The winter flower
According to some historians and experts like Giuseppe Maffioli, the credit of having transformed the winter chicory variety that has always characterized the countryside surrounding Treviso into the red and crunchy radicchio we know today, is to ascribe to the Belgian Francesco Van Den Borre. Expert in the planning of parks and gardens, he was invited in 1859 to Villa Palazzi-Taverna, at the northern border of the town of Preganziol, to plan its park, one of the most beautiful green areas annexed to the Venetian villa. He was also an expert in the blanching techniques used for the Belgian chicories, and it seems that he suggested the birth of the radicchio, although his son Aldo rejected this hypothesis. According to others, it was a chance discovery, fruit of the little secrets of the rural life.