Feltre: a plunge into sport, culture, nature and history
Feltre is a vibrant and lively historical town. To spend a holiday here means diving into the many sport and culture events, into nature, history and art: international competitions like the Giro delle Mura or more local and typical events like the Palio di Feltre and the Craft Fair, lush green paths, itineraries through the Belluno Dolomites National Park and frescoed buildings.
If you stay in Feltre during summer you can go to many events, first of all the Giro delle Mura, an international night road race taking place in August in the town centre, a spectacular and captivating competition attracting many fans every year.
Another sport competition is the Granfondo Campagnolo, a long-distance bicycle race taking place in June. Competitors can choose between the 216 km of the long track through the valley of the Mis stream, with ascents and descents for a total height difference of 5000 m, or the medium track, with a height difference of 2000 m. An interesting event is the Rugby Celebration, with matches and shows.
If you like practicing sport in winter, try the Belluno-Feltre foot race, taking place every February.
The Palio di Feltre is a dive into history and art, a historical reenactment with music, dances, parades, contests among the four town districts and horse races, while the Artistic and Traditional Craft Fair is a traditional event focusing on wood carving and wrought iron manufacturing.
Feltre: Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, Alpine Path of the Dolomites n. 2
A lush green nature, sometimes wild and protected by the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, surrounds the town. Many are the trekking and Nordic walking trails, easy tracks suitable for everyone, like the green trail 4 km away from Feltre, at the foot of Mount Miesna, where you can visit for free the Vincheto Wildlife Reserve, populated by mouflons, deer, fallow deer, roe deer, birds and fish. Another interesting track is the historical one along the Roman road Via Claudia Augusta.
If you love mountain hiking, you only have to choose: the Grappa massif, the other mountains surrounding Feltre, or the Val Canzoi valley. Moreover, in Feltre ends the Alpine Path of the Dolomites n. 2, connecting the town with Bressanone, a particularly interesting itinerary for its wonderful landscapes.
The history of Feltre
The town centre surely is worth a visit, with its many historical buildings and museums. Feltre was first inhabited by the paleoveneti, an ancient population living in the north-eastern Italian regions, and then by the Romans, who recognized its economic and politic importance, rising in a strategic position along the borders.
After a period of wars, pillages and strifes among the landlords competing for the control of the town, in the second half of the 15th century Feltre fell under the Venetian domain.
The old town is perched on a hill around the Alboino Castle and maintains its typical architecture with frescoed buildings, alleys, and the many churches and squares. Famous are the Piazza Maggiore square, adorned by the Lombard style fountains, and outside the walls, Piazza Duomo square, under which archaeological finds were brought to light and can now be seen by visitors.
Feltre is a university town and features many museums, among which there is the Galleria Carlo Rizzarda, housing about 400 forged iron tools and a modern art collection with paintings and sculptures from artists of the 19th and 20th century: Schiele, Carrà, Tancredi, Fattori, Picasso and Chagall, to name just a few.
The City Museum houses many finds, works of art, sculptures, distributed in the halls of Palazzo Villabruna, the building holding the exhibition. The archaeological section is on the ground floor, interiors of the patrician houses of Feltre are rebuilt on the first floor, and an interesting art gallery is displayed on the second floor. In the courtyard there is a collection of the coat of arms of the most important noble families of Feltre, and the storage holds paintings, tools, ceramic ware, coins, medals...