Treviso is often compared to Venice. But, even if both cities on water, Treviso maintains a very peculiar character that we have discovered thanks to the guidance of two friends from Puglia, Pasquale and Massimo, who have been living here for a long time.
Between the canals of Sile and Botteniga
The city is full of charming houses with balconies overlooking the canals flanked by willows.
In Treviso the resurgence waters, which fed businesses and manufactures, gave life to an urban framework full of charm, especially along the sixteenth-century walls and in some corners of the ancient core where the canals intersect with streets and alleyways.
And even today in many points of the center you can admire the majestic whirlwind of the mill shovels that leads back in time when the milling art along the Sile was source of flour supply for the Venetian Republic of Venice.
And closing the eyes one can imagine along the banks the noisy presence of the washerwomen who, bending over the clear waters, washed their clothes between splashes of water and songs. But we wanted to savor the atmosphere of living the mill to the full and we even slept in a structure with a lot of blades still working just outside Treviso which we will talk about soon (in #sognidoro: https://www.cittameridiane.it/en/once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-mill/).
The historical and monumental center is included in the almost five kilometers of imposing and discreetly preserved walls, with thirteen bulwarks and open by three doors. Among the porticoed houses with beautiful frescoed facades overlooking the canals flow two rivers, Sile and Botteniga, which creep through the streets give the city a fairytale look. the second, is divided into cagnani, smaller channels that cross the whole center. The largest is the Cagnan Grande, then there are the Canale dei Buranelli and the Cagnan della Roggia, also called Siletto.
Walking along the Sile you can also see one of the first inhabited areas of the city, the one that is now occupied by the Giardinetti di Sant’Andrea, one of the highest points of Treviso together with Piazza dei Signori.
Via Buranelliis one of the most photographed sites of the town: it is a long porticoed curtain that plunges the foundations in the waters of the canal that run between the arches of some bridge houses.
Going on you reach the Pescheria, a small island in the Cagnan river since the Middle Ages, which is in charge of the exchange, which in the morning is crowded with fruit and vegetable stalls and the fish market.
And if so far, going around the town you have had the impression of being in Venice, arriving at the Pescheria you might think you have arrived in Copenhagen! In fact, even Treviso has its Little Mermaid, a gift from the sculptor Luigi Simionato.
The Cathedral is presented as a composite overlap of different styles and construction phases. Founded in Romanesque-Padan forms on an early Christian temple, it was enlarged by Pietro Lombardo between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century.
In 1700 it was rebuilt because of the poor static conditions, while in 800 was added the large pronaos at the entrance surmounted by a tympanum and preceded by a staircase.
Inside stands out its candid elegance in which the bright table of the Annunciation by Titian stands out inside the Malchiostro Chapel, almost eclipsed by the impressive frescoes of his great rival, the Pordenone. Under the presbytery is the crypt supported by ten rows of marble columns with capitals of recovery: here you can breathe a rarefied atmosphere that refers to the oldest part of the building.
To the left of the Cathedral is the Baptistery and behind it the squat bulk of the bell tower, unfinished at the top.
In Piazza dei Signori, Treviso’s living room, the space is circumscribed by spectacular buildings: the ancient Palazzo Pretorio and the neo-Roman Palazzo del Podestà, now of the Prefecture, rebuilt at the end of the 19th century, recalling some architectural motifs of the nearby Palazzo dei Trecento.
This is dominated by the Civic Tower called “il Campanòn”, also rebuilt in 800, while on the side towards Piazza Indipendenza rises the staircase completed by a balustrade in white stone and below it extends the elegant Loggia Dei Cavalieri.
Walking among the tables of the bars housed under the arches peeked between the columns: here is the fountain of tits made in 1559 by Alvise Da Ponte, mayor of the Republic of Venice, after a drought that hit Treviso and the surrounding countryside. And from that moment until 1797, the year of the fall of the Serenissima, from this fountain has gushed red and white wine in honor of each new podestà.
The entire building was almost completely rebuilt between 1946 and 1952 after the devastation of war.
During the Second World War, in fact, Treviso was heavily bombed due to an error in the identification of the real target that was Tarvisio.
Before leaving the city, if you love art exhibitions overlooking Ca ‘dei Carraresi, in the past hostel for travelers, now home to prestigious international exhibitions.
And then walks on the University Bridge, in maple wood, one of the most recent in Treviso, designed by architect Paolo Portoghesi in 2006 in the image and likeness of the ancient Ponte di Santa Margherita, now in stone and with a different structure from the original one.
And do not leave without tasting the delicacies of the Treviso area, including the renowned asparagus of Badoere and the white asparagus from Cimadolmo, which we have stocked to enjoy the flavors of Veneto even for a while at home.
Last but not least? A side order of tiramisu, a dessert that is now a classic among Italian desserts but it wants to be born right here in the late 60s in the restaurant Alle Beccherie in Treviso.