“Like Venice without the tourists.” When one of my good friends used this phrase to describe Treviso, I was intrigued. Dasa is a traveler like me (we met in Croatia), and she always gives us the best tips for European travel. We wanted to explore northern Italy, but without the crush of tourists in Venice. So we booked a cute Airbnb in Treviso and set out to explore Italy’s Veneto region.

I was not prepared for the beauty of Veneto. Having been to Tuscany a few times, I had no idea there was a similarly lush, green area in the north. Honestly, I actually think I prefer Veneto…this coming from a person who renewed her vows in Tuscany. The food, the scenery, the shopping, the prosecco…Veneto now has a permanent spot on my list of places I could live if I ever permanently left the United States.

Treviso itself is aesthetically stunning, filled with charming historical buildings and pristine canals. It’s pretty during the day, but magical at night.

 

There are also some fantastic restaurants. We loved Odeon Alla Colonna, where we had traditional fresh white asparagus and egg, as well as out of this world fried prawns over polenta.

 

We toured the region while we were there. There are so many magical towns in close proximity. Asolo was my favorite…because it’s where the best prosecco is made, obviously. The entire town is like a postcard. Before tasting prosecco, we had a fantastic lunch at Trattoria Moderna. For twenty euros, we had two courses with coffee and dessert. The tagliatelle with cream and free peas was phenomenal, and the tiramisu was some of the best I’ve ever had.

We next visited a few wineries. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most prosecco producers are still small family operations. My favorite was Bele Casel, where the family literally invited us into their home for a tasting. I really enjoyed there Col Fondo, which some call the original prosecco. The prosecco is made with the secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle, leaving sediment on the bottom. It looks and tastes different…more complex, more full-bodied. I loved it. Brandon and I purchased a few bottles and had finished them in a couple of days. I highly recommend trying Col Fondo.

We also visited Bassano del Grappa. Yes, it is the home of grappa, which we of course tasted. I was really struck by the beauty of the old city.

We happen to have friends in Padua. We were lucky enough to be next to a very nice family who lives there while we were vacationing last summer in Salina, an island off of Sicily. Our kids became great friends, and we kept in touch. Spending time with them in Veneto was one of the highlights of this Italy trip. Lily had the time of her life. Padua itself is gorgeous and full of charm. Our friend Jana took us to famed La Folperia, a seafood stand with some of the freshest, most delicious seafood in the middle of a town square.

We also stopped in Venice, by the way. It was much more crowded with tourists than it was on our first trip fifteen years ago, but it still has that Venetian charm. We really enjoyed the Peggy Guggenheim Collection…especially the Pollocks.

One week really wasn’t enough of Veneto. I can’t wait to book another stay in Treviso.