Snapshots of Venezia and Treviso

We spent three nights in Venice and four in Treviso, an enchanting town about a half-hour outside of Venice that leads to gorgeous countryside. This region looks like an exaggerated version of the Napa Valley, with green hills, yellow mustard and centuries-old farmhouses. The town is famous for being the headquarters of the Benetton clothing retailer, and the surrounding valleys and mountains are famous for Prosecco wine and Asiago cheese.

Whereas Venice’s charm began to wear off after two days — due to inflated prices, hordes of tourists, and the sense that most everything there is preserved for show rather than for real — I would gladly spend many more weeks here in the Treviso area. We have two wonderful hosts to thank — Berkeley transplant Serena and her Italian husband Luciano, whom we met last summer at a running event — for showing us their home and taking us to a trail race today. Molto grazie!

Two restaurants any traveler to this area should try: Al Covo in Venice (one of Anthony Bourdain’s recommended hideaways) and Toni del Spin in Treviso. While I can’t recommend our Venice apartment, I definitely recommend our relatively affordable little Treviso inn, Albergo il Focolare.

This past week, while I became hopelessly stalled writing a longer post describing our arrival to Venice, Morgan became ever more inspired to take exquisite photos (and to produce a silly short video, which is at the end of this). I don’t want to hold back his photos or delay an update on where we’re at, so consider this a sample and a promise of more to come. Meanwhile, I’ll endeavor to whittle away at my long-drawn-out, only-my-parents-would-care-to-read-this longer draft.

Kyle and Colly peak out of our Venice apartment, which was on the waterfront about a quarter mile from Piazza San Marco. The location was great, but the interior was not so great.

Quintessential Venezia! Just about every alleyway leads to a canal view like this.

Morgan shot this right outside our apartment. I couldn't help smiling and spinning around this lamppost.

The kids and I peak over Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal. (It was rebuilt in 1591 -- hey, that's relatively modern!)

Then we transitioned to Treviso, where more than anything else we wanted to do … laundry!

It's amazing what passes for fun sometimes.

A typical scene in Treviso's town center -- mostly closed to cars, it hums with shoppers in open-air markets. This is right around the corner from our hotel.

We met Luciano and Serena in their hometown of Mareno and explored wineries and castles around small towns such as Follina.

We woke up at dawn to go with the kids and Luciano and Serena to a 12K trail race in the tiny town of Refrontolo ...

... and were rewarded by this race course, which meandered through vineyards. A lot of the course was much steeper and muddier than this stretch! Best of all, the race organizers gave participants bottles of wine instead of T-shirts.

If you’d like to get a feel for our Venice gondola ride, check out this video — and blame Morgan for the choice of background music.YouTube Preview Image

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  1. Martha Howard, April 19, 2010:

    ha ha ha ha!!!!! Shut-uppa that song!!!

    Love you guys -


  2. David W. Lavender, April 19, 2010:

    Thanks, Morgan. I’ll have that damn song stuck in my head all day! Great slideshow!

  3. Cheryl, April 19, 2010:

    Love the video!…but you might want to look into hiring a music director if you plan on continuing your directing career..although by the end… I was singing along…lol!

  4. Lars Lavender, April 19, 2010:

    Whatsa matter wid u? Morgan-sensational music/video of the year!!! Laughed my butt off as I merrily hummed along. Little Sister-your hubbie has a new calling! Great Job!!!!! TKU for sharing!!!

  5. Natalia, June 3, 2010:

    If you’re going to be retarded and conceited enough to conceive a blog like this (and what a roundabout way to try for a book deal) then at least learn how to spell! It’s peek, not peak you moron. How are you raising 2 children and taking them out of school to travel?! I hope you’re not homeschooling them since your intelligence and knowledge are so obviously faulty.

  6. Sarah, June 3, 2010:

    Natalia whoever you are,
    Your two nice. I’m really glad you checked out my blog. Thanks so much for catching the typo in the caption. But the kids sorta do look like little peaks in the window frames, don’t they?
    - Sarah the moron

  7. kelly, October 4, 2010:

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Venice in late October and I found your comments on whether to stay in the city or a town on the mainland quite helpful. Your website also seems to be a wonderful way for your family to stay in touch with friends and family as you travel. Bravo for having the courage to give your children this incredible opportunity.

  8. Janet Reider, April 30, 2012:

    I appreciated the article re. Venice/Treviso. I do have a question: does one absolutely need to rent a car for a stay in Treviso? My husband and I rented an apt. in Venice for a month last fall (2011) in the sestiere of San Polo and although, yes, there ARE tourists always in Venice, if one lodges on the opposite side of the Grand Canale from San Marco it feels more residential and less of an ONLY tourist city. We happen to love Venice – but, are thinking that Treviso might be a nice change for a short stay next Fall (2012). If anyone knows of public transportation options to get from Venice to Treviso I’d love to hear them. It does look a bit farther than 1/2 hour away but perhaps that 1/2 hour is by car – not train or bus..

  9. Janet Reider, April 30, 2012:

    Just looked at your video – loved it!! great musica sequencing w/video images….. Yep. LOTSA turisti in those images. Summer in Venezia. Can’t be avoided if you have school age kids. SO – when your kids go to college take yourselves back to Venice in the late Fall or Winter and you’ll find a different place that you’ll fall in love with….but – stay at the very least week!

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