About Between Treviso and Trieste
Bordered on the west by Lake Garda and on the east by Slovenia and stretching from the Alps to the Po Valley and Adriatic Sea, the former domains of Venice La Serenissima – the Veneto and Venezia Giulia – present a diverse range of attractions. In churches and museums the arts are well represented: this is the territory of Palladio and Canova, of Titian, Veronese and Giorgione. The area is better known to Italians than to foreign travellers, who usually stop short at Vicenza, Padua or Venice.
There is also a culture of gastronomy. Local delicacies include sopressa (salted pork), polenta (savoury porridge), cheeses – and mushrooms. At one restaurant we had seven consecutive courses of funghi. Peppers, asparagus, chestnuts and red chicory are important ingredients. The Alps shelter both regions and encourage the growth of cherries, strawberries, peaches and citrus fruits. In Venezia Giulia the local pasta is filled with unusual flavours, even sweet ones, and the overlap of an eastern European cuisine is detectable in the horseradish, paprika and poppy seed which season meats and game.
The best places to visit in the area have something for every taste: lidos of the Adriatic, mountains and lakes of the Valsugana with awe-inspiring prospects of the Dolomites; fortified hill towns such as Asolo and fortress cities of the so-called ‘Quadrilateral’ of Venice’s defensive system against incursions from the north; richly-decorated Palladian villas; two wine routes; and the stately city of Trieste, hardly known to tourists. Students of military history and readers of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms will recognize placenames on the ground which Italy contested with Austria in 1917-18 – the straggling rivers of Tagliamento, Piave and Isonzo; Caporetto, Italy’s disgrace (now Kobarid in Slovenia) and Vittorio Veneto, Italy’s redemption.
In the fertile Sile Valley around Treviso piecemeal development and ugly modern factories have done the environment no favours. The urban sprawl is an endless succession of junctions and traffic lights. This is the price you pay to reach some memorable places and it is some consolation that, as you travel farther from Venice, you leave the congestion behind and enter a beautiful natural landscape. If you have two more days to spare, combine this tour with the Dolomites by heading north from Bassano or Vittorio Veneto.
Airports: international and domestic at Venice (Marco Polo) and Trieste; domestic only at Treviso.
Considering the rail network as erected on the Venice-Trieste axis, the principal lines are Venice-Belluno, Venice-Treviso and Trieste-Udine. Cross-country branch lines link all these places with one another.
Venice is an important destination for long-distance buses Europe-wide, Trieste is a stopover on the routes between northern Europe and Greece and Turkey. The regional networks are comprehensive and it is hardly possible to name a village which is not visited at least once a day by a bus. If progress is slow through urban areas, you fairly skim along the smooth, straight country roads.
The company which operates bus services over most of the Veneto and Dolomite regions is Dolomiti Bus (see www.dolomitibus.it).