Veneto is the most heavily visited part of Italy, with its tremendous historical, artistic, cultural and environmental heritage that draws tens of millions of tourists from around the world. With all its natural beauty and the greatest heights of artistic achievements attained by man, any sort of vacation is possible in the Veneto.
The first step in any journey to explore the region is without doubt Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage site with its lakes, islands, and Grand Canal running past old palaces, whose rich decorations evoke the splendor of the ancient Maritime Republic. Venice is also famous for its historic Carnival and Piazza San Marco. Another site added to UNESCO’s list is Verona, an example of how Renaissance, Medieval, and Roman architecture can be integrated together. The symbol of the city is Juliette’s romantic balcony, made famous by Shakespeare’s tragedy, and the Arena which in the summertime is transformed into an open air concert hall.
In the Veneto even the nature is excellent: the Dolomites have recently been added to the world heritage list, thanks to their distinctive shape and the alluring play of light between the rocks. It is an ideal place for those who love to ski: an immense district with kilometers of trails and well-equipped locations, above all Cortina, the “pearl” of the Dolomites, exclusive and elegant.
In the regional cuisine one finds polenta, prepared and flavored as an accompaniment to dishes with meat, fish, and cheese. Other typical dishes are fagioli di Lamo (Lamo beans) Bassano del Grappa asparagus, Veronese celery-turnip and the red radicchio of Treviso. Other regional specialties are the soapa calda, a soup with pigeon meat and chicken; near the Alpine zone you can sample mushrooms and venison, while further up the mountains one finds Asiago and its celebrated cheese. A Venetian specialty is steamed eel (bisato). Traditionally there are many desserts, among them frittelle, zaletti, Carnival galani and pandoro di Verona, now a national favorite.
The wines are highly regarded, among them Amarone, Breganze Bianco, Bardolino and Soave. Raisin wines find their highest expression in the Recioto di Soave; the spumantis are renowned, among them Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene and the grappas, Bassano del Grappa and Conegliano.