The Conegliano Valdobbiadene area is a treasure trove of natural, artistic and architectural delights just waiting to be discovered, as long as you are prepared to immerse yourself in the intimate rhythms of a zone whose pulse still beats at a rate befitting man and nature. All around you the vines, with their age-old patience, wait for the sun to arrive and bear witness to the grandiose changing of the seasons, of colours, of flavours. The inhabitants of this region love their roots: they have maintained a taste for traditions and for the pleasures of hospitality and meeting people, as well as that for food, which manifests itself in a wide offering of gastronomic specialities.
via XXVIII Aprile, 20 31015 Conegliano, Treviso
Via Giovanni XXIII – San Pietro di Feletto, Treviso
Via Molinetto, 40 – Refrontolo, Treviso
piazza Libertà, 7 – Solighetto – Pieve di Soligo, Treviso
The new Strada del Prosecco e Vini dei Colli Conegliano Valdobbiadene, constituted in 2003, is the direct heir of what was, in 1966, Italy’s first Wine Road. Its route begins at the School of Winemaking in Conegliano, Near to the main building, do not miss the small but fascinating nineteenth-century Bottega del Vino (declared a national monument) or the L. Manzoni Oenological Museum, which acts as an archive for the research carried out by the scholars who have attended the School at various times and have produced wines of international renown such as the Incrocio Manzoni. Then head towards San Pietro di Feletto, where the Romanesque 12th century Parish Church overlooks the valley below. Stop to admire the panorama of the gentle hills of Conegliano, as well as the delicate frescoes on the façade. Then descend towards Refrontolo: in the midst of woods and vineyards you will come across the Molinetto della Croda, a century-old gem of a little mill, set in the rock. Proceeding towards Solighetto, you will find the 18th century Villa Brandolini, our Consortium’s headquarters that also often hosts interesting art exhibitions. The hills become higher and steeper the closer you get to Farra di Soligo, where two mediaeval towers loom over a landscape of splendid vineyards: these are the Torri di Credazzo, remains of the Longobard dominion of the area. In nearby Col San Martino, another fascinating example of local architecture is the Chapel of San Vigilio, which we recommend you approach with a walk through the vine rows, Follow the hills, with their characteristic cone-like shapes, to Colbertaldo, where you will begin the climb towards the qualitative peak of the Denomination: Cartizze, where one of the finest viticultural landscapes in Italy will open up before you. The historic route of the Prosecco Wine Road ends in Valdobbiadene, the production capital of the D.O.C.G. and the headquarters of many of the sparkling wine companies.
Even if longish stretches of the historic route of the Strada del Prosecco are included here, new ones have in fact been added, aimed at showing off the various viticultural landscapes and the numerous historical and artistic attractions. Starting from Valdobbiadene, the heart of production in the Denomination with its very steep vineyards that have to be worked entirely by hand, proceed towards the “Rive” of Guia: the views will take your breath away. Continuing towards Campea, you will note how the characteristic rural fabric of the area has been well preserved, in a harmonious fusion between the natural landscape and the works of man. When you reach Pedeguarda, you climb towards Farrò, where the vineyards leave increasingly more space for woodland. Soon you will see the pretty little village of Rolle, defined by poet Andrea Zanzotto as a “postcard sent by the gods” and today one of the Italian National Trust’s “Places of the Heart”. The itinerary then winds through the little villages of Arfanta, Tarzo, Corbanese, Cozzuolo, Carpesica and Ogliano, before finishing in the historic city centre of Conegliano. Here the oldest part of the centre, the “Contrada Granda” (now Via XX Settembre) is well worth a visit Here you will find the Duomo (Cathedral), which contains an altarpiece painted by Cima and the Sala dei Battuti, an absolute must for art lovers.
Via Sottocroda – Susegana, Treviso
(IT) Via Strada di Collalto – Susegana, Treviso
The area of Conegliano Valdobbiadene has various remains from the Middle Ages, including a number of castles, either completely restored or only partly preserved, which bring to mind past times of knights and their ladies. We begin in Conegliano, where the Castle overlooks the centre from the top of a small hill. Of the original building, previous to the 12th century and of which we can still see various images in paintings of the time, only the bell tower, part of the old cathedral and the remains of an exterior wall still survive. To admire the most fascinating castle in the area we have to transfer to that of San Salvatore at Susegana, where the Collalto family, of ancient Longobard stock, still owns its 13th century home, a highly atmospheric location which is also the venue for the annual Festival of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore: Vino in Villa. Also belonging to the same family is the nearby Castello di Collalto, now unfortunately in ruins.
An unfortunate fate also befell the Castle of Vidor, which was destroyed in 1550. This fortress and its downfall are, however, commemorated every year in the folkloric competition known as the “Palio”, which is also a good opportunity to visit the ancient Abbey of Santa Bona.
At Cison di Valmarino, on the other hand, Castelbrando has been recently restored and transformed into a charming hotel; even if it changed style over the course of the centuries, going from being a fortress to a castle to a Renaissance residence, its origins date back to the beginning of the last millennium. This tripinto the Middle Ages ends at Vittorio Veneto, where there are two castles, proving the existence in the past of two centres that gave rise to what is today a single little town: Serravalle and Ceneda. In the former, the ancient stronghold of one of the most powerful noble families in the area, the Da Caminos, one can see the ruins of the extremely old Castrum, constructed in the 12th century over a fortress of the Roman era. At Ceneda, on the other hand, the Castle of San Martino has been the Bishop’s residence for centuries.
You start at Conegliano, city of art and of wine: it is considered to be the cultural capital of the Denomination, as it is the birthplace of the world of Prosecco and still an important centre for innovations in winemaking. However, it was also the home of famous artists. G.B. Cima, who would always portray these hills in his works – as did many artists of the Renaissance – was born here. Our itinerary then passes through San Pietro di Feletto, to admire the ancient Parish Church, built in the 12th century but already a pagan shrine long before that. Observe the fresco of the Sunday Christ: the tools that surround him give an idea of how vine-growing has been deeply rooted in this area for centuries. You proceed, passing through the historic village of Rolle, towards Follina, whose little centre contains a splendid 12th century Cistercian Abbey, a place of intense tranquillity and elegantly essential style. Follina was once famous for wool making, and signs of this activity can still be found in the midst of the local rural architecture. In the nearby Cison di Valmarino too – one of Italy’s 100 Most Beautiful Villages – following the itinerary of the vie dell’Acqua (“Waterways”), you can admire ancient mills and washtubs, relics of the traditional activities in these villages. The little village is overlooked not only by a castle, but also by the Strada dei Cento giorni, a route created in the winter of 1917 by the local women to enable the army pass through. Continuing the itinerary, you will then go through pretty little villages with typical stone houses, Santa Maria and Lago, which lie on the Revine Lakes, where you will also find the Livelet Archaeological and Didactic Park. Finally you arrive at Vittorio Veneto, the little town that was the site of the Italian victory over the Austrians which ended the First World War in the zone. The town contains the Museum of the Battle as well as the historic centres of Ceneda and Serravalle.
This itinerary was created to coincide with an exhibition devoted to the Sixteenth-Century in the Conegliano Area, a period in which the city and its surroundings became a centre for cultural interests and in which various protagonists of art history came together. Apart from the works actually in the exhibition itself, visitors were encouraged to continue their journeys of exploration in a sort of “extended show” of the other masterpieces to be found distributed around the zone.
This symbolic voyage begins in the historic centre of Conegliano, where you can admire the friezes of Palazzo Sarcinelli, Fiumicelli’s splendid façade for the Monte di Pietà, the Duomo with Cima’s altarpiece and Francesco da Milano’s paintings in the Scuola dei Battuti. You can then walk along the Strada Granda where, accompanied by the frescoes decorating the arcades, you climb up to the Castle along a very particular road beside the city’s late-14th century Carrarese walls, passing the Chapel of the Madonna della Neve.
The subsequent stops are the church of Campolongo, with the works of Fiumicelli and Beccaruzzi, and the church of Susegana, with the altarpiece by Il Pordenone. Also at Susegana lies the magnificent Castle of San Salvatore, which in spite of the damage it has suffered over the centuries, still exerts a unique appeal, as does the Abbey of Sant’Eustachio at Nervesa della Battaglia. In nearby Moriago della Battaglia another work by Il Pordenone awaits you, while in the Cathedral of Valdobbiadene we find an Assumption by Beccaruzzi and in the church of Lago di Revine we can admire another Francesco da Milano. In Vittorio Veneto we come across Titian, in the cathedral of Serravalle, and Andrea Previtali, whose extraordinary Assumption is on display in the church of Meschio. The former town hall of Ceneda, today the site of the Museum of the Battle, certainly warrants a visit. Finally, at Castello Roganzuolo you will find a fresco cycle by Francesco da Milano, and at San Fior a polyptych by Cima da Conegliano, whose altarpiece we admired at the start of our tour.
Wine tourists, gourmet travellers and lovers of hiking or strolling in the countryside will not be disappointed by the winding paths between Valdobbiadene and Miane, in the highest part of the Denomination. The “Andar per Malghe” itinerary, on the other hand, climbs up Mount Cesen (1570 m), where, observing Valdobbiadene from above, you can taste the sweet yet tangy Monte Cesen cheese.
There are yet more mountain dairies and refuges at nearby Miane, which we recommend you explore on the first Sunday in September, on the occasion of the event called “Malghe tra Mel e Miane”. In the commune of Miane one also finds the hamlet of Combai, famous for its forests of chestnut trees which in November give us the Marrone di Combai I.G.P., one of the area’s many delicious food products.
Between San Pietro di Barbozza, Santo Stefano and Saccol, villages in the commune of Valdobbiadene, there is an itinerary through the countryside approximately 10 km long, called the “Anello del Prosecco” (“Prosecco Ring”). The route goes through the vineyards of Cartizze, the top-quality area of the Denomination, which is entirely south-facing. The route can be taken at any time of year, although the months we recommend are between March and October. You start from San Pietro di Barbozza, a picturesque hamlet where you can visit VignArte, a permanent installation of wooden sculpture in the midst of the vineyards, created on the occasion of sculpture symposia in the area.
From the main square you head northwards, crossing the centre of the little village and taking the roads that rise towards Mount Cesen. From the oratory you arrive, along an easy-to-climb dirt road, at the Church of Sant’Alberto, a look-out point from which you can admire the vine-clad hills and even, on particularly clear days, the Lagoon of Venice, the Colli Euganei and the Monti Berici. Descending along path 1019A, you arrive at the convent of the Frati Minori Conventuali where, in a location overlooking the valley, there lies the Immacolata di Lourdes sanctuary. Taking a short stretch of the Provincial Road that leads to Combai and turning right into Via Treziese, where there is a particular inn (osteria) “without a host”, you join the Strada Mont, a farm track that runs along the top of the Golden Pentagon, the 107 hectares of the Cartizze sub-zone. By means of the Pianer road you descend as far as Saccol, before continuing and finding yourself – after visiting any number of vineyards and wineries – back at your starting point.
The ring can be negotiated on foot or on mountain bikes, also with the assistance of expert guides. These excursions can be booked, following the indications given on the website of the Consorzio Valdobbiadene.