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Just a few miles from Venice, the province of Treviso offers a marvellous blend of landscapes, art, history, natural beauty, hospitality and good food that will enrapture visitors and find a place in the hearts of all those who take in its delights. There is a constantly changing backdrop to any visit here, ranging from the harmonious plain to the Treviso Alpine Foothills, from the rolling Prosecco hills to the Montello and Cansiglio woods, passing through large cities and small towns along the way. This beautiful area is home to a host of wonderful sights just waiting to be discovered.

Its charms come from its millennia of history, which have bestowed a rich artistic and cultural heritage on it and span from the ancient Veneti to the present day. Traces of this past can be discovered in the many museums, churches, villas, palazzos and villages with a timeless feel that are dotted across the entire province.
Signs of Roman rule can be found to various extents throughout the area, especially due to the centuriation scheme, with particularly noteworthy elements in the town of Oderzo, now home to an interesting archaeological museum. Also worth a special mention is the Via Claudia Augusta, an extremely important thoroughfare that ran from the south to the north across the March of Treviso and was built on the orders of Emperor Claudius in the 1st century AD.
On the shores of the lakes in Revine Lago, the new Livelet Educational Archaeological Park has recently been opened. Visitors can find out about prehistoric times and experience the daily lives of the people from back then in a truly striking setting.
The vicissitudes of the Middle Ages left their mark in the shape of the large feudal estates, such as that of the Ezzelini family, whose political doings significantly affected the area beyond the right bank of the River Piave; no less important were the powerful Da Camino, Da Carrara, Brandolini and Collalto families. Still today, the impressive San Salvatore castle belonging to the Collalto family can be seen near the town of Susegana. It is considered one of the most beautiful stately homes in Italy.
The story of the March of Treviso is also inextricably linked to that of the Republic of Venice. In fact, this area supplied the timber to build the mighty fleet that dominated the Mediterranean for centuries. Cansiglio in particular was used for this purpose and became known as “the wood of the Most Serene Republic”. In more recent times, Mount Grappa, Montello and the banks of the River Piave were the setting for heroic deeds in the Great War, the tragic conflict that came to a close on the Italian front with the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. Nowadays the Grappa, Montello and Fagarè war memorials, as well as other commemorative monuments, stand in remembrance of those dramatic events.

In addition to the Piave, which has a special part in the nation’s history, two other main watercourses cross the province of Treviso: the winding Livenza and the Sile, the longest river to come from resurgences in Europe and an extraordinary naturalistic environment which has been declared a Regional Natural Park. An excellent way to discover the local nature and its endless breathtakingly beautiful views is by taking part in the numerous sports on offer, from cycling – definitely the most popular pastime and one which has earned Treviso a reputation as the biggest province for the activity in Italy – to trekking, without forgetting golf, canoeing and paragliding.

In the western part of the province, between the Pedemontana del Grappa and Castelfranco Veneto, are some of the area’s most valuable pieces of architectural excellence, first and foremost Villa Emo near Fanzolo di Vedelago and Villa Barbaro, recognized among Andrea Palladio’s masterpieces: they are two perfect examples of the ideal of harmony between the building and the countryside, between the garden, drives and farmland, that is typical of Veneto villas.
The list continues with one of the pearls of the region: Asolo, the “town with a hundred horizons” which was so dearly beloved by the British traveller Freya Stark, the actress Eleonora Duse and the Queen of Cyprus Caterina Cornaro, who had her own castle built in this beautiful settlement that is now dominated by the imposing form of the “Rocca” stronghold. Just a short distance away is Possagno, birthplace of the sculptor Antonio Canova. His works can be appreciated in the museum, where drawings, sketches and plaster casts are on display. Nearby stands the beautiful temple designed by the artist himself and completed after his death. Another great figure from the history of architecture has his final resting place in San Vito di Altivole. In the innovative and striking Tomba Brion, which he designed himself, lies Carlo Scarpa, one of the biggest names on the arts scene in the twentieth century.

The capital of the province is Treviso. The Sile gently flows through the distinctive canals amongst the magnificent frescoed houses, colonnades and ancient monuments in the charming old town centre. It is one of the many characteristic walled towns in the province; others worth visiting are Vittorio Veneto, Oderzo and Castelfranco Veneto, whose Duomo hosts the wonderful altarpiece with the Castelfranco Madonna by Giorgione. Portobuffolé is another highlight of the Treviso area and is famous as the hometown of Gaia da Camino.
Other fortified sites, castles and defensive towers that can be found all over the province also date back to the troubled Middle Ages and Renaissance: a fine example is the castle in Conegliano, a town that is famous above all for its excellent food and the exquisite local wines. There are also some majestic ancient abbeys, such as those in Vidor and Monastier, and the one in Follina, a marvellous Cistercian building.

The pleasures of the palate offered by the area deserve particular attention. When talking about Treviso, one cannot neglect to mention the famous Prosecco, one of the most popular Italian wines abroad, and the exquisite Radicchio of Treviso and Castelfranco. Also worthy of note are the full-bodied red wines of Piave and those produced in the Asolo hills and Montello area, along with cheeses ranging from the creamy Casatella to “formajo imbriago” made with grape pomace, asparagus, sausages, cherries, chestnuts, mushrooms and desserts such as the delicious Tiramisu.
This and more besides is what makes the Province of Treviso the home of good food and even better living.

Treviso, 14/05/2009

Ufficio Stampa - President Staff

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