Dwight Peck's personal website

Ten days in the Veneto (without Venice)

February - March 2017

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Treviso in the rain

It's our last day in Treviso, 4 March 2017, and not a fine one. But the street market's in progress out our front door anyway.

I love street markets, though I've never bought anything at one. Except once, at Petticoat Lane in 1974 -- a small satchel to carry books home in from London, at a good price; the seams all ripped out in the airport lobby.

The entire Piazzale Burchiellati -- some are browsing, others are focused and determined

One's first thought is always, what happens to the stuff that doesn't get sold by noon? Charities? Landfill? Next week's street market?


Kristin's after herbs, mainly

Two hours later, the market's gone, and the rain's bucketing down.

Grim views down the street in front of our B+B, but we may never get back again, so here goes.

Guess who?
Hint: What do Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, Orrin Hatch, Brent Scowcroft, and Jack Dempsey (the 'Manassa Mauler', heavyweight champ 1919-1926) have in common?

Pizza by the slice -- but it's closed.

In the Via Manzoni

The Ponte Sant'Agata, closed for business

The Canal Cagnan Grande, looking north towards the fishsellers' island beyond those buildings

Farther along the Via Carlo Alberto, we're revisiting the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore.

The Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore in the rain, called the Madonna Grande, built in this form beginning in 1475 with significant alterations to the back half in the 1520s to accommodate new Venetian defensive structures just behind it. Treviso had successfully withstood its siege in the War of the League of Cambrai, but the Venetian Republic went all round their cities in the Veneto stiffening things up.

Mainly we've come back for another look at that free-standing chapel, or sacello, with the cult-object of the picture of the Madonna and Child.

Here's the beautiful little chapel sitting out here in the middle of the church, built in about 1492 to venerate the "miraculous image of the Madonna" -- the fresco was meant to have been sacrificed either in the architectural updatings of 1475 or in the Venetian defensive restructuring, but the devoted fans of the picture rose up in the streets and got this wall and its frescoes saved. Democracy in action.

The picture's attributed to Tommaso da Modena, mid-14th century, or his workshop.

It was evidently "miraculous" but no citations are provided.

The little semi-circular chapel in the wall behind the miraculous Madonna, with . . .

. . . the Last Supper

The beautiful little chapel of the miraculous Madonna

The Cagnan Grande, looking towards the Ponte Dante and the river Sile

A little satellite by-canal near the bridge on the Via G. Bergamo

My Toast (in the Piazza San Leonardo)
-- May I have a piece of toast please? To go.

The Chiesa di San Leonardo -- originally a hospital converted into a church in the 14th century, but thoroughly rebuilt in the 17th century, now with an interior from the 19th century and an 18th century façade that was redone in about 1930. And who's St Rita?

So now we can tick this one off on our list.

Promenading westward in the rain past the Loggia of the Knights, or Cavalieri

A peek up the sodden streets at the Palazzo dei Trecento, or Palace of the 300, and the Piazza dei Signori

A few blocks farther westward along the shopping street of the Via Martiri della Libertà

Farther along the road, now called the Corso del Popolo, a familiar enterprise with an unfamiliar look to it ('no huge yellow arches in our town!'), on the bridge over the river Sile through the southern part of the old town.

The bridge over the Sile along the Corso del Popolo and Via Roma, and the McDonald's

Waterworks near the bridge. We're on the Riviera Santa Margherita -- just downstream from here was the old river port offloading barges that had come up the river, with fish amongst other things.

Just upriver on the Sile there is an intact set of 16th century bastions on Santa Margherita island, formed by this small branch of the Sile which rejoins the main stream 800m to the east.

Graffiti Trevigiani

A war memorial by Arturo Stagliano, called 'Gloria' and inaugurated by the king in 1931, commemorates the courage of the citizens when after the defeat of Caporetto in 1917 Treviso became part of the front lines, and 30,000 of a population of 40,000 were forced to evacuate the city. The infantrymen at the top, representing the 630 Trevisan soldiers killed in the war, are shown naked in the fashion of classical heroic sculpture. The grieving mothers on both sides were meant to be shown naked, too, but the bishop wasn't having it.

Still in the Piazza Vittoria across from the war memorial

The apse (with five apsidal chapels) of the Dominican Church of San Nicolò, along the river Sile in the southwestern part of the central city

The Dominican Order of Preachers was invited to the city in 1221 (only five years after the order was approved by the papacy), and their church had been consecrated by 1282. It's closed today, but as chance would have it services are just breaking up and the churchgoers are still milling about renewing acquaintances so security is lax.

One of the things the Church of San Nicolò is best known for is the quality of the frescoes on the columns, three of which are attributed to 13th century Tommaso da Modena and the rest to his school.

The nave and two aisles, each corresponding to one of the chapels, with two more chapels off the transept

The presbytery and main altar, flanked by four more chapels in the apse, with a prized funeral monument to Agostino Onigo, a 16th century soldier the Venetian Onigo family, with pictorial parts contributed by Lorenzo Lotto.

The picture of the Madonna and Child with musician and saints is attributed to Salvoldo (Girolamo da Brescia), 1521.

One of the other chapels

Nursing Madonna ('Madonna dell'Umiltà', by a 15th century local)

A statue of St Rocco in the middle, paintings of St Sebastian on the right, and a guy called St Saba on the left (Sabbas 'the Sanctified' was evidently a 6th century founder of monasteries in the Near East whose remains were brought to Italy by Crusaders in the 1100s and only returned in 1965.)

The Last Supper. (What are they eating? Evidently, whatever it was, it's all gone now, except for the dinner rolls.)

St Catherine and her Wheel

Last one out, turn out the lights. The roof and bell tower were utterly wrecked by American and British bombers in 1944, but have been resurrected.

The façade, facing into a small alley surrounded by diocesan and seminary buildings

Street scene (on the Borgo Cavour)

Baby Boom (on the Via Canova)

The Casa da Noal and Casa Robegan, built in the Gothic-Venetian style in the mid-15th century, was blasted to smithereens by American and British bombers in 1944, but nicely restored.

Back to the Locanda San Tomaso. We've off home tomorrow.

We're on the road early (noonish), 5 March 2017, passing Bergamo under unsettled skies.

A stop at a restoroute for a sandwich

The Castello di Pavone from the autostrada (Book Now!), turning up into the mountains near Ivrea -- the 9th-11th century fortress is presently an upscale B+B and convention centre.

A traditional stop at the Bennet in the Pavone Centro Commerciale (some things, we're told, you just can't find in Swiss shops)

The automatic ordering machine isn't working properly. Just two double cheeseburgers, please.

-- No, it's working fine. It just takes some time to learn how to do it. (So keep at it.)

Another brief commercial stop at the local "Gonad" (Conad supermarket chain) in Settimo Vittone, with a glance up at our accommodations in the Ospitalità del Castello B+B and its 9th century baptistery (on the right)

The baptistery

Our favorite room -- unbeatable prices, friendly people.

The sheep heard that our host's home and they're headed out.

As he coaxes some of them down, the others are going back up.

Over the mountains, 6 March -- crossing the mighty Dora Baltea at Quincinetto for the autostrada north

Passing Fort Bard

Forte di Bard, a fascinating fortress and, now, exhibition centre. We spent some time here a while ago.

Hmmm. (On the truck is written Winterdienst, 'winter service' -- in a part of Italy that, having evolved as part of Savoie, is largely French-speaking, they sent a German-speaking truck.)

Luckily, our driver grew up in wintry climes.

Through St-Oyen

Successfully into the galleries leading to the Grand St-Bernard Tunnel

A brief stop at the customs station

Galleries on the Swiss side

And 15 minutes from home, just down the hill a ways

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 21 June 2017.

Veneto region
Feb. 2017

Veneto region
May 2017