Veneto’s soul is like the stupendous lagoon of Venice: visited by the multitudes and famous for its exceptional beauty, but also custodian of hidden jewels and wonderful secrets that render it unique in all the world.
Some of the most beautiful cities in Italy are in Veneto: first and foremost, the mythical Venice with its symbol of the winged lion and the dream-like fascination of its Byzantine charm, exploring the poetic canals by gondola, arriving at the awe-inspiring Canal Grande and the jubilation of Piazza San Marco, your head spinning with such endless, triumphant, unimaginable beauty. And then there is Carnivale, when Piazza San Marco explodes in a blaze of colors and costumes for the riotous festivities of one of the most ancient and famous carnivals in the world.
There is romantic Verona, with its Roman Arena, which hosts some of the most important concerts in Italy, and its Medieval streets, setting for the greatest love story in history, Romeo and Juliet, where romantics of all ages make the pilgrimage to Juliet’s house.
Nonetheless, all it takes is a small detour to get off the beaten path and discover the true nature of this region, full of local traditions and a unique and marvelous cuisine made with authentic ingredients of the highest quality. Let’s start from the Venetian lagoon, where we take the classic boat trip to the islands around Venice: Murano, home to the world-famous Venetian glass, still produced using ancient artisan techniques, moving on to the brightly colored houses of Burano, sailing on to Torcello, with its marvelous restaurant, and then setting off for the Minor Islands, thirty three tiny islands of indescribable beauty, full of historical and architectural treasures. All throughout Veneto there are tiny, hidden borghi to discover, magical places where time has stood still, their ancient courts enclosed in Medieval walls. Some are gracefully set on the shores of Lake Garda, others are perched on the rocky cliffs of the Dolomite Mountains that crown this region. These stupendous mountains are ideal for sports lovers, both for winter sports, and in the warmer months, trekking and mountain biking in the woods along the numerous mountain paths. And when you are in need of refreshment, head for the wineries of Valdobbiadene, the fresh and heady sparkling wine of the region.
If you are looking for rest and relaxation, Veneto is the place. It is not by chance that the famous Italian poet Ugo Foscolo chose this land as his private refuge and favorite place in the world, immortalized in his verses as the “ameni Colli Euganei”, the lovely Euganei Hills, which today have become one of the most beautiful regional parks in Italy.
A rare splendor illuminates the numerous aristocratic villas in the countryside around Venice. These regal, architectural marvels were home to the most important noble families in Venice, reflecting the majesty and grandeur of their dynasties. It is a breathtaking experience to walk through their frescoed salons, admiring the prestigious furniture of the period, and then wandering in delight through the Renaissance gardens with their ornamental plants and splendid fountains.
There is no better way to conclude your trip to Veneto than with a visit to Bassano del Grappa for a “Mezzo e Mezzo”, the classic aperitif of the area, to enjoy on a marvelous wooden bridge, famous for the passage of General Cadorna during the Great War. It is the perfect place to make peace with the world and depart refreshed and invigorated by all the marvels of this magnificent region.