Treviso: the first nucleus was a pre-Roman village on the bight of the River Sile, an area rich in water resources. The vicinity of the important roads, like Via Postumia, and water courses meant that back in ancient times Treviso was a bustling trading centre. The echoes of the decadence of the Roman Empire reached the city, it was conquered by the Lombards and became seat of one of the 36 duchies of their kingdom and a mint was established there, which was still used by the Carolingians and the Serenissima. Around the year 1000, Treviso adopted its own council statute and, after defeating Barbarossa with the Veronese and Lombard leagues, it underwent considerable economic, architectural and urban prosperity. In 1321 the city also built one of the first universities. The first family to impose its power over Treviso was Ezzelini (1237-1260), then Collalto followed by Da Camino. It was occupied by the Della Scala family in 1329 and in 1339 it spontaneously allied itself to the Serenissima and became the first of its holdings on the mainland. Treviso was involved in the wars to gain power over Italy and was first governed by the Duke of Austria and then by the Carraro family (1384-1388). After that the city returned to being part of the Republic of Venice and was finally able to live a long period of stability.
To visit: the VI centuryCathedral, built in the centre of the city where archaeological digs have shown a theatre, a temple and, probably, baths used to stand. Further to request from Bishop Rotario, in the XI-XII century the area and cathedral were altered to given them their current shape. TheChurch of San Francesco and the monastery, whose construction began in 1231 to house the growing community of Franciscan monks who were sent to the city by Francis himself in 1216. In 1806, further to the suppression by Napoleon, the buildings were converted to military use and only in 1928 were they renovated and reconverted to places of worship. The architectural style is between Romanic and primitive gothic. Inside the church there is a single nave with five chapels at the sides. It contains the tombs of one of Dante Alighieri’s sons and of Francesco Petrarca’s daughter. Piazza dei Signori is the heart of the city and its cultural and social centre. On the east side stands Palazzo dei Trecento or Palazzo della Ragione, built in the XII century, the ancient seat of the Major Council. The outer walls of the palazzo show clear signs of the serious damage it suffered when the city was bombed in 1944. To the north of the square stand Palazzo del Podestà (late XV century) and the civic tower. Monte di Pietà and Cappella dei Rettori, the seat of the Monte di pietà, or pawnshop, stands in the square of the same name behindPalazzo del Podestà. Seat of the 14th century pawnshop, the palazzo was reconstructed in 1462 when the Franciscans proposed establishing a pawnshop in the city, which was authorized in 1496. At the beginning of the XVI century the building was extended to incorporate the Church of Saint Lucia and later, in 1561, the Church of Saint Vito. The last restoration work was in the 18th century. The final outcome of these extensions and reconstructions is that the palazzo and two churches form a single complex with a common entrance. In 1822 the pawnshop ceased its business and since then the building has been a bank.