Belluno looks out of a natural balcony onto the Piave valley that opens out enchantingly down beyond the town's neighbourhoods, protected as if by magic by a ring of mountains that gently stand out against the clear blu sky. The breathtaking view forms a magnificent backdrop to this town which is full of nooks and crannies of great historical interest. It is no coincidence that the modern translation of the ancient name of Belluno is "The Shining City", a reference not only to Beleno, the Celtic god of the Sun, but also to the sparkling waters which surround the city (the water was under the Beleno's protection).
Dino Buzzati, one of the most famous sons of this capital of the mountain area of the Veneto region, described Belluno as "a marvellous, almost incredible union of the world of Venice (with its serenity, the classical armony of its contours, its timeless elegance, its unique architecture) and the world of the north (the mountains shrouded in mystery, the long winters, the stories, the spirits of the caves and the woods, the intagnible sense of distance, of solitude, ...)".
The city centre is rich in art and history. The Cathedral square is picturesque and fascinating. It is overlooked by the palazzi of the Town Hall, the Rettori, the Vescovi and the chapel of Saint Mary of the Graces. The San Martino Cathedral was built in the beginning of the 16th Century, designed by Tullio Lombardo, in Renaissance and Baroque style. The Palazzo dei Rettori, built between the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th, is the seat of the Prefectus, the offices of the representative of the Italian government.
The main square of Belluno is Piazza dei Martiri, once called "Campiello". It boasts beautiful gardens and buildings with typical porticoes built between the 16th and the 20th century. The church of Santo Stefano, in Italian-Gothic style, boasts a masterpiece by Cesare Vecellio "The meeting between Abraham and Melchisedech".
Thanks to the Dolomites, Belluno offers, in wintertime, ski runs both for downhill and cross country skiing.
The cities' downhill slopes are located at Nevegal which offers almost 30 km of pistes that are always covered and in good condition; it also offers the excitement of night-time illuminated slopes. The Nevegal cross country course really grips enthusiasts who want to commune with the silence of the woods.
Part of the Contents and the Images are courtesy of APT Belluno-Feltre-Alpago