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Conegliano, a miracle of nature: both for the the wine it produces, and for the sumptious hilly countryside from which it arises.
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However, before it achieved its worldwide fame as champion of vine-growing, Conegliano Veneto was for centuries a military stronghold. Later it passed under the rule of the Venetian Republic which was quick to intuit its potential and value for the production of wine and oil, and its crafts and trade value. Hence the rebirth of the city.
Thanks to its favourable location and climate, Conegliano quickly excelled in wine-making, and from the 19th century its name became associated with this, almost completely erasing its previous military splendour, which however remains in several fascinating monuments. A key figure in this change was Antonio Carpenè, who introduced important technical breakthroughs in grape production, and who in 1877 founded the Royal School of Viticulture.
Today Conegliano, together with Valdobbiadene, is one of the two producers of prosecco wine, and is home to the historic Wine-making School.From the town, the Strada del Vino Bianco (white wine route) sets off, winding its way through the villages of the Piave district, arriving at Valdobbiadene. As well as the grapes for prosecco, a sophisticated premium-quality red is also produced here.
The city'cultural attractions are focused along the town's main street, the Via XX Settembre, an arcaded thoroughfare of distinguished frescoes palazzi of Gothic-Venetian style. The greatest work of art present is surely Cima da Conegliano's Virgin and Child with Saints (1493) in the Duomo. Next to this stands the Scuola dei Battuti, which takes its name from the religious brotherhood's penchant for self-flagellation. The Casa di Cima is also deserving of attention, as is the Castelvecchio with its gardens: the Museum of Local History is housed here, and the ruins of the fortress evoke the fascinating and distant past.