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The Secrets of Veneto Italy

Veneto Italy is the home region of my family, join me, Maria, in exploring this region...

Apart from Venice, Verona, and Lake Garda this is a region that remains largely undiscovered by the tourist masses.

In a way, the Veneto is Italy in one region. Much that is wonderful about Italy is packed into one easily visited corner: mountains, coastlines, ancient cities, lakes, vineyards, and hilltop villages. Don't have time to see all of Italy? Don't worry, just vist the Veneto and you'll get a pretty good taste of the best of Italy rolled into one small package.

For more photos see our pictures of Venice Italy & Veneto page.

Vicenza, Veneto, ItalyVicenza

The foothills of the Alps (Dolomites) are where my family is from, and this area is rich in wonderful villages, picturesque hill towns, and world-renowned vineyards. Most of my family lives in a little place called Piovene Rocchette or in the nearby village of Santorso, neither is on any tourist route, but both are pleasant towns to spend a morning in.

Let's start our exploration. If you get lost at any time, click here to view our map page.

P.S. Lake Garda, Verona and Venice have there own dedicated sections.  Click the links to visit them.

Can't figure out where to go? Click for our ready-made itinerary!

Cities & Larger Towns of the Veneto

VicenzaVicenza

Vicenza

My home town, Piovene Rocchette  is just up the road from Vicenza.

Vicenza is marvelous, though I am naturally a little biased. Vicenza is a very pleasant place to base yourself while exploring the Veneto. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is well worth spending a few days in and around the town exploring the Palladian Villas for which it is globally famous.

Vicenza is the famous home of the Italian gold jewelry industry so bring plenty of money with you! 

Here are some more activities you can do in Vicenza:

—> Visit a cheese and dairy farm, a winery, try liqueurs and spirits and visit a ham and sausage factory

—> Palladian Classic - Vicenza 1 Day Experience

—> Small-group Street food tour in Vicenza


PaduaPadua

Padua

Padua is a prosperous and elegant place. Home to one of the world's oldest universities, it has a lot to offer the visitor, including superb architecture, botanical gardens, a great cathedral, and the Scrovegni Chapel famous for its Giotto frescoes. Here's our guide to Padova.

Treviso BridgeTreviso

Treviso

A pleasant enough town but sadly often overlooked. Here you can take part in cooking classes, go on a walking tour of the city, or enjoy a prosecco tour with a certified sommelier.

Ryanair has plenty of flights to Treviso (Venice Treviso Airport) but most of the passengers jump on the first bus to Venice. My advice is to spend a day or two here if you have the time. Treviso is one of the friendliest towns in the Veneto, with a great atmosphere. Here's everything you need to plan a trip.

View of Belluno in winterBelluno

Belluno

Belluno is a place that really must be visited. Most people have never even heard of it but perhaps it's better like that.

You won’t find many tourists in what is a gorgeous town in every way. Belluno is situated on the edge of the Dolomites and borders the spectacular 32,000 hectares of Belluno National Park. Discover Belluno here.

Bassano del Grappa view from the river

Bassano del Grappa

Great grappa, cheese, and food are all to be enjoyed in this marvelous, nearly two thousand year-old town. The wooden bridge over the Brenta River, designed by Palladio in the 16th century, is the architectural highlight.

The good news is that you can combine the bridge and great grappa all at the same time as the main grappa brewery has a shop on the bridge Be warned, though, that this is potent stuff! More here.

The Villages & Smaller Towns of the Veneto 

Soave Castle and villageSoave

Soave

Home to one of Italy’s most famous wines, named by Dante in the 13th century for its smooth taste. Soave is a picturesque walled town, surrounded by rolling hills covered with vineyards and with an impressive castle. Well worth a visit. 

—> book a castle tour and wine tour here

ChioggiaChioggia

Chioggia

A lovely little town that is like a mini Venice, minus all the crowds and high prices. The Thursday market is huge, one of the best in the entire region, with some real bargains for shoes and clothes. Besides the shopping, there are lovely churches and picturesque canals in abundance.

Once you are done shopping and sightseeing, the town has some really good seafood restaurants that are a lot cheaper than anything in the heart of Venice.

Traveling with young children? Then a beach day is a fabulous break from sightseeing for them and there is a huge beach in neighboring Sottomarina. It is absolutely perfect for a family day out at the beach and it's only a 20-minute walk away from Chioggia. More on this and the other lovely beaches near Venice here.

AsoloAsolo

Asolo

After an hour's drive from Venice, you will find the Veneto's best kept secrets - Asolo, the famous " city of a hundred horizons." Asolo is rated as one of the loveliest towns in all of Italy and if you are visiting the Veneto make the time to visit. Explore Asolo here.

Arqua Petrarca

Apart from being among the best preserved medieval villages in Italy, Arqua Petrarca has a glorious setting in the lush green hills of the Colli Euganei Regional Park. If that isn't enough the best thermo-spas in Italy are a short distance away. Read more about Arqua Petrarca.

Marostica

A wonderfully charming medieval festival is held in this village annually. Even if you can't visit during festival time you are in for a real treat with quaint cobbled streets, character-filled piazzas and some fabulous restaurants. There are also two castles and some wonderful walks in and around the village. Here's more on Marostica.

CaorleCaorle

Caorle

An intriguing little town on the doorsteps of Venice, just waiting to be explored.  A true gem of a destination that literally has it all, from long sandy beaches to adventurous cycle paths and more.  Make sure you spend a good few days here to soak up the town's immense history and summer sun!  Caorle awaits!

AllegheAlleghe

Alleghe

A tiny mountain village on the edge of one of Italy's most spectacular lakes. In winter, it is a busy ski resort but in summer, it reverts back to being a peaceful place with stunning hikes and cycle routes through the surrounding mountains. Plan your visit here.

Asiago

Asiago, home to some wonderful cheese, is an attractive town. Probably better known as a winter ski town, it is very pleasant in summer too. Some great hikes can be had in the lovely nearby countryside and Asiago is a very good place to try traditional Veneto country-style cooking.

Arsiero and Posina

Two little towns with important family connections for me as my father grew up here. You won’t find any great monuments, buildings or art galleries here, just genuine and one hundred percent authentic Italian mountain villages in breathtakingly magnificent settings. There's also a walk that rates among the very best in Italy - here are the details.

Borghetto sul MincioBorghetto sul Mincio

Borghetto Sul Mincio

Tiny and perfect. Ancient mills, a castle, quaint cottages and an unforgettable cycling path along the river. I nearly forgot the Tortellini, the area is the original home to this type of pasta, so if you love your pasta you'll LOVE Borgetto.

Portobuffole

They like eating things like tripe, little wild birds and livers here. Still you shouldn't hold that against the warm and welcoming residents of this charming village. You'll be enchanted the moment you cross the bridge and enter the town walls. Here's our Portobuffole guide.

BreganzeBreganze

Breganze and Thiene

Near Piovene Rocchette (my home town) are these two towns I love. They never get visited by tourists, although they are really fabulous little gems. Few towns could be better options if you've ever thought about living in Italy. Discover them both here. 

The Veneto Spas

Veneto Italy is renowned for having some of the best spas in Europe. There is something for everyone and the range includes the world’s highest spa through to some of the most luxurious spa resorts to be found anywhere. Read our complete guide to the best of these spas.

Dolomites Italy

Wines, Beaches & Mountains

Wine Routes

The Veneto is one of Italy's major wine-producing regions. Many of the names from this area are well known throughout the world – names such as Prosecco, Soave and Pinot Grigio. Each of the different routes have completely different characteristics and yet each one, in its own way, is very special.

Brenta Canal

A day trip down the Brenta Canal from Padua to Venice Italy is worthwhile if you have the time. It is not a cheap outing at around 80 Euros per person, but it does make for an interesting trip. This is the best way to view the summer residences built by Venetian nobility dating from the 16th century and gives you an insight into the importance of this area to Venice. Here's everything you need to know.

Dolomites

The Dolomites had a huge role in shaping the history of Venice Italy and the Veneto.

These mountains are very different in character to the western Alps. There is so much to do here both summer and winter. The choice includes some of the towns and villages mentioned earlier through to world class ski resorts and superb national parks.

The Belluno National Park is my favorite but the Parco Dolimiti d'Ampezzo is spectacular too and is very popular with mountain bikers and Italian mountain climbers.

—> get the most beautiful trekking in the Dolomites here.

Beach near Venice, Italy

Veneto's Beaches

Veneto has some very good beaches, these are the best ones. Although not quite Sardinia these beaches are as good as you are likely to find in the north of Italy.

I am kind of a beach specialist, having spent hours lying on them, swimming in the sea off them, and generally undertaking lots of similar painstaking research. My husband is even better at this than me. If you clicked on the Sardinia link, you'll find that many of the beaches were reviewed by him.

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More Travel Tips:

  1. Book your tickets to museums and other attractions in advance on Tiqets.com
  2. Book your accommodation. Booking.com and Agoda help you to book accommodation in advance
  3. Book your excursions. Wherever you go, make the most of your time! Excursions with professional guides will help you do this - choose a location and the best option for yourself on Viator or Getyourguide
  4. Book your car. At least a month before is best. Use Discover Car Hire.
  5. Cash Back on Flights: Great deals & money back with WayAway
  6. Get peace of mind when traveling. Get insured with VisitorsCoverage.com

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