Saturday, June 21, 2008
Italy’s region of Veneto is a land of history and amazing architecture, set against the backdrop of the Dolomite Mountains. The cities in Veneto are well known for their charm and romantic settings. The city of Treviso is very charming. It is sometimes referred to as Città Dipinta, “Painted City.” This is because, at one point, it was popular for Treviso’s wealthy inhabitants to have the outside of their homes frescoed, some with simple designs and others with intricate representations of mythological scenes. Many of these buildings can be seen near the Piazza Duomo. Treviso goes by another name, too: Città d’acqua, “City of Water.” The city is known for the intricate canal system that cuts through and surrounds it. WWII bombings destroyed many of the Treviso’s historic landmarks and treasured buildings. The war did not, however, destroy the city’s charm.
Venice (Venezia) is another city in Veneto where water plays a major role in everyday life. Actually located in a lagoon, the city of Venice is made up of 118 masses of land, all separated by canals. Most places in Venice can be visited on foot, though it might be more fun for a tourist to explore the city by means of the vaporetto (waterbus) or a romantic gondola ride. There are numerous churches and museums in the city that are worth visiting, but none as spectacular as the Basilica di San Marco, built in 829. A fascinating display of Byzantine and Romanesque architecture, the exterior of the building is characterized by its five enormous domes. The interior walls and ceilings of this 8,000 square meter area are lined with gilded mosaics, dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, that depict images from both the New and Old Testament. Within the church hides the remains of St. Mark himself. Appropriately enough, the floor plan of the basilica is actually in the shape of a Greek cross.
It is interesting to note that also within Veneto is the town of Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which continues to be a popular place for couples looking for a romantic location to visit. For more information on Treviso, Venice, and other worthwhile places in Veneto, visit http://www.trips2italy.com/Veneto.