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Tucked away in Italy’s region of Veneto, the enchanting medieval town of Treviso offers a delightful mix of experiences for everyone. This historic walled city — complete with meandering canals, charming waterwheels, scenic bridges, and labyrinthine streets — is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities. Embellished with artwork from renaissance maestros, Treviso’s churches and museums invite culture enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the town’s outskirts lure shopping aficionados with a profusion of top-tier Italian designer surplus outlets.
Quiet and scenic
Wine connoisseurs can savor the superior terroir for “Glera,” the Prosecco grape, in Treviso, the certified region for Prosecco production. The town also boasts the birthplace of the delectable dessert tiramisù – Le Beccherie, and entices gourmands with a multitude of impressive dining experiences.
Situated in north-east Italy, Treviso is one among several towns renowned as the country’s industrial heartbeat, producing an assortment of goods such as machinery, food, wine, textiles, and leather. Roughly a half-hour train ride from Venice, Treviso, together with nearby towns of Castelfranco and Asolo, exudes a charming, relaxed quality of life. The local warmth stems from deeply-rooted family values, with businesses and recipes passed down across generations.
During a fact-finding trip, I was accompanied by a group of journalists. What was initially not a gastronomy-centric visit soon turned into a culinary delight, with the region offering an abundance of uniquely flavorful dishes. The local restaurants, far from being Michelin-starred establishments, captivated us with fresh, seasonally-inspired meals, traditionally prepared and beautifully presented.
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Our gastronomic journey started at all’Antico Portico, a quaint eatery in Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore. As we relished our lunch, newlyweds provided entertainment, taking wedding photographs in the picturesque square. Our shared selection of Antipasti, Primi Piatti, and Secondi Piatti embodied Treviso’s food culture and set the tone for the meals that awaited us.
Post lunch, we continued our exploration, visiting Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral/Duomo of St. Peter, home to the 16th-century Annunciation painting by Titian. After marveling at the cathedral, we wandered under the age-old loggias, the remnants of their painted frescos still visible on the pillars and vaulted ceilings, and reached Piazza de Signori, the heart of Treviso.
We wrapped up the day with dinner at another hidden treasure, Abitue San Parisio, located just off Piazza San Vito. Despite our attempt at a modest meal, the lavish small plates were more than sufficient. Our subsequent visits included culinary delights from Osteria al Forno di Agnese in the village of Civita di Bagnoregio and Locanda da Lino in Solighetto. From poached pear on robiola cheese to an array of seafood from the Adriatic, the gastronomy was a treat for the senses.
Located in the Trevigiana hills of the town of Solighetto, Locanda da Lino set the stage for a venue that transformed our dining experience into an Adriatic seafood spectacle. With the gentle pop and fizz of Toffoli Prosecco (produced by Lino’s son Marco), our evening began with plates of mouthwatering white fish cubes marinated in olive oil, garnished sardines crowned with olives and tomatoes, and a vibrant array of grilled crawfish spread across our table.
Wine and dine
As the evening unfolded, we savored a variety of fried fish fillets, mussels and clams bathed in brodo, shell-baked scallops, and fried soft-shell crabs. Handmade pasta laden with octopus, octopus salad, and baby octopus drenched in a red wine sauce further enriched our maritime banquet. Each dish was a testament to the creative prowess and freshness that marked every course, making it a truly unforgettable feast.
During our exploration, we also visited the historic town of Asolo, known as the “town with a hundred horizons” for its panoramic views. We had lunch at Albergo Al Sole’s renowned restaurant La Terrazza, which, though closed, opened its newly restored frescoed grotto to accommodate our group.
Our culinary expedition in the Veneto region concluded with a farewell dinner at Odeon alla Colonna. Nestled on the edge of the Stile River in Treviso, the restaurant offered us an unconventional but absolutely divine antipasti, culminating with their take on tiramisù.
For more information on Treviso and other hidden Italian gems, visit the Italian National Tourist Board North America website here.
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