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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