At the entrance to Belluno on the left bank of the Piave river, the visitor is greeted by a small church with a characteristic red plaster, overlooking the road: it is the small church of Villa Buzzati.
The villa, which dates to the 16th century, was completely modified in the 19th century by the Buzzati family and is famous because the writer and artist Dino Buzzati (16 October 1906 – 28 January 1972) was born here and deeply loved the lands and mountains of Belluno. In the park of the villa stands a monumental tree, a tulip tree, estimated to be 200 years old, already “immense and ancient” when the writer was still a child.
VILLA PILONI AT CESA DI LIMANA
Just before arriving at Cesa di Limana, featuring its small square and large wash house, the cycling path passes right in front of Villa Piloni (late 18th century), with its linear façade and characteristic tympanum with the pigeon house-shaped openings.
It was once surrounded by a large park, designed by the French Alexandre Poiteau Le Terrier, gardener of Versailles, who arrived in the Belluno area following Napoleon’s troops. Alexandre Poiteau also designed the magnificent park of Villa Gaggia, at Socchieva – visible on the other side of the Piave – which is famous because it witnessed the last meeting between Hitler and Mussolini on 19th July 1943.
THE AZZONI – AVOGADRO AND ZUGNI AT SALMÈNEGA
The pretty hamlet of Salmènega, with the little church of the Madonna della Neve, is overshadowed to the north by the imposing Villa Azzoni Avogadro, built in the 17th century on the ruins of the castle of Bivài. The building was transformed and extended in the 19th century. The village of Bivài, the first records of which date back to Roman times, stands at the foot of Colle della Croce and is inserted, in a panoramic position, in a splendid rural environment. Next to the villa is the church of Sant’Antonio Abate, which is traced back to before the year one thousand.
Immediately downhill from the village of Salmènega, a little hidden to the left, stands Villa Zugni, one of the many villas in the Feltrino area which belonged to the Zugni-Tauro family. Built at the end of the eighteenth century, the villa overlooks a garden set on a terrace with two short stairways on the sides, which dominates the meadows and fields surrounding it. It has a linear structure, two series of triforas open on the façade and the roof culminates in two typical chimneys