The Church of San Nicolò in Treviso
Despite the Duomo that dominates Piazza Duomo in Treviso with its neoclassical façade, the largest church in the city that certainly deserves a visit is the Church of San Nicolò, built in the 12th century by the Dominican friars thanks to the legacies of Benedict XI.
One of the most important examples of Gothic style in Italy, with very elongated shapes that are striking with their simplicity. The church has been restored several times especially after the bombing of 1944, and today its large columns dividing the church into three naves are decorated with precious frescoes by Tomaso da Modena and his students, which date back to the 14th century. On the right nave is a large organ with painted doors and the presbytery houses the sepulchral monument of the Roman Senator Agostino Onigo, of which the painted background is attributed to Lorenzo Lotto.
The walls and waterways of Treviso
Treviso, the ancient Tarvisium of Roman times, was surrounded by a wall already at the time of its foundation, and the walls have always protected the city. Some portions of the walls can be visited today and the city could be accessed only through the three gates until a recent past: Porta San Tommaso, Porta Santi Quaranta and Porta Altinia.
The Winged Lion of Venice can still be admired near the Gates, testifying that Treviso was the most important outpost of the Republic of Venice on the mainland.The walls and history of Treviso are closely linked to that of its streams surrounding the walls and that can be admired on foot or by bicycle: you will find villas overlooking the river with the ancient suspended washtubs, gardens, well-kept parks and absolute quiet.Along the way, we recommend a stop on the Dante bridge, "where Sile and Cagnan accompany you", as the Poet says in his Canto, Paradise. Since 1865, a stele remembers Dante Alighieri, but this bridge is also known as the "bridge of the impossible", because the inhabitants of Treviso feared that it would collapse like the other wooden bridges overwhelmed by the floods of the two rivers even after its reconstruction in stone.
Isola della Pescheria and the Buranelli Festival in Treviso
The Pescheria island takes its name from the fish market held here every morning. The islet is located right in the centre of Treviso, on the Cagnan Grando river, and is connected to the centre by two bridges that can be crossed on foot or by bicycle.
It is a unique opportunity to savour the traditions and daily life of Treviso, and also to admire one of the ancient mills that were used to wash the Monte di Pietà square when the fish market was on the mainland. The market was moved to the centre of the river around 1850, joining three natural islets. If you are in Treviso in the second half of June, you cannot miss the Festa dei Buranelli: it is a series of events that starts in the Buranelli portico in the centre, and includes concerts, puppet shows and tastings of local gastronomy products.
The complex of Santa Caterina in Treviso
The Santa Caterina complex is the main pole of the Treviso Civic Museum network that also includes the Luigi Bailo Museum and the Ca 'Da Noal - Robegan House - Karwath House complex.
The complex includes the church and the convent, recently restored. The church of Santa Caterina is an interesting example of Gothic style and is worth a visit for the frescoes made between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, while the former convent is open to visitors with two cloisters surrounded by greenery and an interesting archaeological section that testifies the daily life of man in these areas since the first settlement, 300,000 years ago.
By bicycle Along the Sile
If you love being outdoors and taking long walks or cycling, you cannot miss the Restera di Treviso. Just outside the walls of the centre, the Restera starts, it is a pedestrian and cycling path that runs along the river Sile up to the mouth in Jesolo (Ve). Among the local experiences to do in Treviso, a ride along the Restera is a must. The Burci Cemetery is very suggestive, a place where the typical boats of the Sile were grounded and that have become part of the landscape amid the flora and fauna of the river over time.
What to eat in Treviso
If you think that Treviso is just red radicchio and Prosecco, you are wrong. It is true that here the risotto with radicchio is a real delight and that Prosecco is inimitable, but Treviso is a land rich in harmonies of lagoon and land flavours for dishes that are always rich, tasty and very flavoured.
Therefore, in addition to the radicchio that is excellent with rice and sausage but also only grilled, you will discover fish and meat dishes, washed down with some of the best Italian wines: Prosecco di Valdobbiadene and Conegliano in the first place, but also Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Bianco and Grigio.You cannot start a meal without an aperitif in one of the bars in Treviso: in addition to Prosecco you can ask for an ombra (a glass of wine) or a Spritz, accompanied by tasty hunger breakers like small meatballs, omelettes and bread with sardines and mozzarella. Among the first courses, do not miss pasta and fasjoi and homemade pasta like the bìgoi all'anedra, gnochi, tajadèe. Among the second courses, the sopa coada deserves a place of honour, a single dish based on stale bread and pigeon meat, and freshwater fish, such as trout, carp, eels. The meal ends with tiramisù born right here in Treviso.
I hope our article has been useful! Are you planning a trip to Veneto?
Immerse yourself in the history of the Serenessima region! Discover the hundred horizons of Asolo, the cheerful sottoportici, the covered walkways of Treviso. Discover Vicenza and the Palladian Villas. Admire Venice with new eyes! Give yourself a Venetian Escape!
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