Stretching from Italy’s northeast and extending to the Dolomites mountain range and the Adriatic Sea, is the exquisite region of Veneto. Bordered to the east by Friuli Venezia Giulia (Friuli), to the south Emilia-Romagna, the west Lombardy and to the north Trento-Alto Adige/Sudtirol. There are seven provinces within the region, Venice (region capital) Belluno, Padua, Rovigo, Treviso, Verona and Vicenza each, holding a total of five million people – the 8th largest region in Italy. Each province is different in both landscape and cuisine.
Veneto is a place made up of many different faces. Natural and artistic treasures shape the region, whether it be by the expansive hills and rivers, canals or the Po River Delta located in the south. Everything as far as the eye can see is breathtaking – but why wouldn’t it be, it’s Italy of course.
Considered to be an ideal holiday location of leisure and comfort, Padua’s thermal baths and mud treatments have been enjoyed for centuries. Rich volcanic mud in Abano Terme and Montegrotto Terme has provided the area with pure mineral-rich volcanic ash which is said to hold valuable therapeutic benefits, such as the relief of joint pain, muscle strain, fractures, rheumatism, osteoporosis, gout and respiratory illness.
Full of desirability, the region has an endless amount of appeal both natural and artistic, including the much loved city Venice. This iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of intricate lagoons, islands and the Grand Canal, surrounded by buildings that recall the splendor of the ancient Maritime Republic. St Marks Square, which is located in the centre of Venice also known as Piazza San Marco and is considered to be the ‘world’s most elegant living room’, enclosed with spectacular architecture, full of history and passion.
Sit and relax at common meeting points within the square, where you can enjoy the blissful pianists playing, as you sip on your coffee, or enjoy a meal – just make sure your read the fine print and the city can be expensive with ‘music surcharges’ per person.
Padua the city of Saint’ Anthony, boasts one of the finest squares in Veneto and the Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel, which was completed in 1305 and is considered to be one of the most important masterpieces of Western Art. Even the smallest towns are soaked in history and culture; Asolo, a picturesque Medieval village which is also known as ‘The City of a Hundred Horizons’ for its mountain settings.
Another site in the UNESCO list is Verona’s historic centre, an exceptional combination of Renaissance, Medieval and Roman architectonic styles. The city is most famous for Juliet’s romantic balcony which is made famous by Shakespeare’s tragedy – Romeo and Juliet! Throughout the year thousands come to Casa di Giulietta to see this iconic balcony. Verona has limitless attractions including momentous castles and villas, and many remarkable gardens.
If visiting Verona in September, make sure you attend the annual “Risotto Festival” at Isola Della Scala which is 19 kilometres from the city of Verona. The event is based on the most traditional products of the Italian north east, Rice!
Risotto is a typical dish served within the region made with scallops, scampi and cuttlefish. If you are a wine lover you can follow the many wine trails from Bardolino to Pramaggiore which have become known for their wine production.
Interestingly the cuisine differs from one province to another, however the meals are prepared with three main ingredients; rice, vegetables and the regions staple polenta. Polenta is loved by the natives of Veneto and is prepared and eaten with meat, fish or cheese.
The most well known of sweet Veneto recipes is Tiramisù, a dessert that layers espresso dipped ladyfinger biscuits with a marsala or rum flavored cream filling made with mascarpone cheese and beaten eggs. Another famous sweet is the pandoro cake generally made for Christmas.
Veneto also boasts about their valued productions of red and white wines. Azienda Vitivinicola Borga, is a family owned business who’s interest for grape and wine started in 1940. Located in the region, the company continuously produces high quality wines and Prosecco which can only be produced within the region of Veneto. The production if grappa is also remarkable in Bassano del Grappa, named after the nearby mountain Monte Grappa.
A land of rolling hills, impressive architecture, history and rivers; Veneto is a breathtaking region which is rich is character and natural beauty.