Belluno / SurroundingsGallery
Mel is a romantic and poetic artistic centre to be found almost halfway between Feltre and Belluno.
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Situated on a hill whose peak coincides with Piazza Luciani with its spectacular palazzi which were once home to the local nobility. The most important buildings are the 17th century palazzo of the ancient inn al Cappello, the Municipio of the 16th century, palazzo Del Zotto, palazzo delle Contesse (noted for its beautiful chimneys), the casa Barbuio Francescon, which dates back to the thirteen hundreds, and the two palazzi Fulcis Guarnieri and Fulcis Zadra, connected by an architraved doorway. On the square itself the imposing 18th century dean's church and a few steps away the ancient church of Our Lady of Sorrows.
The Palazzo delle Contesse houses the Archaeological Museum which exhibits remains from the Paleovenetian necropolis lying not far from the centre: clay and bronze ossuaries, jewellery such as rings and brooches, belts with decorative fasteners, knives, needles and various crockery, glass and plate.
Near Mel in the vicinity of the still inhabited Villa di Villa, perched on a rocky outcrop, lies the Castello di Zumelle, whose history goes back to the days of the Roman Empire (the zone was ideal for surveillance of the military highway Claudia Augusta Altinate). The earliest traces of the castle (signal tower, ditch and pales) date back to the 1st century A.D. When, in the next century the barbarians penetrated the Roman borders on the Danube, defence of the area around Belluno, Feltre and Vittorio Veneto became of paramount importance in order to impede their eruption into the Italian peninsula. The castle thus gained notable status as a meeting point of the three towns.
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