Treviso: The Land of Prosecco wine

In Italy, food, art and leisure are huge affairs, and nowhere is it more real than in Treviso, where the fragrance of roses on the street is accentuated by the fruity waft of prosecco, the popping sounds of corks and the clatters of forks and knives are interrupted only by waves of laughter emanating from the table, and merriment turns livelier every second by the chimes of music. Treviso bewitches all your senses; neither can you escape the pull of the frescos adorning historic buildings hidden in Treviso’s arcaded streets, nor the urge to explore a pristine countryside interspersed with small villages, golden vineyards, man-made terraces, ancient abbeys and stone cottages. In all, Treviso is spoilt for choices when it comes to enjoying a day, a week or even a long vacation away from the hustle of an urban setting.

Located merely 30 minutes drive from Venice, Treviso is often deemed as a Gateway to Venice or Little Venice due to its cobbled streets and canals, however, unlike its touristy neighbour, Treviso isn’t rampant with tacky shops selling souvenirs; it’s a small town going about its daily business. Untouched by swathes of tourists, Treviso’s navigable size, a scenic setting along river Sile and the hills on the outskirts makes it every bit as beautiful as Venice and therefore an ideal place to strike a friendship with the locals.

There are so many things to do in Treviso, that it’s almost impossible to go wrong here. From cycling in the streets, an eco-friendly way to travel; to finding pleasure in eating local produce at the market around the town’s Piazza Dei Signori, Treviso is an embodiment of Italian Dolce Vita, one that is incomplete without a bottle of Prosecco. Like Venice has its Spritz and Franciacorta has its own wine, Treviso prides itself on its globally popular Prosecco. Prosecco to Italy is what Champagne is to France, a wine unparalleled in its terroir, quality and style. It is this sparkling wine that lures visitors to immerse themselves in a truly unique Italian aperitivo scene.

Everything about Treviso is interesting, even history. And so is the journey of Prosecco from local wine to becoming a representative of great Italian wines. It’s a journey that begins in the era of  ancient Roman emperors and travels through time into the present-day Treviso DOCG region, which is nicknamed the ‘Gardens of Venice.’

Prosecco, formerly known as Puccino wine, was produced with moderately high acidic Glera grape, which had been popular even amongst Ancient Romans for its fruity flavours and sweet aftertaste. For centuries the grape had been cultivated in the Alpine foothills of the Veneto-Friuli region. But, in its erstwhile days, Prosecco was one of the wines produced in the large geographical region, and competition with wines of the neighbouring region was fierce. But the determination of the locals to protect their distinct wine led to the rechristening of the name Prosecco, which owes its name to Torre di Prosecco around which the grape was cultivated.

By the mid 19th century, Italy’s first Oenology School for the study of wine was constructed in the Valdobbiadene hills, and over time by combining technological advancements and local traditions, Prosecco attained its modern avatar with long lingering effervescence and low sugar level. Today Prosecco has become an inseparable part of Treviso’s aperitivo culture, which can be summarised in un pasto senza vino è come un giorno senza sole, translated as ‘a table without wine is like a day without the sun’. So how can a trip to the land of Prosecco not have its own wine trail?

The 90 km long Strada del Prosecco or the Prosecco Route with its breathtaking landscape of winding roads and rolling hills rife with secretive wineries and stone taverns is an ideal place to learn about Italy’s age-old winemaking traditions. It is where nature at its best meets the wisdom and determination of humans, who over centuries have shaped and adapted the hills for wine cultivation. Prosecco Hill’s recognition by UNESCO is a testament to the region's cultural significance and more so, for its passion for wine.

Like Valtellina, Treviso is best enjoyed at a leisure pace and with an empty stomach because memories are made at the dinner table. Explore it in an eco-friendly way using cycle or in a more filmy style on a Vespa, the choice is yours. Do not forget to visit the Primavera del Prosecco festival in spring, which brings together the region’s best offerings: Prosecco wine accompanied by a taster of local cheeses and cured meats. From small taverns to large wine producers, Treviso welcomes everyone who is prepared to paint themselves in the colourful world of Prosecco.

Head to any corner, without any itinerary, without any map, because even a detour in the land of Prosecco turns a mistake into an adventure, and an adventure into a memory. Explore. Observe. Savour. But most importantly do not be afraid of getting tipsy with Prosecco, because every sip of this Italian white wine is worth Treviso’s experience.