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Discovering the treasures of Treviso: where history, flavours and rivers intertwine

Welcome to Treviso, a hidden gem in north-eastern Italy that charms visitors with its historical beauty and wealth of local flavours.

This city in the Veneto region, overlooking the river Sile and rich in springs that are essential for the cultivation of its flagship product, radicchio, is a paradise for those who love food and wish to immerse themselves into a culture rich in gastronomic traditions. Treviso enchants with its cobbled streets, meandering canals and bridges offering an unparalleled view.

Strolling through the streets of the town centre

The historic centre of Treviso is a jewel worth exploring on foot. 

The cobbled streets, the canals that criss-cross the city and the Renaissance buildings provide an enchanting atmosphere. Along the river Sile visitors can enjoy a relaxing walk or bike ride surrounded by the tranquillity of nature.

What to see in Treviso 

Among the must-see attractions is the Treviso Cathedral, with its imposing façade and frescoes inside that narrate centuries of history. 

Also interesting are the walls dating back to 1509, built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice (of which Treviso was a part, on the mainland) to defend the city from attacks by Spanish troops. The lion symbol of the ancient Venetian power is particularly visible on the city gates, like Porta San Tommaso, made of white Istrian stone. The façade has cracks: these once housed the rods used to move the ancient drawbridge.

Entering the historical centre, the visitor reaches the magnificent Piazza dei Signori: the heart of the city and, of course, home to the Palazzo del Podestà (built between 1185 and 1268) and the Palazzo dei Trecento, the building where the city’s justice system was administered.

Not far away is a fountain with a curious name and history: the famous Fontana delle Tette (Fountain of the Boobs) dates to 1559, although today’s is unfortunately a reconstruction, made necessary after it was severely damaged by Napoleon’s troops. At the time of its construction, commissioned by the then Podestà of Treviso, the fountain had a special purpose: every year, to celebrate the election of the podestà, white wine flowed from one breast and red wine from the other, for three days, so all citizens could enjoy their drinks free of charge.

The charm of rivers and enchanting bridges

The river Sile, with its clear resurgent waters, is the artery that gives life to the city. Strolling along its banks allows people to admire picturesque views and breathe the tranquillity that only water can give.

The canals, like veins running through the urban fabric, are a distinguishing feature of Treviso. Stone bridges alternate along the canals, offering romantic and evocative views. Among these, the via Roma bridge provides access to Riviera Santa Margherita, the city’s best known and most fascinating viewpoint. For a dash of culture, instead, visit Ponte Dante, named in honour of the Supreme Poet, who mentions this very spot in Treviso in his Divine Comedy, the one where the Sile and the Cagnan meet (i.e., the Cagnan Grande, one of the canals into which the city’s second river, the Botteniga, branches when it enters the city).

Not to be missed, for an evening aperitif, is the area of the Pescheria with the splendid Ca’ dei Carraresi, while a stroll along the picturesque Canale dei Buranelli, with its charming Malvasia Bridge, is a must.

A culinary treasure: Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso PGI

Radicchio Tardivo di Treviso PGI [link all’articolo dedicato] is a unique delicacy that typifies the local gastronomy. The slender shape and crunchy leaves conceal a slightly bitter flavour, enriched by a sweet touch resulting from its growth in the damp meadows, also thanks to the resurgent waters that characterise it.

Where to taste radicchio dishes?

Right in the city centre is one of the most typical places in town, Trattoria Toni del Spin, where, in addition to radicchio, you can find another local delicacy, tiramisù.

Le Beccherie, another restaurant in the centre of the city that should not be missed serves red radicchio with impeccable style and creativity.

Just fifteen minutes from the city centre, in the small town of Dosson di Casier, where we find the Osteria Alla Pasina, which offers sumptuous menus filled with local traditional dishes.  There are also weekly tasting menus, so we suggest you check beforehand to see if it is radicchio season.

Finally, a word on the ‘cicchetti’. In Treviso, as in Venice, you can drink well and eat excellent snacks freshly made using local produce, including radicchio.

Here are two addresses to try if you are visiting Treviso for the first time: at Proseccheria ai Soffioni you can drink Prosecco, with a special menu, while Vineria Al Mulino offers over a hundred labels and mouth-watering cicchetti.

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Relaxation and fun: thermal baths and local attractions

When looking for some relaxation, don’t miss the chance to visit the Terme Euganee spa, just a short distance from Treviso. Also referred to as the thermal baths of Abano and Montegrotto, they are the largest thermal area in Europe and have a history dating back thousands of years, so much so that they were also frequented in Roman times. Just picture yourself immersed in the regenerating thermal waters, surrounded by the relaxing landscape of the surrounding hills.

Two other must-see attractions in the surrounding area are Villa Emo, a splendid sixteenth-century Venetian Palladian villa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Conegliano Castle, a medieval fortress offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Whether you are looking for culinary adventures or moments of relaxation, this destination is ready to surprise and delight you in every possible way, including the late radicchio that is one of the most authentic gastronomic delights the area has to offer.

To provide you with some glimpses of Treviso and an example of the cultivation of the Radicchio Rosso PGI, Laura went on site during the last Radicchio Festival:

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