Portobuffolè: still life in the countryside


Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Laura Teso

Portobuffolè is a unbelievably tiny burg in the province of Treviso, close to the border between Veneto and Friuli. Together with Arquà Petrarca, Borghetto sul Mincio, Asolo, San Giorgio Valpolicella and Cison di Valmarino is one of the Borghi più Belli d’Italia. I.e. the Most Beautiful Burgs of Italy.

You enter Portobuffolè through the Porta Friuli (there’s a small parking lot just in front of it, adjacent to a tiny playground). And immediately reach the heart of the village, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. You won’t need much time to explore the entire burg. It’s so tiny you can see everything in less 1 hour… if you stop here and there to take photos. So you can combine the visit to Portobuffolè with other nice towns in the surroundings, such as Conegliano, for example.

The quiet cobbled streets, the noble aspect of the palazzi, with the predominance of white, some frescoed façades will narrate you the long story of this minuscule town, once important river port under the Serenissima rule.

Things to see in Portobuffolè:

  • Porta Friuli
  • Civic Tower (it is the only one left of the 7 towers that once existed)
  • Duomo (once a Jewish Synagogue)
  • Cycling Musuem (housed in a XIV century palace)
  • Municipal Loggia and adjacent frescoed 1400s Monte di Pietà. Under the Loggia you can see a sign indicating the level reached by the incredible water flooding of 1965.
  • Ancient Customs House.

Where to eat

The latter now hosts a inn, called Antica Dogana (which means precisely Ancient Customs in Italian), where we stopped for lunch. The food was great, with good local ingredients. We shared a plate of cold cuts and then we skipped the pasta dishes, cause the meat dishes were too tempting (pork fillet and deer tagliata, both served with tasty roasted potatoes). Yes, always light 😉 . Well, you can easily understand why I’m chubby! We ended with a lime sorbetto (without milk) very fresh and convenient (since the cold cuts were quite salty).

The atmosphere was calm and homely. The owner stopped at our table a couple of times to ask if everything was right. I don’t know how this started but we ended up talking about the friendliness of the bats living in her yard and how useful they are against mosquitoes.

She was upset with the parish priest that day. She had just found a fallen bat and she was trying to rescue it, when the church bells scared the animal. The bat flew away and she feared that he would not return. She was quite disappointed. I didn’t dare to argue, cause she seemed very combative, but honestly I thought: How could the priest know that she was rescuing the bat?

Oh my, this is quite an odd topic, isn’t it? Even if I must admit that sometimes I think about “installing” an anti-mosquitoes bat on my balcony to get rid of the maddening zanzare [dsan-ZAH-reh], which is the Italian word for mosquitoes… And you can see how this noun is annoyingly onomatopoeic!

Strolling alone

Anyway, after lunch we wandered around the streets of Portobuffolé, taking pictures for the blog and enjoying a pleasant breeze. It was so funny to see two cats peacefully sprawled right under the sign ATTENTI AL CANE (BEWARE OF THE DOG). Another thing that made me smile was a sign outside a door. I translate it for you, so if you see it you’ll know what it says:

What is a house? Four walls of stones and of history.
But it is the house, only it, that protects the dreamer.

Out of the village, walking towards the cemetery (just outside of it on the western side there is a public toilet, very clean and modern) we reached the gate of the wonderful Villa Giustinan, which hosts now a hotel and a restaurant.

Don’t be surprised if you see no one in the pictures. Remember that I often travel off season, or on Sundays, and… at lunch time 🙂 . Moreover I prefer not to include people in my photos, even if lately I’m reconsidering this decision. I reckon that including persons could be interesting and could add some “depth” to the pictures. But I’m always afraid to bother the subjects… We’ll see! 🙂



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