Some information about Castelfranco Veneto and Italy in general

Castelfranco Veneto

Castelfranco Veneto MAP with Useful sites

Tourist guide to Castelfranco Veneto in GERMAN

Guía turística de Castelfranco Veneto en Castellano

Some pictures

Among the smaller centres of the district (provincia di Treviso), Castelfranco Veneto is considered to be one of the most interesting because of its rich historical background and its perfect geographical position, very near to important towns like Treviso, Venice, Padova and Vicenza, and other well-known tourist attractions like Cittadella, Asolo, the enormous Mount Grappa, the piedmont hills and Montello.

The rise of Castelfranco can be traced back to the end of the 12th Century when the commune of Treviso, in order to defend its western boundaries from the threats of the inhabitants of Padova, Vicenza and the feudal gentlemen of the area, decided to build a fortress near the village of the new Pieve river and the tiver-torrent Muson. At the same time the rulers of Treviso conceded special taz exemptions (the name Castelfranco is derived from this as “franco” means “free”) and economic advantages to the people who agreed to go and live there and assume the responsibility of defending the fort. The castle, still very well preserved, was square-shaped, with a perimeter of about 930 metres and solid towers placed at the corners and the centre of each side of its walls, which are 7 metres high. There were two main entrances, facing Treviso in the East and Vicenza in the West, respectively.

As time passed, the military functions of the town declined, while it increased in importance as an economic and cultural centre. This is testified by the rising of numerous elegant buildings in the urban area and the countryside, where noble Venetians began to build some beautiful villas (The “Marca”, or zone of Treviso, and with it Castelfranco, passed to the Republic of S. Marco in 1339).

Some famous citizens of Castelfranco are the great artist Giorgione (1477 or 1478-1510), the musician Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) and the architect Francesco Maria Preti (1701-1774).


(lonely planet, italy, 5th edition)


It is difficult to make blanket assertions about Italian culture, if only because Italians have only lived as one nation for a little over 100 years. Prior to unification, the peninsula was long subject to widely varied mix of masters and cultures. This lack of unity contributed to the maintenance of local dialects and customs. Only with the advent of national TV did the spread of a standard Italian language begin. Previously it was not unusual to find farmers and villagers who spoke only their local dialect.

Italians at a World Cup football match may present a patriotic picture but most Italians identify more with their region or even home town – a phenomenon known as campanilismo (an attachment to one’s local bell tower!). An Italian is first and foremost a Sicilian or Tuscan, or even a Roman, Milanese or Neapolitan , before being Italian.

Confronted with a foreigner, however, Italians will energetically reveal a national pride difficult to detect in the relationships they have with each other.


Foreigners may think of Italians as passionate, animated people who gesticulate wildly when speaking, love to eat and drive like maniacs. There’s a lot more to it than that, however.

Journalist Luigi Barzini has defined his compatriots as a hard-working , resilient and resourceful people who are optimistic and have a good sense of humour. If you really feel that you have subscribe to a national stereotype, Barzini’s description is probably closer to the truth.

Italians are also passionately loyal to their friends and families – all-important qualities, noted Barzini, since ’a happy private life helps people to tolerate an appalling public life’.

Italians have a strong distrust of authority and when confronted with a silly rule, an unjust law or a stupid order (and they are reularly confrontated with many of them) they don’t complain or try to change rules, but rather try to find the quickest way round them.


The family remains of central importance in the fabric of Italian society, particularly in the south. Most young Italians tend to stay at home until they marry, a situation admittedly partly exacerbated by the lack of affordable housing. Still, modern attitudes have begun to erode the traditions. Statistics show that one three married couples has no children and one in nine chidren is born out of wedding. In Milan, for example, more than one-third of families are headed by a single parent, two-third of whom are women.

Dos & Don’ts

Italians tend to be tolerant but – despite an apparent obsession with (mostly female) nakedness, especially n advertising – they are not excessively free and easy.

In some parts of Italy, particularly in the south, women will be harassed if they wear skimpy or see-through clothing. Topless sunbathing, while not uncommon on some Italian beaches, is not alway acceptable. Take your cue from other sunbathers. Nude sunbathing is likely to be offensive anywhere but on appropriately designated beaches. Walking the streets near beaches in a bikini or skimpy costume is also not on and on Venice Lido it’ll get you a fine.

It would be nice to see more travellers wandering around with an awareness of local sensibilities. Visitors all too often seem to leave manners and common sense at home. In the main tourist centres, locals are by now used to the sight of men wandering around in little more than a pair of shorts and (maybe) sandals. But you have to ask yourself, if you wouldn’t walk around like that in your town, why do so in someone else’s? Remember that most people find sunscorched bellies a grim sight, so Italians, known for their delight in dressing well, will probably be even more repulsed.

In churches you are expected to dress modestly. This means no shorts (for men or women) or short skirts, and shoulders should be covered. Those that are major tourist attractions, such as St Peter’s in Rome and San Francesco in Assisi, enforce strict dress codes. Churches are places of worship so if you visit one during a service (which you should refrain from doing) , try to be as incospicuous as possible.

The police and carabinieri have the right to arrest you for insulting a state official if they believe you have been rude or offensive, so be diplomatic in your dealings with them!

“Mummy's Boys”

“The rough charm of the unshaven Italian Lathoario mounted jauntily on his Vespa is an inescapable image, one redolent of the Latin lover. The truth is perhaps a little less alluring.

According to figures published in 1997 by Istat (Istituto Centrale di Statistica), the country's main statistics body, Italian men actually constitute an esercito di mammoni (army of mummy's boys). Forget Oedipus, these boys know which side their bread is buttered. Perhaps they are not so different from men world over, but the numbers are certainly telling.

If you can believe the Istat, 66.5% of single Italian men remain at home with mum (and dad) at least up to the age of 34. Granted, this is partly caused by problems of unemployment, the cost fo housing and so on. Of the remainder who do move out of home, some 42% of those aged up to 65 do not shift more than 1 km away and only 20% dare to move more than 50 km beyond the maternal home. Of all these "independent" single men, 56% manage to stop by mum's place every day of the week. The unkind might be led to believe (as was the author of at least one newspaper story on the subject) that, apart from filial devotion, the lads might well bring with them a bag of dirty washing and time the visit to coincide with lunch.”

Quote from Lonely Planet Italy, 5th Edition, page 61