Veneto, North of Italy

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One of the best known regions of Italy, Veneto stands out for its most impressive array of landmark monuments and architectural feats.

Within this area alone, you will find the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, the renowned Arena of Verona (a Roman amphitheater built in the 1st century), and in Padua, the Scrovegni Chapel and the Basilica of St. Anthony. Veneto was also home to a plethora of world-renowned artists including Titian, Tintoretto and Tiepolo, whose paintings are displayed in the most prominent museums of the world.
At Viandando we have tailored a number of iconic experiences dedicated to exposing you to the special experiences that are singular to this region. Imagine a romantic, Venetian evening gondola ride under the Ponte de’Sospiri (which literally means the ‘bridge of sighs’); experience a spellbinding night of music at the Arena di Verona where famous operas by Verdi or Puccini are produced each year with magnificent choreographies.  And a visit to the edgy contemporary Art Gallery ‘Casa dei Carraresi’ in Treviso, or a private boat excursion on the Brenta Canal – connecting Venice to its glorious surroundings, including the famous Palladian Villas – are definitely on the ‘must do’ list.

FOOD & WINE EXPERIENCES

Amarone, Bardolino, Valpolicella: these are just three of a number of excellent wines produced in Veneto. At Viandando we love to craft tailor-made tours for our customers, including the crème of cellars where such wines are developed. Join us to discover all the secrets of a wine production process, from the picking of the grapes to the guarded intricacies of bottling the final product. Through Viandando, you will
discover Valpolicella, a region rich in vineyards and cellars, where wine enthusiasts will be able to taste the delicious, full-bodied Amarone (a red wine which is highly valued) and Recioto, a sweet white wine with longstanding traditions. Another important wine area is the Euganean Hills, where numerous wines from the classic Cabernet and Merlot to the dry Pinello and sparkling Serprino are produced And we cannot forget the wine areas of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, where the famed sparkling white wines including Prosecco of Valdobbiadene and Conegliano Prosecco have conquered the world.

CULTURAL EXPERIENCES

Some of the most distinctive Italian cities lie in the spectacular natural setting of the Veneto. This region features a dazzling array of iconic museums, magnificent palazzos and unique monuments. Visit Venice, which some believe is the most romantic city in the world, wander through its picturesque canals crossed by gondolas, be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning islands of Burano, Murano and Torcello accompanied by our awarded expert guides and experts of History and Arts. We highly recommend an outing to Verona, where notes of Verdi’s Aida resonate each summer in the magnificent Arena. In Vicenza you will also discover the refined architectural buildings by Andrea Palladio, most of which have been proclaimed World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. Verona is also home to the tragic saga of Romeo & Juliet. And to truly bridge the past to the present, we shall include a visit to Montagnana, one of the most beautiful fortified villages of Europe, where Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was actually shot.

FOCUS

Veneto (/ˈvnəˌt/ or /ˈvɛnət/,[4] Italian: [ˈvɛːneto]) or Venetia (/vɪˈnʃə/[5]Latin: Venetia; Venetian: Vèneto; more specifically Venezia Euganea)[6] is one of the twenty regions of Italy. Its population is about five million, ranking fifth in Italy. The region’s capital and largest city is Venice.

Veneto was part of the Roman Empire until the 5th century AD. Later, after a feudal period, it was part of the Republic of Venice until 1797. Venice ruled for centuries over one of the largest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it was ceded to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. The Statute of Veneto describes Venetians as a “people”.[7]

Besides Italian, most inhabitants also speak Venetian. Having been for a long period in history a land of mass emigration, Veneto is today one of the greatest immigrant-receiving regions in the country, with 454,453 foreigners (9.30% of the regional population) in 2008, the most recent of which are Romanian and Moroccan.[8]

The region is home to a notable nationalist movement. The region’s largest party is the Venetist/Padanist Liga Veneta, a founding member of Lega Nord. The current President of Veneto is Luca Zaia (Liga Veneta–Lega Nord), re-elected in 2015 with 50.1% of the vote and the support of Lega Nord, Forza Italia and minor parties.

Veneto is the 8th largest region in Italy, with a total area of 18,398.9 km2 (7,103.9 sq mi). It is located in the north-eastern part of Italy and is bordered to the east by Friuli Venezia Giulia, to the south by Emilia-Romagna, to the west by Lombardy and to the north by Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. At its northernmost corner it borders also on Austria.

The north-south extension of Veneto is 210 km (130 mi) from the Austrian border to the mouth of the River Po. By area, 29% of its surface is mountainous (Carnic Alps, eastern Dolomites and Venetian Prealps). The highest massif in the Dolomites is the Marmolada-massif at 3,342 m (10,965 ft). Other dolomitic peaks are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Pale di San Martino. The Venetian Prealps are not as high and range between 700 m (2,300 ft) and 2,200 m (7,200 ft). A distinctive characteristic of the Pre-alps are the cave formations, including chasms and sink holes; the Spluga della Preta, situated in the Monte Lessini chain in the province of Verona, has an explored depth of 985 m (3,232 ft), being the deepest cave in Italy. Fossil deposits are also abundant there.

The Po Valley, covering 57% of Veneto, extends from the mountains to the Adriatic sea, broken only by some low hills: Euganean Hills, Berici Hills Colli Asolani and Montello, which constitute the remaining 14% of the territory. The plain itself is subdivided into the higher plain (gravel-strewn and not very fertile) and the lower plain (rich in water sources and arable terrain). The lower plain is both a mainstay of agricultural production and the most populated part of the region.

Several rivers flow through the region: the Po, Adige, Brenta, Bacchiglione, Livenza, Piave, and Tagliamento. The eastern shore of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda, belongs to Veneto. The coastline covers approximately 200 km (120 mi), of which 100 km (62 mi) are beaches.

The coasts of the Adriatic Sea are characterised by the Venetian Lagoon, a flat terrain with ponds, marshes and islands. The Po Delta to the south features sandbars and dunes along the coastline. The inland portion contains cultivable land recently reclaimed by a system of canals and dykes. Fish ponds have been created there as well. The delta and the lagoon are a stopping-point for migratory birds.

Veneto’s morphology is characterised by its:[9]

  • mountains (montagna): 5,359.1 km2 (2,069.2 sq mi), (117 comuni being classified as mountainous);
  • hills (collina): 2,663.9 km2 (1,028.5 sq mi), (120 hilly comuni);
  • and plains (pianura): 10,375.9 km2 (4,006.2 sq mi), (344 comuni mostly situated in the Po Valley).

Cuisine is an important part of the culture of Veneto, and the region is home to some of the most recognisable dishes, desserts and wines in Italian, European and worldwide cuisine.

Veneto is an important wine-growing area producing: Soave, Bardolino, Recioto, Amarone, Torcolato, Prosecco, Tocai Rosso, Garganega, Valpolicella, Verduzzo, Raboso, Moscato, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Merlot. Homemade wine making is widespread. After making wine, the alcohol of the pressed grapes is distilled to produce grappa or graspa, as it is called in the local language.

Prosecco is a dry sparkling wine.[53][54] It is made from a variety of white grape of the same name, which is traditionally grown in an area near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso.[53] The name of Prosecco is derived from the northern Italian village of Prosecco (Trieste), where this grape variety is believed to have originated.[54][55]

Spritz, in the Venetian language also called “spriss” or “spriseto” depending on the area, usually consists of ⅓ sparkling wine and ⅔ Aperol. Campari or gin may also be used.

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