An Italian side is still to make the quarter finals of Europe's premier competition and the South African believes playing at the highest level week in, week out will enhance their chances.
"This is a massive opportunity for the players, club and country as a whole. It is our chance to grow and influence the future of the sport in Italy," said Smith.
"We have done extremely well in the Italian league system, however, we started to stagnate as the competition wasn't always there and this is our chance to play and test ourselves in a world-class environment on a weekly basis.
"Playing in the domestic game in Italy we were attracting just 600-700 supporters and were lucky to get a report in the local paper, but on Saturday over 5,500 people turned up and all the national papers covered the game.
"The atmosphere was fantastic, it was a gorgeous evening in a packed stadium with a good game on the field - the perfect advert for rugby.
"Success at club level will filter throughout the game, right from the international side down to the youth and it is a really exciting time.
"We understand the challenge ahead but if we can put the foundations in this season we can build something very special for the future."
Treviso kick off their Heineken Cup campaign at home to double European Champions Leicester on Sunday, 9 October before travelling to Stade Aime Giral to face Perpignan the following weekend.