Most travellers to the Veneto are so dazzled by Venezia that they neglect the rest of the region. The region certainly deserves lots of time, but you should try to set aside extra days to see Giotto's extraordinary frescoes at Padova and to take in an opera at Verona's Roman Arena. Vicenza, which was the home town of the architect Palladio, is also well worth a stop-over, perhaps on your way to the northern reaches of the Veneto for a visit to Cortina, one of the world's most famous ski resorts, and for some trekking in the eastern Dolomiti.
The region's cuisine is founded on rice and corn. Polenta is fried, served with hearty game stews and included in other maincourse dishes across the region. Risotto is cooked with almost everything the countryside and lagoon have to offer, from babypeas to shellfish and game, although al local favourite is risotto flavoured with the ink of seppia. The wine list provides some of Italy's most popular wines, including Soave, a fine white that is well known in the USA, the UK and Australia. The light, sparkling Prosecco and Bardolino red wines are also known widely. Getting around is easy. The A4, which runs between Torino and Venezia, bisects the region and there is an efficient bus and train network which means that few parts are out of reach.
Perhaps no other city in the world has inspired the superlatives that have been heaped upon Venezia (Venice) by great writers and travellers through the centuries. Forget that Venezia is no longer a great maritime republic and that its buildings are in serious decay and constantly threatened by rising tides. The secret to really seeing and discovering the romance and beauty of Venezia is to walk. The city's busiest months are between June and September, during Carnevale, which takes place in February, and at Easter, but it is always a good idea to make a hotel booking.
City:: Belluno, Padova, Rovigo, Treviso, Venezia, Verona, Vicenza
Superficie: kmq 18365
National Parks: Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi (1990).