a medieval walled city
in the heart of Veneto, Italy
Castelfranco Veneto (about 33,000 inhabitants) is one of the interesting small medieval walled cities of Veneto, Italy.
It is located on the plain in a strategic position, easily reachable from Treviso, Bassano del Grappa , Padua , Vicenza and Venice.
Castelfranco Veneto is a walled town where you can breath an air of history in every corner: one of its main distinctive features are its imposing redbrick rampart walls, ranging from pink to brighter nuances, flanked by well preserved towers revealing the important strategic role of the city.
The name Castelfranco means something like castle in a tax-exempt area: the town played for a long time a relevant role as a trading post between Venice and Northern Europe.
Things to see in Castelfranco Veneto
Symbol of Castelfranco Veneto, the square shaped castle was erected in the 1100s. It is surrounded by circular walls flanked by six imposing towers: four of them are located in the corners. Among them the Torre dei Morti (Tower of the Dead) and the Torre Civica (Civic Tower), embellished with a clock and the Venetian St Mark’s lion.
The walls are on average 17mt/48ft high and 930mt/2605ft long.
The two entrance gates, the Gate of Treviso and the Gate of Cittadella, were originally provided with drawbridges.
- The Cathedral and one of the most important Renaissance paintings
In the square named Piazza San Liberale stands the neoclassical cathedral - built over the ruins of a pre-existent Romanesque Church - embellished with 1700s’ statues in the churchyard.
The exterior reminds of the Venetian Chiesa del Redentore, designed by Palladio.
In its interior beyond some paintings of Jacopo da Bassano and Palma il Giovane, you can admire a noteworthy painting of the Renaissance created by Giorgione, a renowned Italian painter born just in Castelfranco Veneto in 1478. It is an altarpiece representing the Enthroned Madonna and Child, with Saints Nicasio and Francesco, painted in 1504-1505, now in its original splendour after a fine restoration.
- Casa del Giorgione (Giorgione’s house)
A few steps away from the Cathedral have a look at the gothic Casa Pellizzari, aka casa del Giorgione. It is not sure that the Renaissance painter lived in this house, nevertheless in its main hall you can admire a precious frieze frescoed by Giorgione himself in 1502.
If you love art do not miss a look to this clay tones frieze crammed with symbols and metaphors, representing a varied parade of tools like musical instruments, and ovals with faces of illustrious people, extracts from the Bible, and so on.
Just a few words about the importance of Giorgione in the Italian and Venetian art: he accomplished a most significant change in painting technique by giving less importance to the drawing,instead making the use of color and light more relevant.
Giorgione is kind of a legendary figure, not only a great painter, but also a music lover, a good player, and a passionate lover, well-adjusted in the Venice Republic’s cultural circles of his time. He died at 34 from the plague.
- Teatro Accademico
It’s a 1700s’ building used for relevant national theatrical performances. It is a synthesis of harmony and proportion, richly decorated with frescoes and golden plasters.
- Loggia del Grano
Continue on up to the town’s historic commercial core, piazza Giorgione (Giorgione square), lined with interesting buildings, like the 1420 Loggia del Grano, aka Paveion, which still displays medieval plaques with prices.
- Palazzo Revedin Bolasco
Beyond Porta Treviso (Treviso gate) there is Borgo Treviso, the biggest among the historic districts located beyond the walls of Castelfranco Veneto.
Have a look at the magnificent Villa Revedin-Bolasco, designed in 1607 by the famous architect Vincenzo Scamozzi, later rebuilt in the 1800s.
The interior is noteworthy for its hall decorated with frescoes; however the mansion is mostly known for its big landscaped park (over 80,000sqmt/224,000sqft), embellished with a small lake, and many plants and mythological statues created by the master of the time, Orazio Marinali.
How to get to Castelfranco Veneto
A27 Motorway, exit Treviso Sud. Then take the road SR53 Postumia towards Castelfranco V.
From Vicenza: direction Treviso
From Venice:direction Bassano del Grappa
From Padua: direction Montebelluna-Calalzo
Airport Antonio Canova, Treviso
Airport Marco Polo, Venice
From Castelfranco Veneto To Medieval Towns
To Veneto Explorer Home Page