In 1883, the Abbott Luigi Bailo, founder of the Museum of Treviso, published a report about the frescoes that wee salvaged from the demolished church of Santa Margherita del Sile. The Abbott’s young assistant, Girolamo Botter, continued to cultivate the art of restoration and later his son Mario carried on his work.
It is to the latter that we owe the discovery of a great number of frescoes and the renovation of many old houses, a work of research and cataloguing that lasted more than 30 years. What emerges is the image of a harmonious period for Treviso that began in the mid-12th century up until the early 16th century in a fantastic and amazing crescendo. He knew everything about his land: the city went unharmed during the troubled times of the Middle Ages and the foreign invasions, but suffered in recent times: first the bombings during the two world wars, and then the successive waves of urbanization, construction and re-building that followed.
What is left of its original character shows a Medieval Treviso that is filled with color, lively and playful, its old houses decorated with frescoed trompe-l’oeil tapestries inside and out. They contribute towards making Treviso on of the friendliest, most original cities in Italy. Due to the difficulties in finding stone masonry, the many nameless artisans used their painting skills to decorate the houses in the styles of the period.
There are no documents that explain why that was so, as if their fondness for tapestry was spontaneous, a happy coincidence with the free spirit of the city at the time. What is certain is that no other town can boast such a numerous and varied series of motifs as Treviso, rightly known as the most frescoed city in Italy.