“Belo-donum”, “The Shining City”: that is what the Celts would have called it because of the enchanting landscape that surrounds it. In fact, from its position it overlooks the River Piave and the Ardo stream, and is embraced by the Schiara group, Monte Serva, and the Nevegal hill.
The capital of the province, with its delightful old town centre and its hamlets, is a gem of culture, art and nature, at the gateway to the Dolomiti Bellunesi Park.
This place has been inhabited since ancient times with a succession of rulers and governments.
Start your visit from the squares: Piazza Duomo enclosed by the cathedral with its treasures, Rettori Palace from the period under Venetian rule, and by Vescovi Palace. Piazza dei Martiri (Martyrs’ Square) (or Campedel Square) is now considered the city’s gathering place: a walk on the “liston” is not to be missed! Also worth a visit is the quaint Piazza delle Erbe where there is still a small fruit and vegetable market.
Also rich in history are the Dojona, Dante, and Rugo gates and the ruins of the castle that reminds us of Belluno’s past as a fortress. From Piazza Castello cross the street and enjoy a wonderful view of the River Piave from the rooftop terrace. For art lovers, the Civic Museum in Fulcis Palace and the various religious buildings that preserve valuable works inside by Andrea Brustolon, Sebastiano Ricci, and Cesare Vecellio, among others, are worth a visit.
Curiosities and tips
- “Serva col capel piova in Campedel” goes an old popular saying: “if Monte Serva has a hat it will rain in Piazza Campedel”, meaning it will rain in Belluno symbolized by its square.
- The historical name for Piazza dei Martiri is Piazza Campedel, taken from “campitello”, a small field that was outside the city walls.
- Just outside the centre stands the birthplace of Dino Buzzati. From one of his writings: “I cross the lawn in front of the house, and when I get to the end, I turn around. Then I see the Schiara, the mountain of my life.”
- Just below the historic town centre, the green area along the banks of the River Piave is worth a leisurely stop
- Belluno is considered the capital of UNESCO The Dolomites World Heritage, and is the only capital to have mountain peaks that are World Heritage sites in its municipal territory.