With its position atop a hill overlooking Valbelluna, Mel has the Orange Flag of Italian Touring Club, and has been dubbed Italy's Most Beautiful Village since 2017 and ranked third in the "Village of Villages" challenge in 2018.
Its centre is an authentic jewel, a picturesque urban meeting place encircled by historic buildings built since the 16th century: the Town Hall with its clock tower decorated inside with frescoes depicting episodes from the poem Orlando Furioso, Contesse Palace, home to exhibitions and the Archaeological Museum, Francescon House and the imposing parish church of Santa Maria Annunziata.
A little further on, the ancient Church of Addolorata and Fulcis, Guarnieri, De Cal Palace. The square is closed off on the right by the 17th-century Fulcis Palace, now Zadra, which leads toward the old establishment called Locanda Cappello, an inn, on the list of Historical Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés of Italy.
The surrounding area is also worth exploring, with routes that weave together art, history and nature, such as the Blue Grotto, Zumelle Castle or the Paleovenetian necropolis.
Curiosities and tips
- According to tradition, Austrian marshal Radetsky staid at the Locanda Cappello
- Not far from the square, the "Giazera," the town's ancient ice house used for storing food, is worth a tour
- Via Claudia Augusta Altinate, which connected the Adriatic sea to the Danube, passed this way. Today the route can be travelled on foot and by mountain bike, crossing the Praderadego Pass.
- Mele a Mel (Apples in Mel), is a market exhibition held in autumn among the courtyards and buildings of the historic centre