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Although Treviso has an airport, the city doesn't attract many tourists, because nearly all of them continue directly to Venice, located thirty kilometers to the south. That's a shame because Treviso is an attractive town with sights that are more than worth the effort. It is also much quieter than the hugely popular Venice. This is why it's a great option for people who do want to see Venice, but don't continuously want to be in the crowds. Not that Treviso needs tourists; it is a thriving town that is home the clothing group Benetton amongst others.
Treviso promotes itself as città d'acque, city of the water. Though incomparable to the Venice lagoon, the water plays a major role in the ancient walled city. The river Sile runs along the southern city wall and the city is intersected by canals. Via the Sile fish has been landing here for centuries. The fish market near the Ponte della Campana continues to be a lively and colorful affair.
The heart of the town is the square plaza Piazza dei Signori. The ground floor of the Palazzo dei Podesta on this square has been taken over by terraced cafes. The tourist office is just behind it, at the small Piazza Monte di Pietà. You can buy a city map here, which includes where you can view waterwheels that are still working.
Napoleon had little respect for the religious purpose of the Chiesa di San Francesco; he used the church as... a stable. The church was restored later and although somewhat faded, the frescoes are definitely worth seeing. There are amongst others a fresco of Madonna and the Seven Saints, made by Tomasso da Modena in the fourteenth century. You can see more works of this Tomasso in Treviso, for example in the Chiesa di San Nicolò (a beautiful example of Italian Gothic) and the adjacent Sala del Capitolo.
The most important museums of Treviso have been housed in a former church and monastery: the City Museum, an Art Gallery and the Archaeological Museum. Together they form the Museo di Santa Caterina on the Piazzetta Botter. In the church you can again see more frescoes of Tomasso da Modena, including the beautifully restored St. Ursula.
In mid october tout Treviso partakes in the wine marathon Ombralonga. With a wineglass in a container and a ticket in had thousands of people check off the 'stations': the various wine bars of Treviso. In one bar you will get a prosecco (sparkling wine), in the other a nice cabernet and in the next a snack. The aim is not to run this marathon in record time; it is about fun.
On all the menus in Treviso you will encounter dishes with radicchio rosso, red lettuce. This lettuce is being harvested in the area of Treviso and even has a protected geographical indication (Indicazione Geografica Protetta). This means that only lettuce from Treviso may carry this name. It is a slightly bitter, but refreshing lettuce. Of course, salads are made with it, but radicchio rosso is also used in risotto and lasagna, and - briefly seared - in appetizers. Definitely try this!
The biggest attraction near Treviso obviously is Venice, but there are several other sights around the city.
The renowned Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio has had a great influence on architecture around the world. Some of his buildings can be seen in Venice, but the town of Vicenza is full of his work, including the Basilica Palladiana, the Palazzo Valmarana and the Villa la Rotonda, just outside the city. Vicenza is located about fifty kilometers west of Treviso.
Wine lovers can enjoy the Anello del Prosecco, a route through villages and vineyards near Valdobbiadene, northwest of Treviso. The tourist office in that place has a brochure which you can use as a guide to do the tour yourself, but you can hire a guide too. Along the way you stop at several places to taste Prosecco but other delicacies too.
Treviso has a good range of hotels in all price categories. Most can be found in the vicinity of the station. Generally, there are always rooms available, but during the summer months it is advisable to book your hotel room in advance. Especially if you have your eye on a specific hotel.
The old town is nearly everywhere dictated by a one-way traffic system. To view the historical center you can best leave your rental car just outside the city wall. There are several car parks at the main entrances, including at the bus station on the south side.
The Treviso Airport is situated southwest of the city. From the old town the airport is easily accessible by rental car: follow the Viale Monte Grappa towards the west, which connects to the Via Noalese (SR-515) leading you to the airport. You can also drive to the south and take the SR-53 to the airport. The route is clearly signposted.