Belluno: The first peoples to occupy the Belluno area before 3000 B.C. were the pre-Indo-Europeans, who left signs of their passing in the names of many towns and the Belluno commune names. In the following centuries the Celts built up their presence there until the Romans arrived and drove them north. There are no precise data about the town’s foundation, but it could have been founded in 200 B.C. before the Roman conquest. Some inscriptions show that Bellunum has always had a certain autonomy from Roman authority. After the fall of Rome, Belluno was invaded by the barbarians, after which it fell under Byzantine domain, continuing to build the fortifications to defend it from the Lombards but, in 568, they managed to enter the town. In 1404 the town spontaneously allied with the Serenissima Republic of Venice and began a period of peace.

What to see

On the site of an ancient paleochristian church the Basilica Cathedral of San Martino was built to a project by Tullio Lombardi in 1517. The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, commonly called the Baptistery, is a short distance from the Cathedral. The Church of San Pietro, started in 1282 contains works by Schiavone, Sebastiano Ricci and Andrea Brustolon. The Dojona Gate, which takes its name from a nearby keep. The Keep, probably built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort. Walking along the bays of the old keep we can see just how big it is and how thick the walls are. The Fountain of San Gioatà in Piazza Duomo, surmounted by a statue of the saint. The fountain was built in 1411. The Fountain of San Lucanoin Piazza delle Erbe (1318 – 1410), with a 19th century copy of the statue of San Lucano on the top of the fountain, the original is kept in the Belluno Civic Museum. The Fountain of Sant’Elenabuilt in 1554 near the Church of San Pietro, it was moved to its current position in 1844, inside the small square of Santa Maria dei Battuti. This fountain too has a copy of the statue of the saint on top, and the original is kept in the Civil Museum.