Myths and legends of Treviso

miti e leggende di Treviso- Canale dei Buranelli- notte- luci

Unveiling the Enchanting Tales of the Venetian City

Are you in Treviso and curious about any legends tied to the city? Well, dive into the most intriguing myths and legends of Treviso!

Treviso, a city of incredible beauty and charm, where water and land merge to create an extraordinary atmosphere. This blend of elements has allowed its inhabitants to travel with imagination, crafting dozens of myths and legends of various kinds. From the mysterious origins of the city’s name to episodes involving mythical leaders and enigmatic beings in the marshes surrounding the city, we’ll share some of our favorite tales. So, if you’re keen on discovering the most interesting myths and legends of Treviso, keep reading!

Myths and Legends of Treviso: The Origin of the City

The debate on who founded Treviso and the origin of its name remains open. Legends emerged in ancient times, attempting to explain it plausibly, often tying it to well-known figures.

The first legend suggests that Treviso was founded by the Taurisci, an ancient Celtic-Eastern people who worshipped the Egyptian god Apis, depicted as a bull. The story begins when the Veneti, residing in the territory where Treviso would later emerge, were under the occupation of the Giants. Seeking aid, they turned to the god Apis. Recognizing the situation, Apis summoned the Taurisci and, in a glorious battle, defeated the Giants. In memory of this extraordinary event, Taurisium, the city of the Sacred Bull, was founded.

Myths and Legends of Treviso - Isola della Pescheria - lights-night
Isola della Pescheria at Night (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

In another tale, Treviso is said to be founded by Osiris, a descendant of Noah, who ruled wisely over the Italian territory for ten years. After his death, he was worshipped as a bull, leading to the city being named Taurisium.

The last myth traces Treviso’s origin to Dardanus, the founder of the Trojans, who arrived in the Venetian soil and established the city of Eugania. To defend it, Dardanus built four fortresses, with the largest named Tusino, commanded by Montorio, the alleged progenitor of the renowned Treviso family, Collalto. Montorio supposedly placed a statue of a three-headed maiden at the city’s main gate, resulting in the transformation from Tusino to Tre-visi.

Myths and Legends of Treviso: Orlando and the Lombards

Treviso, like many other places in Italy (Spello in Umbria for exaple), is connected to Orlando, the comrade-in-arms of Charlemagne. The legend recounts Orlando’s visit to Treviso with 2000 men to free it from Lombard domination. Facing numerical superiority, Orlando’s men were struggling, and the battle seemed doomed. Desperate, Orlando sought refuge in a church with his men to regain strength. While praying, he implored the help of Saint Angelo for victory.

Church of Sant'Angelo - legend of Orlando - Treviso -
Church of Sant’Angelo

The Lombards fiercely entered the sacred place in search of the Franks hiding there. However, reinvigorated, Orlando and his men resumed the fight, and the surprised Lombards fled. Many were killed, others captured and imprisoned. After the battle, Orlando and his companions dedicated their victory to God and the Archangel Michael, who had heard their prayers. They consecrated the church in honor of God and the Angel, leading to an annual celebration in the church of Sant’Angelo every first day of May.

The Fiery Horse of the Sile Marshes

The areas around Treviso are renowned for their water richness, especially the mysterious marshes that inspired curious legends. One such tale tells of a flaming horse’s head occasionally appearing in the marshes around the city. The story spread quickly, reaching the ears of Coccolo, a brave and robust man known for his courage. Dismissing the legend, Coccolo boldly claimed not to believe in it and decided to disprove the tale by seeing it for himself.

Myths and legends of Treviso - Flaming horse of the Sile Marshes - Trees-forest
The Sile Marshes

The next day, he returned to the inn with a dark expression, slammed his fist on the table, and declared that he was not afraid of anyone but would never return to the marsh. While this mythical story has a possible scientific explanation, as marshes often exhibit the phenomenon of combustible material combustion known as will-o’-the-wisps, at the time, the phenomenon was likely unknown, leading to a legendary explanation.

The Lombard Knight and the Botteniga Spring

As mentioned, the territory of Treviso features numerous springs and resurgence points. The River Botteniga, giving rise to the various Cagnan of the city, originates from one such spring, linked to an ancient legend. In October of the year 568, during the legendary descent of the great King Alboin and the Lombard army into Italy, they were attacked by a Byzantine patrol. The Lombard cavalry faced them immediately but suffered a defeat.

One Lombard warrior, heroically injured and left alone, attempted to save himself by letting his faithful and beloved horse guide him. The horse led him to what was then just a dense and dark wooded swamp, rich in resurgences. The warrior fell from his horse, sank into the mud, and remained hidden from the Byzantine soldiers relentlessly searching for him. Though unconscious for a long time, the Lombard warrior, despite severe injuries, did not die.

Upon regaining consciousness, he washed his wounds with the spring’s water, amazed to witness their miraculous healing. After a few days, his faithful horse returned, helping him reach his companions to recount what had happened. The place immediately became a site of ritual and veneration for the Lombards, settling in that area, which eventually became the permanent settlement of Merlengo.

myths and legends of Treviso - Botteniga resurgence - legend of the Lombard Knight
Botteniga resurgence

The Botteniga River (derived from Lombard: Boating) primarily originates from this historic resurgence, both then and now.

Now armed with knowledge about some myths and legends of Treviso, you can explore the city with even more curiosity.


Seguici sui Social

Article Name
Myths and Legends of Treviso
Explore the enchanting myths and legends of Treviso, a city steeped in captivating tales and intriguing mysteries!
Publisher Name
La scimmia Viaggiatrice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *