A gateway to medieval churches, gothic architecture, hilltop towns with incredible views, Venetian-inspired canals, and, of course, sparkling Prosecco. 

Each year, thousands of visitors tour Venice without exploring further afield. Just 30 kilometres north is a well-kept secret, the province of Treviso, a region steeped in history, palaces, vineyards, and markets.  

The town of Treviso features some of the most richly frescoed churches, first-class shopping, and a vibrant dining scene.  Medieval walls surround the centre of Treviso and are best explored on foot. The cobbled streets lead to centuries-old markets, including a well-visited fish market on a little island amid the canals. The fruit and vegetable markets, as well as stalls offering clothing and household items, are gathering places for the community. 

There’s no shortage of dining spots for local cuisine, like the duck specialities at Trattoria L’Oca Bianca or fantastic fish dishes at Tavernetta Butterfly. The main square, Piazza dei Signori, is the place for people-watching while sipping an espresso or indulging in a cornetto. For world-class shopping, there’s Via Calmaggiore, Treviso’s historic main street.  

No visit to Treviso is complete without seeing Duomo di San Pietro, a cathedral with a Romanesque crypt and works by Italian masters; two medieval lions guard the entrance.  You won’t want to overlook the gothic architecture. Adjoining the church is the beautifully preserved Dominican seminary and cloister.  

Explore Conegliano 

Conegliano, situated in the foothills of the Alps, is the gateway to the Prosecco wine-producing region. Perched on top of a hill is the medieval Castelvecchio (Conegliano castle) providing grand views of the city.  Take the narrow pathway leading to the city centre and visit the cathedral showcasing an altarpiece by the artist Cima, the Enthroned Madonna, and Child.     

Conegliano has become a hub for cyclists with the opening of the Munich to Venice bike route covering 570 kilometres.  Hotels here caters to active travellers by providing cycle maintenance, bike storage, and energy snacks.  

Visit Hilltop Towns  

North of Treviso is Follina, which is worth a visit if only to view the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria and its well-preserved cloisters. Inside the Abbey, a neo-Gothic wooden altarpiece holds the statue of the Madonna del Sacro Calice.  Follina is also home to Michelin-starred Ristorante La Corte; try the specialities of polenta, squash, and guinea-hen. 

You can walk the ancient cobbled streets of nearby Victoria Veneto and see the clock tower with frescoes, reminders of its medieval past. Relax in Asolo, the pearl of Treviso and a favourite getaway for artists, writers, and actors who find inspiration in the winding gothic streets.  Essential to the local wine industry, Asolo is where grapes are pressed for quality wines from Prosecco to Merlot. 

Drink Prosecco in Fonte  

Fonte is home to one of the largest Prosecco and wine producers in Treviso, Dal Bello.  Try a tasting of Prosecco DOCG from dry Millesimato to the extra brut Celeber, and bring a few bottles home.  Finish the visit with a delicious lunch at Dal Bello’s restaurant across the street.   

If you plan to visit Treviso, Italy here is some relevant information

Getting there

Direct flights are available from North America and European destinations to Venice.  From Venice Airport it is a short trip to Treviso via bus or private car hire.

Where to stay

Relais San Nicola, is a charming boutique hotel located in the historical centre of Treviso,  with 10 rooms individualized to represent a city around the world. Across the street is the church of St. Nicholas Monumental dating back to 12th century. Shopping and restaurants are an easy walk along with sites of interest.

When to visit

Based on local guides April-June or September-October is the ideal time to visit. For more information visit visittreviso.it.

NOTE: This article first appeared Ensemble magazine and has been modified for this blog post.