Treviso is the Italian rugby stronghold, with a density of rugby players that rivals the world’s biggest rugby hotspots. More in general, rugby in Italy has grown particularly strong in the Veneto region, to which Treviso belongs. The territory that used to be the Republic of Venice until 1797, and later until 1866, has a long-lasting tradition of rugby that dates back to the thirties when the most important University of the area (Padova) diffused the game around students which then took it to their hometowns. The three places where it grew the most are Treviso, Padova and Rovigo, the latter two playing in the domestic league but followed by many enthusiastic supporters. These three cities form a “triangle of rugby” with a trio of derbies that used to animate the domestic rugby scene until 2010, the year when Treviso joined the Celtic League (now URC). If you’re coming to watch a game of rugby you are in the right spot, but this article is not about that. In fact, as I am a local, I want to provide you with some hints to make your experience in Treviso better. Treviso is a popular travelling destination within Italy, being less than an hour away from Venice and Padova. Tourists are discovering it more and more for its nice historical city centre, its winemaking tradition, and the warm welcoming of anyone who loves an oval ball.
Getting to Treviso
from the treviso airport
The Treviso Airport is small but connected with many destinations. If you fly directly to Treviso you’ll find it very easy to reach the city centre by taking the Treviso Airlink, a bus that costs 4€ and runs from about 6:30 AM to 22:30 PM in intervals of 30 minutes (by and large). If you’re in a hurry there’s always a lane of taxis waiting outside and the distance to the city centre is not long, so it won’t be too expensive. If you decide to take a cab, tell them to drop you at the train station: it will make it cheaper as they won’t have to drive through the narrow streets of the city centre, reducing the driving time sensibly (and the final bill). Taxi drivers in Treviso are used to tourists and will very likely speak a bit of English.
from the venice airport
If you’re flying to Venice instead, the easiest way is to take an ATVO bus, the local bus operator. Us locals have been lamenting a poor connection between Treviso and the Venice Airport for long, so if the process is tedious, you have all our understanding. From their website you can buy a ticket from Venice Airport to Treviso, which is the first one listed in the webpage. Select Aeroporto Marco Polo as departure location (“Da:”) and Treviso – Autostazione as destination (“A:”). The website is available in English as well, which will facilitate the operations for you. The bus is sufficiently frequent and will prevent you from having to commute via the train station of Venezia Mestre, which sometimes can look a little shady. In case you want to go through Mestre and take a train to Treviso, there’s a bus right outside the Venice airport that takes you to Mestre FS (the train station). From there you’ll find a train to Treviso. It has been reported (January 2023) that the ATVO website does not always return solutions, so if you are in a hurry and need a way to get to Treviso, simply buy a FlyBus ticket from the Venice Airport to Mestre FS, and take a regional train from there.
from other airports
If you’re coming from a more distant place in the world, you may not have a flight that lands in Venice. The alternatives for long-distance flights are usually Milan and Bologna. In both cases, what I suggest you is to reach the local central train station and hop on a high speed train. Treviso is connected in the high speed railway, so you’ll most likely reach the city this way. If you don’t have a connection from where you’re landing, you will surely have one to Venezia-Mestre or to Padova. From these two, regional trains to Treviso are always available and pass frequently, just ask the ticket office. Here are two of the high speed train companies that operate along these railways: Trenitalia and Italo.
Buying the tickets
Some of you have asked more than once: how do I buy a ticket for the game? This should be an easy task but it isn’t that easy if you ask me. From the Benetton Rugby website you can click on the “Biglietti” (tickets, in Italian) tab on the top, which is the 5th from the left in the top menu. There, you’ll be presented with a few options and with a table of prices. Tickets sold online are sold through the TicketOne platform, which requires you to create an account. It is tedious, we agree, but it will make the purchase easier in the future. It isn’t well optimized for foreign supporters, which is why I’m writing this chapter. Once in TicketOne, search “Benetton” in the top search bar and you’ll see the match in the results. Tickets are available some weeks ahead of the game so you should have no problem finding the game you’re looking for. Once you proceed with the purchase, the system will request you to create an account and insert your details to finalize the purchase. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the system will ask a lot of details from you which normally you aren’t asked when buying tickets online. The procedure should have an English language option, but in case you don’t find it, the details you need to have at hand are your name, surname, document number and type, phone number, tax number (codice fiscale, in Italian) and birth date. Everything else should be self-explanatory.
Getting to the stadium
The Monigo stadium is not in the city centre. It is reachable with a 40 min walk which poses no threats as it goes along a few streets with large sidewalks, but it may not be the most comfortable option if you don’t feel like walking a lot or when it rains. Locals would normally drive to the stadium and park outside, but in your case I suggest to take a local bus from the bus station (piazzale Autostazione), located very close to the train station. At the bus station you can easily ask for tickets to the stadium at the ticket office. There isn’t a bus stop right in front of it, but there are a few suburban lines that will take you sufficiently close (55 and 110) all featured in google maps. Another option is to take a taxi, which won’t cost too much since the distance for a car is not exaggerate.
Game day: what would locals do?
Before the game
When it’s gameday, locals meet in the city centre way ahead of the kickoff time. The meeting spot is usually one of the old town’s bàcari (Venetian for tavern), named Hostaria Dai Naneti (the Dwarves). This place breathes rugby through and through, it is filled with rugby paraphernalia like scarves, jerseys, gifts from ex-players, and forgotten items from fans that had a pint there through the years. If you’re in the city centre and want to meet the other fans, that’s where you should go. A group of representatives from the Benetton Rugby Supporters Club is always present, and will lead the way to the stadium in case you’re confused on how to get there. You’ll recognize them through their characteristic flags and hats. Approach them, they don’t bite!
The Naneti tavern is pretty tiny and always full. Sometimes people just give up and search for an alternative; luckily you’ll find plenty of other places in the centre. Just walking around without a specific destination you’ll stumble upon some, but I feel like suggesting one in particular: my favourite is the Cantinetta Venegazzù, a wine bar not far from Naneti which offers a wide selection of the local typical snacks (named cicchétti), appetizers made of bread and elaborate toppings to have with an Aperol Spritz or a glass of wine. If this one is full too, you can try one of the most typical taverns in the city: da Mùscoi (muscles). Named after an old owner with particularly large arms, this place is the soul of the fish market district. Just in front of the traditional fish market of Treviso, it offers cicchétti, wine, spritz, and also meals for affordable prices. The owners are fast-paced people who don’t have time to waste: be quick and clear when you order.
The stadium starts to fill up with people from about 1 hour before kickoff. To get there in time, make sure you leave the city sufficiently ahead. We suggest you to think about going to the stadium about 1h 30m before kickoff, so you have time to walk there without rushing it, and you’ll be able to grab a pint at the stadium before the game starts. If you take a bus or ride with one of the local supporters you may leave later, as by car it only takes 5-10 minutes to get there. Outside the stadium on the south entrance there are two food trucks. They are both slow, don’t bother choosing the faster lane. One offers a variety of sandwiches and snacks, the other makes a typical Venetian sandwich called panìn col pastìn. Pastìn is a specific type of minced meat which has a characteristic pungent flavour, and is typical from the nearby mountains (Belluno). That is definitely worth the wait (ca. 30 mins in queue).
Once inside the stadium there are two main food & beverage stands, at the two sides of the court. Depending on where you got your tickets, you’ll have one of the two closer to you. If you still have to buy them, we suggest you to buy your tickets in the Green sector “A” of the West Stand (Tribuna Ovest, Settore Verde A) where most of the away supporters will buy them. You’ll be among your own people and you won’t have the sun shining on your face all game (pro tip).
After the game
Once the game is over, the Benetton Rugby Club always organises a dynamic after-match (terzo tempo, in Italian). The meeting point is the original wooden cottage sitting next to the stadium within the perimeter of it. Don’t leave the stadium premises, just fence the stadium until behind the West Stand and you’ll see people and hear noise. The cottage (la casetta) is where it all started, it contains a bar and there will be other beer taps outside of it to make it faster. In many occasions, the club has partnered with a local radio station to bring DJs and animate the party. Players always come after they had a shower, indulging in conversations with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs. Rumour has it they are allowed only two pints, so if they have one with you, consider it an honor. The party will continue for one to two hours, until everyone has progressively left. If you still feel like having one with local fans, reach the bar named Perbacco on the South-East corner of the stadium, outside of the premises. Some of the supporters clubs meet there and will be more than happy to welcome you in their circle, no matter the banners, in the spirit of rugby.
Food & drinks: go where the locals go
Treviso is the capital city of the local county named Marca Trevigiana. This area encompasses a series of hills and mountains, among which are the ones where the world-known Prosecco wine is made. Hence, once in Treviso, you can’t really hold back on the local most-exported drink in the world; however, enjoy responsibly. Another key legacy of Treviso to the world is Tiramisù, the world-famous Italian cold dessert made with biscuits, coffee, chocolate powder and whipped cream. Considering that it was invented at the Restaurant Le Beccherie, in the city centre, and that the restaurant is still open, you may very well consider trying it. Finally, a specific type of purple chickoree called radicchio is the most typical ingredient in the local cuisine. Taking all these things into account, here’s a list of places where you can enjoy a drink or grab a bite.
- Le Beccherie. As mentioned above, this is the restaurant that invented Tiramisù. Besides that, however, they have a refined menu that suits the most demanding palates. If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant where to treat yourself, this is the place for you.
- Piccola Osteria Papero Rosso. This little restaurant has a cozy atmosphere due to the many plants that decorate its outdoor space, and its friendly owners. Located in a quiet corner of the city centre, it is the perfect place for a glass of wine and a good meal of local cuisine, without being neither traditional nor ceremonious.
- Gastronomia Albertini. One of the most typical things you can have in Treviso is seafood. Fried seafood in particular (frittura di pesce), which a typical dish from the Veneto region. In this elegant eatery you’ll find many types of seafood, all worth eating.
- Bloom cafè. An elegant bar with a wide selection of homemade pastry, coffee and tea, perfect for an afternoon break after walking around in the cold. Located just metres away from the city walls and the city gate, which is one of the city’s attractions, it is the perfect spot to have a little treat.
- Cantinetta Venegazzù. This small wine bar in the heart of the city has some of the most delicious local snacks you’ll find. In the Veneto region, these cicchétti are quite typical and are often substitutive of the actual meal. For those who traveled a lot, they are similar to the basque Pintxos.
- Helmut Pub. When in need of a burger, there’s one place where locals would go and that’s Helmut. In this hip burger shop you’ll find a friendly staff that usually speaks English, and a selection of gourmet burgers made with the finest ingredients. Particularly suggested is the burger with caramelized onion, angus meat, and fresh local cheese.
- La Gigia. This small bar appears completely harmless when passing in front of it, but it is one of the most historical meeting points of the local population from the dawn of time. Offering a narrow yet delicious selection of snacks, locals would pop by for a quick glass of something and their typical Mozzarella in carrozza, which is a breaded mozzarella sandwich containing either anchovies or ham.
- About pizza. Many of you will come to Treviso and imagine themselves having the perfect Italian pizza. That’s sadly not the case, as pizza is a traditional dish from Naples (South) and in the North, although you’ll find many good pizzerias, you may not find the traditional neapolitan-style pizza you’re looking for. If you really crave one we suggest Da Roberto or La Piola, a staple pizzeria of the city, but we would recommend you to try the local stuff first.
Staying longer? Don’t miss out on this
the city centre
The city centre is a little gem which us locals are quite proud of. The main square is called Piazza dei Signori, was already present in the city in the 13th century, and from there you can reach any point of the city quite quickly. The good part of Treviso is contained within walls, which delimit its old medieval perimeter. In the main square you’ll find the iconic Palazzo dei Trecento, nearly a thousand years old and once the hot-spot of the local political activity. Not far from the main square you’ll also find the Loggia dei cavalieri, an ancient building that served as meeting point for the medieval city elite. Finally, nearby the square and marked in google maps you’ll find one of the most iconic attractions of Treviso: the tits fountain (yes, the tits fountain): pay a visit to our lady, as in the old days she would pour white and red wine during festivities, and for that reason only, she must be honored. Treviso is a typical Venetian city built over and around water. The many small canals run underneath the old tiles of the city centre and emerge only in certain points. One of the is perhaps the most distinctive area of the centre, called buranèi (Venetian for water turbulences). Just metres away from the main square heading north, one can walk alongside a beautiful river fencing decorated houses that remind of the most beautiful parts of the city of Venice itself. From the Buranèi, it is easy to reach the Peschería area (the fish market). That is one of the most iconic touristic spots of the city. The tiny island on which the fish market is surrounded by running water and stands in front of a smalls street where many local bars are. One of them, da Muscoi, is perhaps one of the most iconic bars of the city (see above).
off the beaten path
From the fish market you can follow the water stream of the river (called Cagnàn) until it unites with a larger river. That area at the junction is called quartiere latino, and it has some beautiful buildings. The main square of the district is mostly made out of light colored marble and on the other side of the river you’ll see the Castello Fortunato Romano. From this corner of the main river (called Sile) you’ll be able to reach a beautiful, long riverside walk called Restèra. This is where the trevigiani will go on a sunny sunday to spend 2-3 hours in the open air. The walk follows via Alzaia for a long part of it, alongside the river Sile, and it can keep you busy for hours so plan ahead where to stop walking to come back to the city. In about 1 hour you can reach the cimitero dei burci (cemetery of boats), a spot along the river where a few old wooden boat carcasses lie in the water in an amazing natural scenery. If you feel like going forward you can reach the small imbarcadèro (dock) of the town of Casier. There you’ll find bars to get refreshments at, until you go back. From the centre to Casier and back could take 3 hours non-stop, here’s an itinerary I made for you: make sure you are always next to the river to enjoy it the most!
Besides rugby, there’s a relevant museums to visit in Treviso for those who are into arts and culture. The most important one is perhaps the Museo Santa Caterina, which hosts art from the Italian renaissance and baroque epoque. A more modern perspective on art is offered by the Museo Bailo, a collection of art works from the late 19th and the whole 20th century. Older frescos can be found in the beautiful Casa Robegan, which is a typical noble family house from the 15th century decorated by local masters. Casa Robegan hosts also temporary exhibitions which are often great. Other temporary exhibitions can be found at the Fondazione Benetton, which is an institute fostering arts and innovation founded by the local worldwide-famous clothing brand, which also sponsors our rugby team. Finally, last but not least, the Monigo stadium has a museum of rugby. It is hard to find information for you on that one, but your best bet is to ask the Benetton Rugby Supporters Club members to show it to you. At least until before the pandemic, they used to be the ones maintaining it. We hope that this long list of valuable information will be useful for you to visit our beautiful city!