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Veneto

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Thanks to Venice – capital city of the region – it is the first in Italy and among the first destinations in Europe in number of visitors: the reasons to visit the Veneto region are not limited to its extraordinary city on the water. Veneto holds art cities and small historic hamlets, nature oasis and mountains, fortified citadels, noble villas and holiday resorts by the sea and the lake.

 

Venice

Venice

 

Here the ten most famous destinations worth a trip that we recommend you to visit:

 

1. Venice: together with its lagoon an Unesco’s World Heritage Site, it’s an incredible city because of its huge artistic and historic treasures

 

2. The Palladian Villas: built around the mid-16th century, scattered in the province of Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and Rovigo, they are a key part of Palladio’s legacy

 

3. Dolomiti bellunesi: among the most beautiful mountains in the world, they include some of The Dolomites’ major groups, like the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, Marmolada, Monte Civetta

 

4. The Prosecco hills: in the hills embroidered with vines between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene an internationally renowned white wine is produced

 

5. Verona: the city of love and lyrical opera is an elegant city full of attractions

 

6. The Po River Delta: it is a large protected area of wetlands between the flow of Po di Goro and the Adige river inhabited by more than 300 species of birds, a popular destination for birdwatching

 

7. Lake Garda: along the eastern shore of the lake there are picturesque villages, but also thermal resorts, trekking opportunities and amusement parks

 

8. Cittadella: a fascinating walled city with medieval origins just a few kilometers from Padua

 

9. Padua: a refined city worth a visit even only for admiring the Giotto’s masterpieces in the Scrovegni Chapel

 

10. Bassano del Grappa: located at the foot of Monte Grappa, it’s famous for its covered wooden bridge designed by Palladio and its historic center.

 

Venice and its symbolic places are renown all over the world: St Mark's Square with its Campanile, the St Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, the Rialto Bridge, its palaces and its churches, its canals and its streets (the “calli”), as well as its Carnival and its Historical Regatta, the Venetian glass and the Burano laces.

 

Venice is not the only one in the Veneto region boasting a recognition as Unesco’s World Heritage Site: the protected places in Veneto include the city of Verona, with the Arena, its evocative historic center and the Juliet’s House, tied to the events of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, Vicenza and the Palladian Villas, the Botanical Garden of Padua, the oldest university botanical garden in the world (dating to the 1545), the Dolomites mountain range, where is the world’s biggest ski area and, last in order of time, the wine-growing area of the Prosecco Hills.

From cultural visits to sports activities, from mountain trekking to nature oasis, passing through relaxing thermal resorts, theme parks and villages full of history: anywhere in the Veneto region the activities to do are really varied and exciting to cater to the needs of any type of traveler.

 

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d'Ampezzo

 

On the mountains and the hills of the region, there are many hiking trails: the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is crossed by the Dolomites Alpine Ridgeways 1 and 2 and by a network of more than 200 kilometers of trails (overall 52 trails and 5 via ferratas) as well as theme paths and routes for horse-back riding and mountain-biking. A big classic for mountain lovers is the 52 Tunnel Road, on the Pasubio massif, an incredible masterpiece of military engineering built by the Italian Army during WWI, with a great landscape and historic value, as well as the “Sentiero delle Vedette”, winding across the Prosecco Hills, among galleries and trenches dating to the Great War as well.

 

Also on the Euganean Hills, in the province of Padua, there are about thirty hiking trails – like the “Alta Via dei Colli Euganei”, “Sentiero Atestino” and “Sentiero Naturalistico dei Colli Euganei Centrali” – but also itineraries for mountain-biking enthusiasts (among which a 63 km long ring trail), climbing walls and the Y-40 - The Deep Joy, the world’s deepest diving pool; in the Lessinia Park, between Verona and Mount Baldo, area with remarkable geological and naturalistic peculiarities, there are various trekking itineraries and fossil museums.

 

As for winter sports, the Veneto region a total of 549 kilometers of ski slopes where skiers and snowboarders can have a great time in sight of sensational sceneries, in the most beautiful mountains in the world. In Cortina D’Ampezzo, the “Queen of the Dolomites”, a famous holiday resort and international jet-set destination, there are 120 kilometers of slopes, besides a snow park, 60 kilometers for cross-county skiing and sled tracks. In the Arabba/Marmolada ski area, instead, you can ski along 63 kilometers of very scenic slopes, just one step away from the Sellaronda ski circuit (40 kilometers among Arabba, Val Gardena, Alta Badia and Val di Fassa) at the foot of her majesty the Marmolada, the highest peak of the Dolomites, going cross-country skiing or having fun in the snow park with activities also for families. In the Civetta ski area, among Alleghe, Selva di Cadore and Val di Zoldo, there are 80 kilometers of slopes and two snow parks with the possibility to ski at night.

 

Veneto is one of the Italian regions with the highest number of cycle paths: among the most interesting itineraries are GiraSile, the Greenway del Sile, a network of 125 kilometers bike lanes (also to travel by boat) crossing the Regional Nature Park of the Sile River, in the Treviso area; in the province of Treviso you can also cycle along the Treviso – Ostiglia Cycle Path that runs parallel to the old railway line: 118 kilometer-long, it crosses all the region till the province of Mantua. On the Asiago Plateau, there are many itineraries for mountain biking, from easy trails also suitable for families to more demanding itineraries, like the “Giro delle Malghe”, “Strada del Vecchio Trenino” and itineraries on Mount Ortigara, a symbol of the First World War. If you want something more than just a bike ride, you can dedicate yourself to bicycle touring along the long-distance Cycle Path from Venice to Munich (560 kilometer long), passing through Italy, Austria and Germany. In the Po River Delta, between Veneto and Emilia Romagna, you can cycle through various nature trails, a real safari by bike (the Po River Delta is perfect for birdwatching): here you can also enjoy nature photography, have excursions by boat, kayak or go horseback riding.

 

Along its 160 kilometer-long coastline Veneto offers many water sports activities: between Bibione and Cavallino you can enjoy beach volley, sailing, surfing, water ski, bike rides; water sports like sailing, boating or diving are also possible on Lake Garda. Golf enthusiasts have available a lot of 18- or 27-hole golf courses anywhere in the region, from the countryside to the hills, from the seaside to the mountains: among the many golf courses are Golf Club di Verona, or Golf Club Villafranca, in Custoza, the Golf Club Padova, the Circolo Golf di Asiago, or the Circolo del Golf Venezia.

 

As for relaxation and wellness, Abano Terme and Montegrotto, on the Euganean Hills, offer many resorts for thermal treatments and mud therapy; Bibione, a famous holiday resort by the sea, has big thermal pools and SPAs where you can enjoy mud-bath therapy; the Parco Termale del Garda of Villa dei Cedri, in Colà di Lazise, a few steps from Lake Garda, is well-known for its thermal lakes immersed in a park of centuries-old trees.

 

Attending a concert or an opera show at the Verona Arena is one-of-a-kind experience, possibly on occasion of the Arena Opera Festival, an important opera festival that takes place in the summer. Wine exerts can go discovering one of the many Wine Routes (sixteen all over the region), from Valpolicella to the Euganean Hills, from the Prosecco Hills wine route to the Piave or Bardolino wine route.

 

For the entertainment of kids must-see places are the fun parks in the Garda area like Gardaland, the Sealife aquarium, the movie studios of Movieland, the CanevaWorld waterpark, the Medieval Times park in Lazise, the Natura Viva Nature Park and the Parco Giardino Sigurtá.

 

Among the unmissable events in the region: the Festa del Redentore is held on the third Sunday of July in Venice, while on the first Sunday of September the Historical Regatta; between late August and early September the Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the world which is part of the events of the Venice Biennale (that organizes events also dedicated to art, architecture, music, theatre and dance); the human chess game in Marostica, held on the second week-end in September of even-numbered years, and Vinitaly, an international wine exhibition that takes place every year in April in Verona.

It’s a cuisine with ancient roots, that thanks to Venice – gateway to the East for Europe – was the first to welcome tastes and ingredients coming from all over the world, like corn, sugar, codfish and rice. Four are the main ingredients of the Venetian cooking: rice, polenta, beans and baccalà (salted codfish), prepared in an innumerable number of variations in the various areas of the region and combined with a large number of vegetables, like Radicchio Rosso di Treviso, Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco, white asparagus or onions.

 

Baccalà alla vicentina

Baccalà alla vicentina

 

To open the appetite a good meal can start with patè di fegato alla veneziana, veal liver with onions, a tagliere of typical cured meats, for example soppressa or horse salami or cheese (like Asiago, Montasio or Provolone Valpadana), sarde in saor, sardines seasoned with onions and a sweet and sour sauce that you find anytime with the “cicchetti”, the typical small snacks of Venice you can enjoy in the traditional “bàcari” (bars or osterie).

 

In the selection of first courses we can’t not mention pasta e fasoi alla veneta, a tasty bean soup of the traditional peasant cuisine, or risi e bisi, rice with peas halfway between a risotto and a soup, or bigoli, a kind of long pasta widespread all over Veneto, to taste in many variations, possibly with duck meat sauce (bigoli co l'arna) or with onion and sardines (bigoli co le sardele).

 

Among the second courses who steals the show is baccalà, salted codfish to enjoy for example alla vicentina, with tomatoes, capers and onions, or mantecato, a delicate cream prepared with oil, garlic and parsley; another famous second course is also fegato alla veneta, veal liver cooked with onions, lumachine alla veneta, snea snails cooked with garlic and parsley, or spezzatino di musso, donkey meat stewed with red wine and vegetables, accompanied with yellow or white polenta.

 

Among the desserts worth recommending are tiramisù, common all over Italy but seemingly born in Vicenza, pinza, a dessert prepared with dried fruits and a small glass of grappa, fregolotta, a dry short-crust pastry made with almonds and flavoring, and, at Christmas, Pandoro, a Christmas dessert typical of Verona.

 

If you love streetfood, you can indulge with cicchetti with meatballs, crostini con il baccalà (toasted bread with salted codfish), sarde in saor, cured meats and cheese with a good glass of wine or a Spritz, or a cartoccio di pesce fritto (fried fish served in a paper cone), polenta and salsiccia (sausage) or panino col fromai (cheese sandwich) and pastin, minced pork and beef meat similar to a sausage.

 

The Veneto region is a land of prized wines: wine experts can’t not appreciate Amarone della Valpolicella, an Italian DOCG denomination dry red wine produced exclusively in the Valpolicella area, in the province of Verona, Soave Superiore, a DOCG white wine of the Verona area, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiabene, a DOCG white wine produced on the hills of Treviso, or Bardolino Superiore, a red wine typical of Lake Garda.

BY PLANE

 

The Venice International Airport, 13 kilometers from downtown Venice, is one of the major airports in northern Italy. It is connected to Venezia Mestre and Venezia Santa Lucia railway stations by a bus service (travel time 20-25 minutes). Buses of line 5 ACTV and line 35 ATVO VENEZIA EXPRESS connect the airport with Venice-Piazzale Roma (main connection between mainland and Venice’s historical center); buses of line 15 ACTV and line 25 ATVO MESTRE EXPRESS connect the airport to Mestre railway station and downtown Mestre; the line 45 ACTV operates connections along the line Mestre - Favaro - Tessera.

 

You can reach several other destinations:

 

ATVO: operates connections to Treviso, Portogruaro, Pordenone, the main sea resorts in Veneto (Jesolo, Cavallino, Eraclea, Bibione, Lignano), Cortina D’Ampezzo, Alpago, Val Zoldana and Val Pusteria

 

FSBusitaliaveneto: operates connections to Padua, Abano Terme, Montegrotto Terme

 

Cortina Express: operates connections to more than 50 mountain resorts in the areas of Longarone, Tai, Cortina

 

Dolomiti Ski Shuttle: in winter operates connections to Arabba, Marmolada, Alleghe, Falcade, Canale D'Agordo, Selva di Cadore and Val di Zoldo

 

Fly Ski Shuttle: every Saturday and Sunday in winter operates connections to Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme and San Martino di Castrozza

 

NOMAGO: operates connections to Lubiana

 

Flixbus: operates connections to many Italian and European destinations

 

The Treviso Airport is just outside Treviso, 25 kilometers from Venice and 37 kilometers from Padua. Buses of the line 6 ACTT connect the airport to the Treviso railway station. In addition:

 

MOM - MobilitàDiMarca: operates connections to downtown Treviso, the Treviso railway station and Padua

 

FS Bus Italia Veneto: operates connections to Padua

 

ATVO: operates connections to Piazzale Roma, Venezia Santa Lucia railway station, Mestre railway station and the Venice airport; in summer operates connections to Lido di Jesolo, Cavallino, Punta Sabbioni, Eraclea Mare, Porto Santa Margherita, Caorle, Bibione

 

Barzi Service: operates connections to Venezia Santa Lucia railway station, Venezia Mestre and Tronchetto

 

Dolomiti Ski Shuttle: in winter connects to Arabba, Marmolada, Alleghe, Falcade, Canale D'Agordo, Selva di Cadore and Val di Zoldo

 

NOMAGO: operates connections to Ljubljana

 

Flixbus: operates connections to Ljubljana

 

The Verona Airport is 12 kilometers away from downtown Verona. The airport is connected to Verona Porta Nuova railway station by a daily shuttle service (travel time 15 minutes).

 

ATV: In summer, the line 164 operates connections to Lake Garda (Torri, Brenzone, Malcesine every 30', to Riva del Garda every hour)

 

Fly Ski Shuttle: in winter operates connections to the ski resorts of Madonna di Campiglio – Pinzolo – Val Rendena, Val di Sole, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme and San Martino di Castrozza

 

BY TRAIN

 

Trenitalia and Italo high-speed trains connect the stations of Venezia Santa Lucia, Venezia Mestre, Verona Porta Nuova and Padova to all major Italian cities (Milan, Turin, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples). Long-distance trains from Venezia Santa Lucia reach destinations like Paris, Vienna, Munich and Geneva as well as the luxury trains of the Simplon Orient Express line; from Verona Porta Nuova long-distance trains reach Innsbruck, Munich as well as the Nice-Moscow train.