TrevisoJanuary 4, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C
Treviso is a city just 30km north of Venice and had two free stopovers. We decided to stay a few days before tackling Venice.
As many of you will know it is customary for campervan drivers to wave to each other as they pass on the road. We'd been doing this in every country we'd been to so far and had continued after we crossed the Italian border, only to be met by stony stares or just blanked. We thought we'd persist today just in case we'd been encountering particularly grumpy drivers, but we got the same response (or lack of one) and came to the conclusion that Italian drivers do not wave. This may be in part due to the complicated junctions and roundabouts they have to navigate. The road systems seem very contrived and we've found we need to concentrate hard to avoid ending up in a lane we shouldn't be in. To add a little extra confusion, we've gone from a flashing amber light meaning the traffic signals were about to change to red in Austria, to it being a general 'caution' signal in Italy. Luckily, with one of us driving and the other 'co-piloting' we make a good team and haven't got into trouble (yet!).
The land remained flat and the straight roads were lined with hundreds of mature trees. We crossed countless canals of varying size, from ones you could have fitted a container ship in, to the drainage ditches that followed the line of the road. We even saw two creatures that looked like otters, tucking in to something on the bank of a ditch.
We needed to top up on food and had been keeping our eyes open for a supermarket with car park. Despite seeing adverts for Lidl and Spar, we didn't see any out of town supermarkets, but were happy to be able to park on a high street and use a smaller store. It may be that the lack of large supermarkets reflects the Italian food culture- valuing quality, locality and savouring the experience perhaps more than other cultures who place convenience higher on their list of priorities. We purchased a few bottles of Anno Domini wine before discovering this vegan and organic vinyard was just 5 minutes down the road!
Treviso had a train station 2 miles away from the van, so we took a walk in, mostly along the riverside. The level was high, the flow fast and the little birds were having to work hard against the current. We saw a Little Egret standing on the bank just a couple of metres away from us. The majority of birds were either swans, ducks or Coots but further up we saw some Little Grebes diving. The visibility was clear enough for us to watch them swimming underwater, their huge webbed feet spanning out and propelling them forward. We stood a while to observe the hydro electric lock being mechanically cleared of weed.
The area we walked through to get to the station was mixed. There were severel derelict buildings, extensive graffiti and bad air pollution in parts, but others were neatly kept with christmas decorations and even a display of young people's photography on boards along the riverside. We'd considered getting the train in to Venice from here but the travelling time would mean we'd have to leave Poppy for too long so we abandoned the idea.
The next day we used the Maps.Me app to navigate to Treviso's historical centre which had and was undergoing a lot of work to spruce it up. We loved the higgeldy piggeldy large cobble stone pavements that had been worn smooth and shiny by so many shoes. We'd hoped to find a place to eat or takeaway some Tiramisù because Treviso is the town it was invented in back in the 1960s. Strangely there were very few places with it on their menu boards and the one place we tried told us they were closed. We resorted to getting a couple of pots at the supermarket that Will declared were delicious!
We did have a treat on the way back though! As we walked over a bridge we looked down at an island underneath and saw what we'd earlier thought might be otters but on closer inspection turned out to be Coypu! Large beaver type creatures but with a round instead of a flat tail. There was a mother and 6 babies.
As darkness fell fireworks were set off and around 10pm we heard what sounded like organ music drifting through the air to celebrate the coming of Epiphany.Read more