Italiaoutdoors Travel Guide to Italy

Feltre | Belluno Province

Communita di Feltre


Feltre - This is one of the cities of Italy that has best conserved its ancient appearance. The city was rebuilt shortly after the destruction, in 1510 by the troops of Emperor Maximilian. The best way to appreciate the artistic design of the city is walk along the steep street of Via Mezzaterra, which divides it in two parts and is flanked by an interrupted series of 16th-century houses and palazzi with frescoed facades and protruding roofs. The street also leads to one of the most harmonious squares in Italy: the old Piazza Maggiore, which is dominated by the Venetian lion on a column with statues of Vittorino da Feltre and Panfilo Castaldi, the towers of the castle, and the Church of San Rocco.

There is a fountain designed by Tullio Lombardo and, on the opposite side, are Palazzo dei Rettori, which has a Palladian portico with ashlar pilasters (inside is a charming theater in which Goldoni - judiciary chancellor of Feltre gave his first plays), the elegant Palazzo del Comune, and other houses with porticos and loggias. There are interesting art works displayed in the Duomo and other churches of Feltre and in the civic museum, located in Palazzo Villabruna, which contains works by illustrious artists from Feltre like Lorenzo Luzzo (Dead Man of Feltre) and Pietro Mariscalchi and other works by Gentile Bellini, Cima da Conegliano, Palma the Younger, Francesco Maffei, Sebastiand Mazzoni, Marco Ricci, and other Venetian and Flemish painters. The museum also contains important archeological finds, cippi, and fragments of Roman tombstones, including an altar dedicated to Anna Perenna. Another palazzo (the former Palazzo Cumano) in Via del Paradiso houses the Galleria Rizzarda, which was donated along with the palazzo to the city of Feltre, by the master of wrought iron Carlo Rizzarda. The gallery also contains an interesting collection of paintings from the 18th and early 19 century's.

Visitors to Feltre should not miss climbing to the Sanctuary of Santi Vittore e Corona. It is located on a spur of Monte Miesna and dominates the entrance to the city for those coming from the plain. The sanctuary contains the tomb of the martyrs and - in the sacristy -the sarcophagus of the founder, Giovanni da Vidor, which is held by columns with finely decorated capitals.

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