Santa Lucia di Piave
The name ‘Santa Lucia’ is considered a paleographic place name that’s rather recent. The ancient Latin toponym of this town located in the Contado di San Salvatore was ‘Sub Silva’. Instead, in 1474, it was referred to as ‘Santa Lucia de Foresto’. This last term alludes to the wild landscape surrounding the village, left out of the thirteenth century comments discovered in a manuscript dated November 8, 1471. Said historical document mentions ‘Santa Lucia del Foresto Castello di San Salvatore’ and refers to the wolf-infested forest that stretched along the left bank of the impetuous Piave River, a cause of frequent flooding.
From the town, you can view the San Salvatore Castle, perched amidst the Susegana Hills that distinguish the horizon. Designed to keep watch over the Municipality of Conegliano—Treviso’s historic rival—the castle was transformed into a splendid mansion by Rambaldo VIII of Collalto, who strove to emulate his predecessor Ensedisio I, one of the Treviso Counts. In 1110, Ensedisio I is thought to have founded the primitive fortified castle on the hills of Collalto, a town from which the noble family’s surname was later derived. This territory was greatly influenced by the Boccadistrada crossroads, from which one of its current-day districts got its name: Bocca di Strada. From there, the infamous Via Hungarica (cited in a codex from 1120) led to the Opitergium-Feltria-Tridentum (called the’ Oderzo-Feltre-Trento’ in the IV century) and to Guado sul Piave a Lovandina, the main junction connecting North and South Italy up until the construction of the ‘Règia Strada Maestra d’Italia’ in the eighteenth century. Today, said road is known as the ‘Statale Pontebbana’.
In November and December, Santa Lucia di Piave renews its millenary traditions by celebrating a renowned fair dedicated to Saint Lucy, known as the ‘Fiera di Santa Lucia’. Preceded by its medieval historical reenactment called ‘the Ancient Fair’, this noteworthy event attracts thousands of visitors. Saint Lucy’s Fair gained substantial fame in various European countries, primarily as a market for horses. Yet, it was also an important sales point for other types of livestock including donkeys, oxen, sheep and pigs, in addition to being a market for canapé and wool. Written in the 1700s, a description of the fair was found in the diary of a young French girl. Even in modern times, citizens of the Tyrol and Hungary often recall how their grandparents would travel to the ‘Fiera di Santa Lucia’ to sell their horses.