A name of Celtic origin meaning "a splendid, illuminated city", Belluno is located on a promontory near the confluence of the Ardo river to the Piave river, in a wonderful frame made by the Dolomites on the Morth and the Venete Pre Alps in the South side.
The municipium Bellunum increased its importance during the Augustan period and, during the Middle Age, it was conquered first by the Longobards and then by the Carolingians. Finally in the XV century it was conquered by the Republic of Venice.
Quite city, with medieval and Renaissance streets, ancient squares adorned with fountains and buildings in typical Venetian style, Belluno is also characterised by architectural treasures of incomparable beauty and value, as for example, Piazza Duomo, the heart of the city, overlooked by Palazzo dei Rettori (1491), the town-hall in neo-Gothic style and Palazzo dei Vescovi (1190).
The Cathedral of San Martino, designed by the Venetian architect Tullio Lombardo, has three naves and preserves masterpieces by Andrea Schiavone, Cesare Vecellio, Jacopo Bassano, Palma il Giovane, Pietro Muttoni, Gaspare Diziani and Lombardo. The bell tower, indeed, was designed by Filippo Juvarra.
Using Dino Buzzati's word - writer from Belluno -, it is a place characterised by "a special personality that gives it a unique charm, but only few people realize this".
Finally a splecial mention to the famous "Gusela del vescovà", a monolit of about fourty meters which rises from the Schiara dolomitic block, inspiration for local painters and writes for its beauty.