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Veneto

Veneto is like a love story, romantic and multi-faceted. Its beauty is dazzling and indisputable with its wealth of scenery, art and culture. But it is also full of hidden charm just waiting to be discovered. Venice, that famous jewel unlike any other place in the world, set in its lagoon dressed up with carnival masks. Cortina d’Ampezzo, the queen of the Dolomites, whether snow-covered or green, always framed in thrilling rosy sunsets. Jesolo, Bibione, Cavallino and Caorle on the Adriatic Sea, with their long sandy beaches. Verona and Juliet’s balcony, made eternal by Shakespeare. Vicenza and the classic style of architect Andrea Palladio. Padua and Giotto’s masterpiece in the Scrovegni Chapel. Even if this love lasts a lifetime, you may not have enough time to enjoy it all.

It has been populated for over three thousand years, a gem since Roman times, eventually united as the Most Serene Republic of Venice. To mention only the most important figures that of Veneto’s cultural and artistic history, we find Giotto, Donatello, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Andrea Palladio and finally Canova, Tiepolo and the artists of the academy of fine arts. The population maintains the traditional identity seen in the typical celebrations of folklore.

Rice, polenta, cod and beans are the four pillars of the traditional cuisine of Veneto. It is rich and varied, with three different geographical areas clearly distinguished: the coast and lagoon, which privileges fish from both freshwater and saltwater; the inland plain, mainly tied to agricultural products; and the mountains, where pastoralism is exalted. With its delicate flavours with Oriental influences, who is not eager to try the famous risi e bisi?

Murano glass and Burano lace for beauty and quality may well suffice to satisfy your urge to shop. But don’t forget that the Riviera del Brenta is not only home to charming villas but also a famous footwear district where elegance and sophistication surround. Lovers of luxury will love to lose themselves in Venice, in Rialto, Mercerie, San Marco and Calle Larga XXII Marzo. Of course there is no shortage of major outlets, the finest example being McArthurGlen Designer in Noventa del Piave.

With plains, hills, rivers, lagoons, mountains, lakes and wetlands, Veneto is like stepping into a painting. You’ll discover enchanting spots such as the summits of the Dolomites among coniferous woods, endless meadows and pastures, Lake Garda with its five small islands and the beaches of the Po delta, in beguiling, unspoilt natural surroundings. Enchanting landscapes and magical settings to explore on foot, on horseback, by boat or by bicycle. Whatever the season, these itineraries promise the best.

Are you by chance a sports enthusiast? Let us warn you that you’ll be spoilt for choice here. There are six different cycling itineraries in the province of Padua, with maps to download and navigate by GPS. For horse lovers, two equestrian routes follow the Piave and Brenta rivers. Lake Garda and its shores are famous for their international sailing competitions. And in the Dolomites in the winter you’ll find the finest of alpine sports, while the rest of the year you can enjoy the thrills of the many hiking trails.

Veneto is also the ideal destination for those looking for well-being and relaxation. Among the rolling Euganean Hills, hot water springs come to the surface after a long journey that begins in the Prealps. These thermal waters, with their precious therapeutic properties, are exploited in the well-known facilities at Abano Terme, Montegrotto Terme and Teolo. Balneotherapy, hydrokinetic therapy, mud therapy and massages and spa treatments of all kinds are just waiting for you.

Who hasn’t heard of Venice’s Carnevale? It is one of the most famous and well-loved celebrations in the world, rich in charm and mystery, with its 900 years of history, described as far back as Goldoni’s works. Who wouldn’t want to be in the audience at the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheatre that hosts the famous opera festival in summer with international singers and musicians? Who doesn’t dream of Gardaland, the largest amusement park in Italy with its fantastic, every-changing attractions? Youngsters and not-so-youngsters will go wild!

On 12 and 13 June, Padua dresses up for the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua. The city presents a full calendar of religious celebrations, events and fairs for the faithful and the pilgrims that swarm the city. Another religious festival worth mentioning is the Venetian Festa del Redentore, on the third Sunday in July. With banquets, dances and fireworks, it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s deliverance of the city from a sixteenth-century plague. The fascinating procession reaches the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer by crossing a long bridge of barges.

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