Borough of the Imperial Age
The medieval village of Feltre is situated in the Province of Belluno on the surrounding slopes of the Dolomites. The antique “Feltria” was built by the Reti. During the Imperial Age, was developed as an economic and urban planning centre as well as a Roman Municipality. Situated on the Via Claudia Augusta Altinate, the road that from Altino on the Venetian Lagoon, brought through the Brenner Pass to Bavaria. The invasions of the Goths forced Feltre to fall into decay which was submitted to the Longobards Dukedom of Ceneda. The borough was subsequently subjected to Charlemagne and then to his successor Berengario King of Italy.
Between the XIII° and XIV° century, Feltre was involved in the tragic events connected with the Signoria (governing authority) of Ezzelino Da Romano. It was placed under the power of Da Camino, then Carraresi from 1315 to 1337, the Scaligeri and finally to the Visconti of Milan. In 1404, the city passed under the Venetian Republic that ensured it a period of peace and prosperity. In 1509, was destroyed by the troops of Maximilian I° of Austria. After the reconstruction, Feltre became a great architectural and urban planning centre with a renaissance aesthetic and cultural aspect.
From the six hundred, the economy collapsed. In 1797, with the fall of Venice, Feltre was conquered by the French and, in 1798, by the Austrians. Later on the Treaty of Campoformio, was part of the Kingdom of Italy with Capital Milan. After the Congress of Vienna, was embeded into the Lombardo Veneto Kingdom dependent on Austria where it remained until 1866 – the year of its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy. Piazza Maggiore (square) is surrounded by arcades of Palazzi Romani Cingolati (Roman buildings), from the Palladian Palazzo della Ragione which houses the theater of the Sena. The Praetorian Palace, with its coat of arms hall.
The Church of SS. Rocco and Sebastiano with the near Lombardy Fountains. On the higher part, the Clock Tower and the Castle of Alboino with the Lombardy tower of Campanon. The Dome Cathedral is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Prosdocimo; under its churchyard there is an archaeological area of about 1.000 sqm. – as consequence of years of excavation and restoration work carried out since the ’70s. The military architecture is evident on the Castle, Porta Imperiale, Porta Oria and Porta Posterla.
Noteworthy are the Civic Museum established in 1903 with its rich art gallery which houses an altarpiece by Cima da Conegliano, the Modern Art Gallery Carlo Rizzarda, a famous wrought iron artist of the early twentieth century.
The Diocesan Museum is located inside the ancient Vescovado village. Palazzo della Ragione, rebuilt after the destruction of 1510, is embellished by the Loggiato Palladiano of 1558 and contains the Teatro de la Sena or “della scena (stage theatre)”, a masterpiece of great beauty and value.
Feltre and its medieval Palio
Feltre is a town of art, history and culture but also the city of historical Palio that every first Sunday of August relives this traditional event in honour of the past centuries.