Verona, Padova, Treviso and Belluno
From the gateway of the Veneto until the mountains
The sublime art of Verona, the aura of magic and history with which it is enshrouded, and an easy progress through the mountain towns of the Veneto: from plains to peaks.
FIRST AND SECOND DAY
Verona is the principal land gateway to the Veneto, and is fortunate in lying at the intersection of many various climates and environments: passing from alpine landscapes to typical Mediterranean scenery in just a short time.
Verona is a concentrated blend of history and legend capable of leaving deep emotions in the heart and mind of the visitor.
From the Arena, one of the most important Roman monuments, which dominates the splendid Piazza Bra’, we encounter the enchanting locations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: under the famous balcony of the 13th century house traditionally known as the Capulets abode.
Here we have found the two keystones of the so-called City of Love.
Our tour continues with an exploration of the mystic and religious aspect of the city, a fundamental element for capturing the typical Medieval spirit, and which is embodied perfectly in two magnificent structures: the Romantic-Gothic Duomo and the spectacular Basilica di San Zeno.
Following to Piazza delle Erbe, taking in the “ancient” everyday atmosphere, we can witness the Medieval –Renaissance- Baroque blended in a harmonious picture of beautiful palazzi which encircle the characteristic marketplace.
Our tour continues to Piazza dei Signori, another jewel case of supreme architectural gems to admire: the Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo del Capitanio, Loggia del Consiglio, and arches and porticoes of the Scaliger times. Our visit concludes with a trip to Castelvecchio, a breathtaking fortress built by Cangrande II following the natural bight of the river Adige. Today it houses one of the best Venetian galleries, whose rooms, in addition to their artistic beauties, provide stunning views of the river and the Ponte Scaligero.
We arrive at Padua. In the world of cultural tourism of the Veneto the city of Padua, with its distinctive character contrasting with its “older sisters” of Venice and Verona, occupies a significantly high position.
Every day the solemnity of its monuments merges with the cosmopolitan bustle of the market and the students. The University here is in fact one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1222.
Losing oneself in the lanes and alleyways of the centre is the perfect way to capture the spirit of the medieval town which Padua once was and remains, being also the focus of important advances in science and medicine which have changed our lives.
Our tour also explores the religious and devotional spirit which has reigned for 800 years in the Basilica of S. Antonio, the mysterious depictions by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel, an absolute masterpiece of 14th century art, the judicial face of Padua in its Palazzo della Ragione (the tribunal of 1218), and the learned aspect in the Palazzo del Bo’, the university, where our visit will take in the famous Anatomy Theatre and the podium of Galileo Galilei.
A stop at the famous Caffè Pedrocchi, the café “without doors” (so-called as it never closed) gives us the opportunity to take a refreshing drink and enjoy a premium live jazz performance.
The first thing which strikes the visitor to Treviso is the omnipresent equilibrium of the city, with the calm flowing of its waters, and the procession of ancient palazzi and weeping willows reflected on the shimmering emerald surface of its canals.
The city, demarcated by the rivers Sile and Cagnan, offers in a certain sense the “ideal stroll” through the cultural values of the region, a long way from the concept of mass tourism yet at the same time providing numerous marvels of nature and art: a tranquil and stress-free approach to the riches of the region.
Our tour begins along the main street, Calmaggiore, which contains many structures from the Medieval and Renaissance epochs.
This leads us to Piazza dei Signori, a space outside time which is Treviso’s most loved public face and where we find the symbol of the historical centre of the town: the Romantic Palazzo dei Trecento.
Also to be seen are the Casa dei Carraresi and the Loggia dei Cavalieri, the Duomo and the Malchiostro chapel, and the churches of S. Vito and S. Lucia, S. Francesco and S. Niccolò.
We round off the tour at the Museo Civico 'Luigi Bailo' where we can admire masterpieces by G. Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto, Titian and J. Bassano.
We first visit the urban heart of this mountainous region, known to the Celts as belo-dunum or “city of splendour”.
Belluno represents a sort of self-contained world within the magic of this alpine region.
Of ancient origin (it was also a Roman municipium), today’s city manifests the traces of its Renaissance era and the period of Venetian rule, together with invaluable Medieval testimony. We visit the ancient Porta Rugo (12th century) and the typical Venetian-Gothic style palazzi of which the old city, perched on top of its rocky outcrop, abounds in. An example of this style is the Palazzo dei Rettori.
Our visit moves on to the church of Santo Stefano, and the 16th century Duomo of Tullio Lombardo, famous for its 69-metre high campanile designed by Filippo Juvara, and considered one of the finest examples of Baroque clocktowers in Italy. Inside we find works by Jacopo Bassano, Palma il Giovane and Andrea Brustolon, the famous local sculptor and engraver.
Lastly we visit the Museo Civico to admire the masterpieces of Jacopo da Montagna and Bartolomeo Montagna, and the Piazza del Mercato which displays sumptuous Renaissance colonnades and decoration and a fountain dating back to 1410.
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