The Prosecco Wine Route from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene
This road winds around through the hills cultivated with vineyards between Conegliano, Vittorio Veneto and Valdobbiadene. A gentle landscape composed of grapes and huts, farming towns and historical cities, age-old parish churches and castles, a land that humans have shaped over the centuries, making it one of the prettiest corners of Italy.
The itinerary can be done in one or more days, it is worth spending the night to experience the beauty of these utterly peaceful areas, maybe taking the time to visit some wineries. You can choose from a selection of hotels in Treviso Province for a stay characterized by relaxation and charm. For those who prefer a different type of accommodation, there is a vast selection of cozy bed-and-breakfasts and farm houses on the Prosecco Wine Route in the historic center or open country side.
Conegliano, besides being an important industrial center, is a city with a historical heritage to discover. Elegant buildings with decorated facades flank Via XX Settembre dating back between the 15th and 17th centuries. Along the way is the frescoed loggia of the Scuola dei Battuti (the interior hall is also very beautiful) and the Duomo. The latter contains important works of art including a splendid altarpiece by Giambattista Cima. The Castle sits in a dominant position on the hill. One of its towers is home to Conegliano's Museo Civico.
The Prosecco Wine Route departs from the castle and runs along the ridges of the hills to San Pietro di Feletto, where there is a pretty Romanesque parish church from the 12th century. The road continues through a gentle landscape of grapevines and patrician villas until reaching Refrontolo, a town in a scenic position on the plains with mountains surrounding it. Don't miss the romantic scene of the Molinetto della Croda, an old 16th century watermill set in the rocks next to a large waterfall which drives the wheel. The watermill has been restored and is open for visits. From the watermill the road continues climbing in a beautiful landscape of grapevines clinging to high uneven hills, visitors cannot help but be dazzled by this scene that human ingeniousness has managed to wrest from nature.
The route continues to Follina, a town with ancient origins, where the Santa Maria Abbey, built in the 12th century in late Romanesque style, stands among attractive 16th and 17th buildings. The abbey was founded by a group of Cistercian monks who started a prosperous wool processing business here. The exterior of the church is simple and reflects the stylistic canons of the Cistercian order; the large wooden portals and central rose window are remarkable. The interior is filled with frescoes and works of art: the high altar contains the very old statue of the Madonna del Sacro Calice, from Nubia, dating back to the 4th century AD. The statue is the protagonist of a miraculous story that still today attracts pilgrims as a sign of devotion. The most fascinating spot for visitors are certainly the cloisters, which form an ambiance of rare charm. Visiting hours: from 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Prosecco Wine Route continues towards Valdobbiadene in a landscape featuring vineyards and chestnut woods. You reach what is the epitome of the Prosecco area, the area of the treasured Cartizze spumante between the villages of Santo Stefano, San Pietro and Saccol. Here is where the most beautiful views of the Prosecco Wine Route are found, from the main road, lookouts open over the vineyards below in a breathtaking spectacle. The area contains the highest concentration of wineries, many of which are open for visits. The road ends here in Valdobbiadene, a town located in a green valley at the foot of the pre-alp foothills and overlooking the Piave riverbed. In the center there is a large square surrounded by Neoclassical buildings including the Duomo, Municipality and majestic 18th century campanile. The city suffered heavy bombing during World War I when it was the seat of the Austrian-Hungarian command. Today it is the capital of Italian spumante and hosts the annual Forum dello Spumante in the splendid Villa dei Cedri.
Leaving from Follina, it is possible to make a 15 km detour to Vittorio Veneto, a city filled with history and culture. The road runs along the valley passing the town of Cison di Valmarino, dominated by the Renaissance Brandolini castle, which has been renovated and can be visited. A major artisan festival is held in Cison di Valmarino every August. Continuing on you encounter the villages along the Laghi di Revine, with typical rural houses built in local stone.
The road finally reaches Vittorio Veneto, the city which is the symbol of Italy's victory in World War I. Vittorio is divided into two separate centers: Serravalle and Ceneda.
- Serravalle, enclosed by the mountains, is older in appearance, your visit can start from Piazza Flaminio, where the most beautiful homes of the noble families are located and in the surrounding streets lined with medieval buildings and churches. The mass of the Duomo dominates the square, its interior was decorated by Canaletto and contains a masterpiece by Titian. A lovely stroll starts from behind the Duomo: a stairway which takes around 20 min. to climb to the Sanctuary of S. Augusta, containing the remains of the saint and frescoes. The view of the city and its massive system of fortifications are ample reward for the arduous climb.
- Ceneda, old bishopric seat, has a more open and upscale appearance. Piazza della Cattedrale contains the cathedral, Loggia del Cenedese, a 16th century fountain and Villa Papadopoli. A scenic path from the square leads to the 15th century Castello di S. Martino.
Vittorio Veneto also possesses some interesting museums: "Museo del Cenedese" on the archeology and history of the city, "Museo della Battaglia" with documents, memorabilia and mementos of World War I, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Modern Art City Gallery) and lastly "Museo del Baco da Seta", commemorating the silk industry which was very successful in Vittorio Veneto.
A 20 km journey from Vittorio Veneto leads to Foresta del Cansiglio, one of the most beautiful Italian forests. The central plateau at 1000 m. is a large green meadow surrounded by beech and fir forests, which offers nice trails for hiking or horseback riding, a summer golf course, tracks for cross-country skiing and various museums. The Museo Ecologico contains naturalistic artifacts regarding the plateau. The Museo Etnografico documents the Venetian domination and the Cimbri people. The Giardino Botanico Alpino (Alpine Botanical Garden) is home to around 300 plant species present in the Cansiglio area, with a special section for officinal plants. Excellent high mountain cheeses can be purchased in the traditional shepherd's huts in Cansiglio.
Photos courtesy of: Provincia di Treviso Assessorato Turismo, Servizio Turismo
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