Belluno: the Shining City

Belluno (name of Celtic origin meaning "bright, shining city") stands on a promontory located near the confluence of the Ardo stream in the Piave river, in a beautiful setting between the Dolomites to the north and the Venetian Prealps to the south. A city on a human scale, that offers artistic and naturalistic beauties. The charm of Belluno is in the tranquillity of its streets, where people walk without haste and loves to stop and converse; in its squares, all characterized by the presence of a fountain from which fresh and pure water flows; in the colours of the sky; in its beautiful landscape that leads the eye to wander along the Valbelluna (Belluno valley) and then linger on the Dolomite peaks of Schiara, Pelf and Gusèla del Vescovà. A city, Belluno, situated in a still untouched valley, a city that is just a few minutes from hiking trails and woods, which are always full of new impressions and surprises. A place, therefore, to use the words of Belluno's writer Dino Buzzati, which has "a special personality and an enchanting atmosphere but that only a few people actually notice", a place where "the world of Venice (its serenity, its classic harmonious lines, its ancient elegance, its unique architecture) merges with the world of the North (the mysterious mountains, the long winters, the fairy tales, the spirits of the caves and woods, that untranslatable sense of remoteness, solitude and legend)".

Belluno developed its urban core around eight squares. Almost everyone considers as the main one Piazza dei Martiri (Martyrs Square), where you can walk on listón (dialect word to indicate the pedestrian area in the centre of a town) and admire from the large public gardens the Renaissance setting and the arcades of the palaces that stand in the shape of an ellipse.

Also known as Piazza Campedèl (Campitello Square, because Campitello indicated the area devoted to fairs and parades outside of the city walls which once surrounded the Roman and medieval city centre), it presents buildings from the 15th and 18th century, but most are from the 16th century. The entrance to the Church of San Rocco is also under the arcades and it contains valuable works by Besarel, Luigi Cima and probably an Assumption by Cesare Vecellio.

By continuing through Piazza Castello you arrive at Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the Cathedral, with its bell tower by Juvarra, the Palazzo dei Rettori, the Auditorium-Vescovado Vecchio and Palazzo Piloni.

The adjacent Piazza Mercato or Piazza delle Erbe (market or herbs square), with arcades on the four sides, is enclosed by Casa Miari, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà and Loggia dei Ghibellini.

If you wish to taste something delicious during the itinerary, stop at the Pasticceria Bellunese or at the Pastificio Menazza.

From here you can reach Piazza Santa Maria dei Battuti or, in the opposite direction, the Dojona Portal, by passing another small square (Piazza Mazzini) on the right. After passing through the Portal you will find the Municipal Theatre which overlooks Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. To the right you can reach Piazza Santo Stefano with its Church and Convent of the Servites; to the left is Piazza dei Martiri once again.



Lunch will be held at a restaurant in town, a few steps from the historic buildings, with a tasting menu of Belluno's products and dishes. Don’t miss the Restaurant La Nicchia.

Points of interest

Piazza dei Martiri (Martyrs' Square, also known as Campedel) in Belluno has a semi-circular shape. Historical studies have suggested that this form derives...

Towards the end of the 20s, Natale Menazza, who was at that time head pasta maker in a pasta factory near Feltre, started w...

The Pasticceria Bellunese was founded in 1947 and is one of the oldest yet most renewed in Belluno. In 1973 Giacomo Deon took over the property and managem...

The church of Santo Stefano in Belluno is an Italian gothic style Catholic place of worship.


The restaurant is located close to Piazza dei Martiri, the main square of Belluno, in which all public transport lines transit. It is 5 minutes away on foo...