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Porta Tomaso, Treviso

A small canal in Treviso

Riviera Garibaldi, Treviso

Domes of the Duomo in Treviso

Welcome to Treviso
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population:  82,112 (2004)
Official website:
Wikipedia: Treviso
Map: MapQuest

Treviso is located on a plain at the confluence of the Sile and Botteniga rivers, which merge into the River Piave.  It is one of the prettiest and most convivial cities of Veneto Region, and a "must see" if you are in the area.  Here you can stroll the ancient streets and piazzas, and walk the river banks and canals  under the shade of cool and luxurious trees, in the midst of gardens and well kept villas and houses.

Treviso's long, complicated and often violent history begins in the Bronze Age. It fell under Roman rule by the 1st century BC, and ultimately became a Roman municipium - a city, that they called Tarvisium - whose people enjoyed Roman citizenship.  After the fall of Rome, the Veneto Region came under the domination of a succession of invaders including the Huns under Atilla, the Goths under Totila, the Longobards, the Carolingians under Charlemagne, and the Swabians under Barbarossa

During the later Middle Ages, as a more or less independent comune, Treviso found itself involved, as so many other cities of the north and central parts of Italy, in the chronic and persistent conflicts that arose between the Holy Roman Empire (Ghibelline) and Papal forces (Guelph).  Eventually, comunal  government collapsed, and Treviso fell under the control of a series of tyrants and dictators. 

In 1389, as the result of machinations typical of the time, Treviso became absorbed into the Republic of Venice, whose fate from then until after Italian unification in 1860, was caught up in a cycle of war and diplomacy that saw it come variously under the control of Austria, then France (under Napoleon), then Austria again for periods that were interrupted by rebellion and war, until finally the Republic (including cities like Treviso) became an irrevocable part of Italy.

Treviso endured more trouble during the two world wars, most particularly as a result of heavy bombing by the Allied forces which resulted in the death of thousands and the devastation of many important buildings and monuments.  But, of course, much remains to be seen in this intimate, charming, vibrant and almost poetic city where canals and rivers wind their way, like streets and avenues through the urban environment.

Find your way to the Piazza dei Signori, the heart and soul of the city.  Here you will find the Palazzo dei Trecento and a soaring bell tower (campanile).  Enter the building through a large external staircase to see sculptures and artworks that survived the bombings of WW2.  Or take shade - or nourishment - under the vaulted arcades at street level.

You might also want to visit the piazzina of Monte di Pieta to visit the Capella (Chapel) dei Rettori to see its frescoes, ornately decorated wooden and leather panels, paintings by such as Luca Giordano and Sebastiano Ricci, as well as displays of artifacts used for weighing and measuring.

When you are ready, find the maze of ancient alleyways and small streets whose medieval houses are reflected in the waterways.  Make your way to Fishmarket Island - the Isola della Pescheria - and take a course that will take you over a number of bridges, some of them crossing the Canal dei Buranelli, the largest canal in Treviso.  Cross the Ponte San Francesco where you will find an old windmill, the Ponte Dante near the University, and the Ponte San Martino.

In the Piazza Duomo and along several streets, including via Riccati, Via Canova and Via della Roggia you will encounter many interesting buildings, including vibrantly painted houses which are typical of the 16th century.  Many of these are painted with geometric forms, but others have motifs drawn from ancient mythology.

Once enclosed by a ring of walls four kilometers long, and a mote made from waters diverted from Treviso's rivers, the centro historico - or historical center - was accessible through the monumental gates surmounted by the Lion of Saint Mark, San Tommaso to the north, and Santi Quaranta to the south.

Naturally Treviso has its share of churches and museums which offer a plenitude of interesting diversions.

The city museum, Museo Bailo, is located in a former Jesuit monastery.  Its holdings include an array of artifacts from all periods of the city's history.  The city art gallery (Pinacoteca) has works by Lorenzo Lotto, Titian, Jacopo da Bassano, Sebastiano Ricci, Tiepolo and many others.  More interesting art can be found in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, with works from the 19th century to the present.  Temporary exhibitions of contemporary art are often promoted at the Casa dei Carraresi, located in the pedestrian zone overlooking the Cagnan River.

The Museum of Santa Caterina is housed in the former convent of Santa Caterina.  In the Chapel of the Innocents, look for the Story of Saint Ursula by Tommaso da Modena.

Among the churches of note are the Duomo with its wonderful neoclassical facade, and an alter piece by Titian, and Chiesa San Nicolo an austere looking Dominican church in the
Gothic tradition whose interior has more frescoes by the Tommaso da Modena.  The 13th century church of San Francesco, which contains the tombs of Dante's sons, is likewise architecturally simple and austere.  Look to the ceiling which is done as a boat's bottom and decorated as a heavenly vault.  Two churches, Santa Lucia and San Vito can be found behind Piazza dei Signori.  They are joined together and create a very compelling and evocative atmosphere.


One can point out the many particulars of Treviso, and we have. But, Treviso is much, much greater than the sum of its is a place to surrender to for as much time as you can afford.  It is an atmosphere to be absorbed slowly and with great pleasure.

By Vian Andrews, August 11, 2006

Region of Veneto

4540′N 1215′E


Venice - 38 km;
Ferrara - 131 km:
Verona - 140 km;
Trieste - 164 km
Trento - 232 km
Bolzano - 289 km; Milan - 298 km



Coat of Arms, Treviso

Treviso is the home of the headquarters of international renowned clothing company Benetton


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