- Water world
- City life
- Sailing to Byzantium
Venice's compact cousin has history, culture and gastronomic prowess to rival the City of Bridges, but it's a far more peaceful proposition.
Life in this picturesque part of Veneto is as slow-paced and leisurely as the water-buses that meander down the canals. Reflections of the city's stately architecture shimmer in the water: rustic red-brick houses with frescoed façades and banks of weeping willows, mediaeval porticos and crumbling ancient walls. This prosperous commune has made its mark with an international fashion brand, De'Longhi appliances, and Pinarello bicycles; we also have the Trevisani to thank for the world's best coffee-soaked indulgence: tiramisu.
Only a nation that takes love-making and cooking equally seriously could have come up with tiramisu, Treviso's most famous (and seductive) export. The combination of biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with whipped egg yolks and mascarpone and flavoured with liquor and dustings of cocoa is worth every single calorie (and there are plenty). Carlo Campeol, owner of Ristorante Beccherie, at 9 Piazza Ancilotto Giannino, proudly serves up the devilishly delicious treat in its original form; quite right too, since his mother created the recipe and dished out the very first slice back in 1972.
- Flagging a cab on Treviso's largely pedestrianised streets can be challenging , so book pick-ups and transfers through your hotel's concierge or try a transport hub (the train station is a safe bet).
- Siesta and fiesta
- Most shops close between 12.30pm and 3pm, re-opening around 7pm; banks are closed from 1.30pm in the week (and all weekend). Many restaurants shut on Sundays, Mondays and on one lunch-time in the week. Nights get lively around 7pm, when locals meander out to take their aperitivo in a bar or café , moving on to a restaurant around 8pm.
- Packing tips
- Cobble-friendly footwear; sunglasses for posing on the café terraces in style; bubble wrap for Murano glass souvenirs.
- Recommended reads
- United Colors of Benetton hails from Treviso, so read the fashion brand's rag-to-riches story in Jonathan Mantle's Benetton; go high-brow with an artfully dog-eared edition of Paradiso by Dante Alighieri, the third (and final) instalment of the Divine Comedy (look out for a mention of Treviso's Bridge of the Impossible); The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato blends history, mystery and romance, recounting the story of a 17th-century Murano glass blower.
- Regional specialities
- Expect to see soppressa salami served with creamy polenta and an array of rich funghi, bruscandoli (risotto with wild asparagus), and, for the brave, sopa coada (pigeon soup). Of course, pasta features heavily: try bigoli (thick, home-made spaghetti) and pasta con fragioli (pasta with beans). Treviso’s distinctive raddichio (an Italian red lettuce) adds a peppery presence to many plates – try it in risotto.
- Euro (€).
- Time zone
- GMT +1.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Italy: +39. Treviso: 0422. (Remember to retain the '0' when dialling from outside Italy.)
- Do go/don't go
- Treviso is blessed with all-year charm, but the streets are at their liveliest in high season – avoid coming then if you want the sights to yourselves. The Trevisani are justifiably proud of their seasonal products and host festivals to welcome their return: time your visit to coincide with the start of the raddichio season for example (December–February), or the prosecco festival (February–June).
Don't go home without...
visiting the fish market, held every Tuesday on Isola della Pescheria (which means, sensibly, fish market island). Expect to see an array of salty specimens so fresh they’re still wiggling, plucked from waters across the globe.