The northern region of Veneto has mountainous areas, valleys and coastlines. It is also home to the beautiful, historic city of Venice with its canals, lagoons and islands. The northern part of the region is overlooked by the majestic Dolomites.
Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule. Its capital was, and still is,Venice, which ruled for centuries one of the largest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world.Once the heartland of the Venetian Republic, Veneto is today among the wealthiest, most developed and industrialised regions of Italy. Having one of the country’s richest historical, natural, artistic, cultural, musical and culinary heritages, it is also one of the most visited regions of Italy, with about 60 million tourists every year.
Veneto is the 8th largest region in Italy. It is located in the north-eastern part of Italy. Veneto can be divided into four areas: the northern Alpine zone, the hill zone, the lower plain and the coastal territory. More than a quarter of its surface is mountainous – the Carnic Alps, the eastern Dolomites and the Venetian Pre-alps. A distinctive characteristic of the Pre-alps are the cave formations, including chasms and sink holes; the Spluga della Preta, situated in the Monte Lessini chain in the province of Verona, has an explored depth of 985 m , being the deepest cave in Italy. Fossil deposits are also abundant there. The Po Valley covers over half of Veneto. This valley consists of a plain extending from the mountains to the Adriatic sea, broken only by some low hills: Colli Berici, Colli Euganei, Colli Asolani and Montello. Several rivers flow through the region: the Po, Adige, Brenta, Bacchiglione, Livenza, Piave, and Tagliamento. The eastern shore of the largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda, belongs to Veneto. The coastline covers approximately 200 km, of which 100 km are beaches. The coasts of the Adriatic Sea are characterized by the Venetian Lagoon, a flat terrain with ponds, marshes and islands. The Po Delta to the south features sandbars and dunes along the coastline. The inland portion contains cultivable land recently reclaimed by a system of canals and dykes. Fish ponds have been created there as well. The delta and the lagoon are a stopping-point for migratory birds.
Juliet’s House is located in the Via Cappello, which runs off the Piazza delle Erbe. The house is a tall building with a fine brick facade and dates back to the 13th century. Tradition has it that this was the house that belonged to the Capulets, whose coat-of-arms is visible above the inner arch-way of the court-yard, the powerful Veronese family to which Juliet belonged.
The Arena di Verona is situated on the Piazza Bra and was built in AD 30. At that time this area was outside the city walls, the Emperor Gallienus later extended the walls so to protect the arena. The arena (or Ampitheatre) could seat more than 30,000 spectators who would come from far and wide to see the gladiatorial games, hunts and other spectacular events which ,even in those days were famous.
The Scaliger family had their church close to the Town Hall near what is now the Piazza dei Signori, and they placed their cemetery outside. The small church of Santa Maria Antica dates back to the 7th century and has a very striking interior. The Scaliger family ruled Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century.
The cuisine of the Veneto region of Italy can be divided into three main parts, the coastal areas, the plains and the mountains each of which produce their own specialties. The Veneto is essentially an agricultural region which produces wheat, maize, olive trees, vines and mulberry bushes.
On the north-east coast you will find Veneto, home to Venice, where Risotto is found in many guises, made with fish and seafood along the coast and asparagus, pumpkin or other vegetables further inland, with specialties such as Risotto alla Sbirraglia: spring chicken and lean veal braised with rice and vegetables and Risotto Primavera: diced string beans, artichokes, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes with peas and asparagus tips and braised with rice in the spring.
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