Veneto – A Diverse Part of Italy
When people hear the name "Veneto", they immediately think of the lagoon city of Venice with its romantic canals and the Piazza San Marco. But the region in the north-east of Italy has so much more to offer. Wonderful beaches at the Adriatic coast, the impressive mountains of the Dolomites and the scenic shores of Lake Garda are part of the region just like the medieval town centres of Verona and Padua.
Geography - Italy's eighth largest region
Veneto with its world-famous capital Venice is a region in the north-east of Italy and with an area of 18,391 km², it is the country's eighth largest region. Its seven provinces (Belluno, Padua, Treviso, Rovigo, Vicenza, Verona, Venice) are enclosed by the Italian regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino-South Tyrol, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, the Austrian states of Tyrol and Carinthia as well as the Adriatic Sea. The Dolomites and the plains of the Po Delta dominate the region's geography. Due to the different altitudes, the climate in Veneto can vary considerably. While temperatures occasionally fall below zero in the higher regions in winter, it is mild at the Adriatic coast.
Nature - A mountainous and hilly landscape at the Adriatic Sea
More than half of Veneto's landscape is mountainous. The mountain range of the Dolomites, which have been declared a World Natural Heritage site by the UNESCO, the Venetian Alps and the Euganean Hills constitute a breathtaking mountain landscape which travellers can explore in the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and the Colli Euganei Regional Park, for example. The plane landscape of the Po Plain accommodates the Po Delta Regional Park and Italy's largest wetland area as well as numerous lagoons at the Adriatic coast, which is 150 km long and impresses with long sandy beaches and scenic bays. In addition, the area east of Lake Garda - Italy's greatest lake - is characteristic of the region. The lake's shores are covered in a Mediterranean mountainous landscape vegetated by olive trees, cypresses, oleander and cedars and attract great numbers of visitors every year.
Culture - Veneto! Why Veneto?
Regarding art and culture, Veneto is one of the most impressive Italian regions. The capital of Venice with St Mark's Basilica, its wonderful canals, the Roman amphitheatre and the Doge's Palace (Italian: Palazzo Ducale) allures numerous holidaymakers. The lagoon city has been part of the World Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO since 1987. Another Cultural Heritage site is Verona's old town, which became famous through Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". The famous balcony and the arena, in which many events take place in summer, are the city's landmarks. As one of Italy's oldest cities with one of the oldest universities in the whole of Europe, the city of Padua (Italian: Padova) with its Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua and the Botanical Garden are popular attractions.
Experience - Carnival and fried maize pastry
Veneto's cuisine varies from province to province and partly depends on the geographical position. However, there are several ingredients which are common all over Veneto and provide the basis for many dishes: rice, vegetables and polenta (a kind of maize porridge). Individual local products are the beans from Lamon, celery from Verona, asparagus from Bassano del Grappa and radicchio from Treviso. Typical sweet pastries are fritelle (doughnuts), zaletti (biscuits made of maize flour), the Italian cake pandoro at Christmas and the fried pastry galani at the Carnival, which is one of the region's most famous events with its masks, fireworks and games like the Strength of Hercules. Veneto generally offers a great number of festivals and cultural events. The world-famous Opera Festival in Verona and the Biennale in the capital are only two of many examples.
Activities - Something for every taste
Veneto offers a great variety of leisure activities. Travellers can go hiking, climbing and do winter sports in the mountains of the Dolomites (popular skiing area: Cortina d'Ampezzo). The Adriatic Sea with its wonderful sandy beaches and the shores of Lake Garda invite visitors to go bathing and do water sports such as surfing, sailing, diving, fishing, kite-flying and water skiing. In addition, there are several aqua parks in Veneto, which are a special experience for adventurers and water fans. Other sporting activities in the Italian region are mountain biking, especially in the Asiago plateau, and golfing. Veneto is also excellently suited for spa or recreational holidays because the region accommodates countless thermal centres and springs (e.g. in Abano Terme, Montegrotto Terme and Teolo).
Since Veneto is so unbelievably diverse, there is not really one perfect time for travelling the region. Travellers should choose the time depending on their preferences and plans. Many holidaymakers visit the region between May and October because the weather is pleasantly warm at that time and sun, rather than rain, dominates the day. However, if you want to explore the mountain landscape of the Dolomites on skis or by snowboard, you should travel Veneto in the winter months.
Veneto is the ideal holiday destination for lovers of culture and art as well as for romantics. Sports fans and travellers who want to relax will enjoy spending time in this region too.