Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by jofitzsimons
Treviso is a city in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy, which due to it’s close proximity to the hugely popular tourist destination of Venice (just 26km away) is unfortunately overlooked by many visiting the region. Treviso has even been referred to as ‘the gateway to Venice’, with its small airport providing a low-cost alternative to flying into nearby Venice Marco Polo airport.
However, what many don’t realise is that Treviso is a beautiful destination in its own right, with several historic palaces, medieval city walls, a maze of pretty canals and narrow cobbled streets.
Plus, not only is Treviso a quieter and more relaxed alternative to Venice, it is also closer to the exciting Veneto Prosecco region, which means that the city makes a great landing spot for those wanting to explore vineyards and enjoy a few glasses of Italian sparkling wine without having to deal with the chaos (and expense) of Venice.
So whether you’re just visiting Treviso, taking a day trip from Venice or using it as a base to explore Veneto’s Prosecco region, here are a few suggestions of fun and unique things to do in Treviso during your trip.
1. Walk Treviso’s old city walls
Treviso is an ancient city which was encircled by a system of defence walls, gates and guard towers during the 15th and 16th centuries when the city was under Venetian rule. The robust defence system clearly worked well for Treviso as the city walls are still almost entirely intact today. You can follow the walls around the edge of the city, sometimes even walking on the structure itself, and admire the historic architecture of the gates and towers along the way.
Many additional modern gates have been added to the walls over the last couple of centuries to allow for easier access to and from the historic city centre, however, three of the old city gates are still standing and have recently been restored; Altinia Gate, Porta San Tommaso (St Thomas’s Gate, pictured above) and Porta Santi Quaranta (the Gate of the Forty Saints).
2. Step inside Treviso Cathedral
It’s hard to miss the impressive Treviso Cathedral when wandering around the historic centre thanks to the five large green domes crowning the Roman Catholic cathedral. The cathedral originates from the 6th century but has been remodelled and rebuilt on several different occasions, with the current neoclassical façade consisting of six white pillars only dating back to 1836.
Other than the pillared entrance and the domes, the exterior of Treviso Cathedral is considerably simplistic, however, the interior features many stunning pieces of religious artwork and beautiful frescos that are definitely worth spending some time admiring. You can also visit the original 11th-century crypt located underneath the cathedral.
And if you haven’t had your fill of churches after visiting Treviso Cathedral, make sure to stop by Chiesa di San Nicolo and Chiesa di San Francesco, the two other large churches in Treviso’s historic centre.
3. Sip a cappuccino at Camelia Bakery
One of the best things about Treviso has to be its many charming cafes and bakeries dotted all across the city. Whether you’re stopping for your morning coffee and Italian pastry or a mid-afternoon tea and cake, you won’t be short on great options to pick from.
One of my particular favourites had to be Camilia Bakery, a beautiful modern cafe and bakery close to the canals which serves a selection of elaborate coffees, brightly coloured milkshakes, beautiful cupcakes and plenty more. They also did a great tiramisu (you’ll find out why that’s so important below).
4. Take a stroll around Treviso’s canals
While they don’t quite have the grandeur of neighbouring Venice’s iconic waterways, Treviso’s criss-cross of ancient canals are still a beautiful sight in their own right. The network of charming man-made canals run through Treviso’s historic centre, connecting the River Sile and River Botteniga.
One of the most romantic things to do in Treviso has to be taking a wander around the maze of tiny cobbled alleyways, past the rows of colourful postcard perfect houses and discovering the many hidden waterways which characterise the Italian city.
5. Explore fish island, The Pescheria
The Pescheria, or fish island, is a tiny island surrounded by the River Sile which can only be accessed by a bridge at either end and is home to Treviso’s historic fish market.
The busy fish market which consumes the entire island still runs almost every morning (it’s completely shut by lunch so be sure to arrive early). Even if you’re not out to buy anything yourself, the market is still a fascinating place to visit and watch the local buyers haggle their way around the many traders.
Keep an eye out for the sculptures which surround the island, including a mermaid and fish, and take a walk past the working watermill on the northern edge.
6. Enjoy an Aperol Spritz on Piazza dei Signori
Piazza dei Signori (which translates as ‘Lord’s Square’ in Italian) is the main city square and the heart of historic Treviso.
The large medieval square is popular with tourists due to the several beautiful historic palaces surrounding it; Palazzo dei Trecento, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo Pretorio. Whilst on a sunny day you’ll spot plenty of locals sitting outside on the terraces of Piazza dei Signori’s numerous restaurants, bars and cafes, enjoying an Aperol Spritz or a long lunch while watching the world go by on the busy square. Piazza dei Signori is also regularly home to local markets, concerts and important events, so remember to keep an eye out for what’s on during your visit.
Other main squares in Treviso that are worth a visit include San Vito Piazza and Piazza del Duomo.
7. Visit the remains of Fontana delle Tette
For the wine lovers out there who are considering stopping in Treviso as a base for visiting the Prosecco region, this one is for you.
Fontana delle Tette (which translates into English as ‘The Fountain of Tits’ – no I’m not kidding) is a marble statue built in the city of Treviso in 1559 during a severe drought. The statue depicts a woman squeezing her breasts with water coming out of the nipples. So how could this bizarre statue have any relevance to wine I hear you ask? Well, on special occasions in the city the fountain would flow with free wine, with red wine coming from one breast and white wine from the other.
The original Fontana delle Tette was badly damaged many years ago, however, you can still view the broken remains in the Loggia dei Cavalieri. There is also a replica (which only flows with water) located close to Piazza dei Signori on Vicolo Podesta.
8. Learn more about the religious history of Treviso at Museo Diocesano
Sitting next door to Treviso Cathedral you’ll find Museo Diocesano, an interesting museum which features relics and artefacts from the neighbouring church, as well as other archaeological finds from the region. Spread over several floors, the museum has exhibitions relating to goldsmithery, sacred vestments and fabrics, and a host of religious artwork dating as far back as the 13th century.
If you want to visit more museums in Treviso, also check out Museo Bailo, a beautiful historic and contemporary art museum with many works by well-known Italian artists.
9. Brush up on your Italian fashion knowledge
Did you know that world-renowned clothing store United Colors of Benetton has its routes in Treviso? In 1963, Luciano Benetton, the eldest of four Benetton children, was selling a small collection of sweaters in his hometown of Treviso. Two years later, the sweaters had become so popular that Luciano decided to form the ‘Benetton Group’ along with his sister and two brothers. The siblings opened their first clothing store in the nearby town of Belluno, and 50+ years later they have over 5,000 stores worldwide.
Luciano is no longer running the company himself, however, the Italian billionaire still lives in Treviso where the company’s headquarters continue to be based. You can still see the influence that the group have had on the city today, including Benetton’s flagship store just off of Piazza dei Signori, as well as the Benetton Rugby club, Treviso’s professional rugby union team who the clothing group have owned since 1979.
Fashion lovers will also enjoy taking a stroll down Calmaggiore where you’ll find many high-end local and international clothing brands with gorgeous window displays showing off the best of Italian style.
10. Laze in a cafe or bar in Piazza San Vito
Piazza San Vito is another square just a short distance from the Piazza dei Signori. Surrounded by beautiful buildings, the square is a lovely spot to do some shopping or enjoy a drink and some lunch in one of the large outdoor seating areas belonging to the surrounding cafes.
11. Nibble on Cicchetti at Muscoli’s
Cicchetti is the Venetian equivalent of tapas and usually constitutes toasted bread topped with meats and cheeses, soft white bread sandwiches known as tramezzini, aranchini, fish polpette and a few other small finger foods. Like most dishes in Italy, Cicchetti is usually paired with wine, prosecco or a spritz.
Muscoli’s is a great little spot close to Treviso’s fish market for enjoying Cicchetti and a glass wine while sat outside with a lovely view out over the canal.
12. Whet your Prosecco appetite at Proseccheria dell’Oste
Proseccheria dell’Oste is a lovely little wine bar in the center of Treviso and is the perfect spot for a warm up for a Prosecco tour in the surrounding hills. Also located close to the fish market, the bar has a great selection of Proseccos and wines, as well as delicious Cicchetti to enjoy with your drinks. Make sure you also head inside to see their impressive Prosecco wall.
13. Eat tiramisu where it was invented
If you know anything about this small Italian city you’ll probably already know that one of the absolute top things to do in Treviso is to eat tiramisu, in particular, at the very restaurant where the iconic Italian dessert was first invented; Ristorante Le Beccherie.
Today, the restaurant does two types of tiramisu, the classic – using the exact traditional recipe – and the contemporary – which has been given a slight update. Personally, I found the classic a little dense and bitter, however, trying the original tiramisu recipe was certainly a unique experience. The contemporary, however, was lighter and slightly sweeter than the original and absolutely divine.
Did you know that tiramisu is one of the top five Italian words known throughout the world?
14. Day trip from Treviso to Venice
With Treviso’s close proximity to Venice, it would be wrong not to spend a least a day visiting Italy’s famous floating city.
Traverse the picturesque canals, admire the architectural wonders in St Marks Square, visit the grand Doge’s Palace and stop for a spritz or gelato in one of the many charming osterias.
Visiting Venice? Check out these related articles;
- 21 Most Popular Places to Visit in Venice, Italy
- 10 Things NOT To Do in Venice (and 10 To Do Instead)
- The best restaurants in Venice – tried and tested
- How to spend one day in Venice
15. Take a Prosecco Tour
As mentioned earlier in this article, Treviso also makes a great spot to base yourself when visiting the Veneto Prosecco region.
The Prosecco hills refer to the historical region between the towns of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, around 30 minutes away from Treviso, which is filled with beautiful rolling vineyards and family-run wineries where they produce the highest quality Prosecco in the whole of Italy – Prosecco DOCG.
It’s easy to visit the region by taking a Prosecco Tour. You can visit the wineries, learn about the winemaking process, taste plenty of quality prosecco paired with delicious locally produced cheeses and even visit the regions unique Prosecco vending machine perched on the top of a hill in the middle of the vineyards.
How to get to Treviso
Treviso has its own airport located roughly 2.9 miles outside of the city centre. It is a small airport served by low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizz Air, and currently only serves 6 countries directly, including the UK. Despite their close proximity, flights to Treviso airport can be found significantly cheaper than those to Venice Marco Polo airport.
From Treviso airport, the easiest way to travel to the city centre is by bus. Bus lines 101, 102, 103 and S060 will take you from the airport to the central train station in just 7 minutes, with buses leaving roughly every 15 minutes.
How to get from Treviso to the Prosecco Region
The province of Treviso stretches much further than simply the city of Treviso. In fact, as mentioned earlier, the small geographic area located between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in the province of Treviso is where you will find the best Prosecco in Italy – Prosecco Superior DOCG.
Conegliano is about 30 km north of the city of Treviso and train company Trenitalia run numerous trains each day between Treviso and Conegliano.
Regionale (regional) and Regionale Veloce (regional fast) trains run three times an hour, with the quickest route taking a mere 17 minutes and costing just €3.45. Alternatively, the Frecciarossa (fast) trains run just a few times a day, taking 16 minutes to reach Conegliano but costing a more expensive €15.
How to get from Treviso to Venice
If you are using Treviso as a base to explore the Veneto region of Italy, there’s no reason you shouldn’t add a day trip to Venice to your itinerary.
The same TrenItalia train which runs from Treviso to Conegliano also runs the other direction from Treviso to Venice.
From Treviso central station the regional trains to Venice’s main station Venezia Santa Lucia take between 30-40 minutes and will set you back €3.45 (one way). There is also one high-speed Frecciarossa train which leaves Treviso at 14:05 each day, taking 25 minutes to reach Venice for a price of €13.
Best Hotels in Treviso
If you are planning on visiting Treviso for more than a day, here are some of the best Treviso hotels for your stay:
Palazzina 300 is an elegantly decorated 4* hotel, conveniently located on Piazza dei Signori itself. As well as being one of the most centrally located hotels in Treviso, Palazzina 300 has modern and ultra-stylish rooms, beautiful terraces and city views (some even overlooking neighbouring Casa dei Carraresi). The hotel is also just a 10 minute walk away from Treviso Central Station, making it the perfect spot for those travelling on from Treviso to Prosecco by train.
Or if a 10 minute walk to the central station is too long for you, the equally lovely Hotel Continental is located directly opposite Treviso train and bus stations. Sitting within easy reach of all of the city’s central attractions, Hotel Continental has a more classic décor with hardwood floors in every room. The hotel also does a traditional sweet breakfast and has its own bike rental and car hire facilities.
For something a little further outside of the historic centre, try Hotel Maggior Consiglio. The hotel is located in a quiet area surrounded by picturesque villas on the outskirts of town, with the city centre being easily reached with a 10 minute bus/car ride or 20-25 minute walk. Differentiating itself from many of the hotels in Treviso city centre, Hotel Maggior Consiglio’s main selling point has to be it’s extensive leisure facilities, with a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, spa and fitness centre for those needing some relaxation time.
Or finally, if you prefer a BnB to a hotel, check out Avogari B&B. Located minutes from Piazza dei Signori, this cosy BnB is within walking distance of the majority of the best things to do in Treviso. With spacious rooms, private bathrooms and an Italian-style breakfast delivered to your door, Avogari B&B is perfect for those looking for their own space in a central location.
So, that’s our guide to the best things to do in Treviso. Got any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below.
Check out our other guides to visiting Italy and Italian Wine