Treviso …delizioso!

What a lovely little city we’ve stumbled upon!   Treviso is just 40km from Venice.  An ancient walled city, it has it’s own network of river canals winding their way through the cobble-stoned streets.   A little bit of research revealed that Treviso is really off the tourist route, sitting as it does in the shadow of the famous Venice.   But despite it’s ancient history, it’s a normal functioning Italian city and home to some famous fashion brands like Benetton and Sisely and more importantly for some dear friends of ours, it is the original city for the production of Prosecco!  [Not mentioning any names of course!!].

Before heading off from Arabba, we met up with our Wanaka neighbour John for some coffee.  He’s still going strong!  Skiing everyday. In his 70’s he’s seriously hard-core.  All his family and friends have left now and he just has one more week in Arabba before heading home to Christchurch and his Wanaka holiday house.    He heartily endorsed our decision to visit Treviso.  He loves the place.

This is now our 3rd time on the road to Venice, having picked up and dropped off H&M from Venice Airport when they visited last weekend.   Each time, we both had noticed an old inn perched right on the road in a steep, gloomy gorge, miles from anywhere.  On both occasions it’s appeared super busy with many cars parked precariously outside it.  “Looks worth a visit”,  we thought.  We opened the doors to a genuine country “pub/ bistro”.  A huge open fireplace filled the “taproom” and off to the side were a series of dining rooms, each larger than the next and obviously opened up on demand.   There was no menu, just what the waitress explained was “cottura in cucina” that day.  There was a plaque on the wall advertising that the the building had been there for 140 years.  “Wow, we thought…that’s old” and then we remembered that our own Cardrona Hotel is actually older at over 150 years!   Being a contemporary then of the Cardrona pub, with a similar warm and historical ambience, we thought it only appropriate to stop and enjoy a bowl of home made soup with the locals.

After lunch, we were back down to the main valley floor and looking for a car wash.  It was time once again to give Gino another bath. He’s so dirty that all our clothes get covered in muck if we accidently brush against the car.   Unfortunately, the only we car-wash we could find was a fully automated one.  This should be interesting, given our previous experience with a Gino bathtime!   But we must be getting better at working things out.  First run through….no floods, fires or explosions and out popped a sparkling Gino!  Bravo Oxleys!!  Bravo

We arrived in Treviso just after lunch and finally snagged a place to park Gino outside the city walls.   It was no mean feat, I tell you.   We literally had to stalk every person walking through the car park… creepily following them slowly in the car, in the hope that they may miraculously pull car keys from their pockets to move their car and free up a space.   Finally success!   But we’re Lyonaise-wise now and Gra made sure he left plenty of room for Gino to pull out lest some french inspired person tried to block us in.

I’m already in love with Treviso and our little boutique hotel – Il Focolare.  The town is super quaint.  Cobblestone streets, canals with clear mountain water flowing through, archways and covered markets and no big tourist groups that we could discern.  Our beautifully decorated and spacious room is right above one of the canals, with a view out over the tiled rooftops.  Our charming hotel also has a couple of lovely lounges and a pretty breakfast room.  And being low season – it’s a bargain!

As we walked the endless lane ways and streets, we didn’t hear another person speaking English for the whole of the afternoon.  The shops were all beautifully presented and many were filled with artisan goods.  And even more excitingly…there were lots of “Saldi” signs everywhere. Aaah the boots!  The knitwear!   Oh… but the penalty of over-weight luggage!

During our wanderings, we happened upon a lovely looking restaurant called “La Corda” with a really interesting menu.   Dinner sorted!    Finally my stomach is back on track and this restaurant was just the place to celebrate my re-entry to the land of the gastronomy!!

OR….technically speaking, if we were operating on NZ time, this evening could also be a little celebration for a significant but unfortunately large numbered birthday. I was reminded of this by some lovely messages blinking their way through on my phone from a NZ morning.

Arriving back at our hotel after a stunning dinner, I figured I might as well open the present from my lovely “god-family” the “Rapers” –  Steph, Bruce, Ali, Cam, Nero & Oscar who sent a little package all the way from InverVegas to Arabba.  Receiving the parcel a couple of days ago, Gra was very bossy and immediately hid it to ensure that I didn’t sneak a peek before the correct date.   As I opened the parcel, out came a beautiful pair of sterling silver earrings. I love them!   What a spoilt girl!    And on that theme, I’ve just figured out that by being in Europe I could actually manage to get an extra 12 hours for my birthday!  Excellent…..!

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