I'm sat at HQ reflecting on a weekend in Italy. I left with an open mind after being offered lots of mixed opinions.
My wife has been wanting to go to Italy for years now so I started looking but the prices just for a weekend were so high or the flights just didn't accommodate a Fri-Mon break. Top choice were Florence or Sorrento. But then a good customer/friend told me about Treviso as a gateway to hit Venice for the day without basing yourself in the mayhem. I booked it as a present for my wifes birthday, whilst we were away it was also our anniversary...up here for thinking, down there for dancing!
A little more research into Treviso and it turned out it was the perfect Italian town to stay in with direct train links into Venice. After a little research, I found a modern B&B owned by two young men in the centre at a good rate. We paid just under 240 Euro for 3 nights Bed and Breakfast.
They own a few B&B's in Treviso but we stayed in Terzopiano, it was a 3rd floor apartment split into 3 bedrooms with en suite, kitchen and lounge. Our hosts organised our transfer from Treviso airport for 20Euro and were on hand to offer advice and answer any questions.
We were told Northern Italy was cool this time of the year but we stepped off the plane to 26 degrees. After checking in we went for a stroll around the back streets of Treviso. Our first stop off was for a glass of red sat outside a little bar on a quiet little hidden square. The owner spoke no English and me no Italian but we managed just fine and at 3 Euro a glass we were quite happy watching the world go by.
Straight away we both noticed the pace of life was much slower and friendlier than we were used to, and boy do the Italians know how to dress, it looks effortless. Pretty much every man had a shirt on. I was busy checking out all their trainers with Lotto and Diadora being the favourite choice for most.
A short stroll window shopping and we reached the main Piazza of Treviso, we sat outside one of the larger restaurants, picking at a plate of olives and meats, sipping on another wine. We both nudged the chairs round to face out to the square and people watch. By now it was around 6pm and the locals had started to congregate, lots of double cheek kissing and Caio's yet still no sign of the sun dyeing down. After a little freshen up back at the room we headed out to a hidden Pizzeria and sat with locals to eat Pizza and sip Spritz.
Saturday we woke to freshly baked pastries and took a stroll to the large Treviso market via the fish market, the sun was blazing down and it seemed as though this was where everyone was heading. We took a walk around the old wall and made our way to a bar on the top for light refreshments. It was heading towards lunch so we decided to walk to the train station and try our luck navigating to Venice. Firstly it was straightforward and secondly, it was really reasonably priced. We paid around 35Euro for 2 return tickets for Saturday and Sunday.
Half an hour later and we arrived at the end of the line and the entrance to Venice. We followed the crowds out the station then at the earliest point we got off the beaten track to grab some lunch. I was told that you have to go up the Grand Canal on a boat to take it all in, we jumped on the ferry at 20 Euro a pop and got off a few stops after the Rialto bridge. The whole afternoon was spent exploring with no real plan other than to take in the picturesque scenery that Venice has to offer. We caught the 6.30 train back to make sure we would catch the Champions League Final.....wish I hadn't of bothered.
A lazy start and a packed train got us to Venice before lunch on Sunday and we walked the long way to San Marco Square to find more little gems of watering holes. We doubled up and wandered around Doge's Palace. The highlight of the day was the Gondola ride around the back canals, yeah they're a little pricey but in my opinion well worth it.
We ate late Sunday amongst approximately 200 locals out on the square in Treviso, the atmosphere was awesome, the pizza at Da Pino was great, washed down with a bottle of Pinot Grigio at a very affordable total of 33 Euro. We have both fell truly in love with Italy. the food and drink was great, the people friendly and what little we saw of it it's a beautiful country. S&B will be taking an Italian influence!!!