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Veneto






Veneto (, Latin Venetia, Venetian ''Vèneto''), is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 4.8 million, and its capital is Venice.

Once the native land of the Venetian Republic, Veneto is today among the wealthiest and most industrialized regions of Italy. It is also the most visited region of Italy, with about 60 million tourists every year (2007).

Besides Italian, most inhabitants speak Venetian.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
The Piave River.
The Venetian Lagoon at sunset.

Geography



Geomorphology


Veneto is the eighth largest region in Italy, with a total area of . It is located in the north-eastern part of Italy and is bordered to the east by Friuli Venezia Giulia, to the south by Emilia-Romagna, to the west by Lombardy and to the north by Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. At its northernmost corner it borders also on Austria.

The north-south extension of Veneto is from the Austrian border to the mouth of the Po and its east-west extension is from the eastern shore of Lake Garda on the west to the mouth of the river Tagliamento on the east.

Veneto can be divided into four areas: the northern Alpine zone, the hill zone, the lower plain and the coastal territory.

29% of its surface are mountainous (Carnic Alps, eastern Dolomites and Venetian Prealps). The best known massif in the Dolomites is the Marmolada, while the highest, at , is the Tofane-massif. Other dolomitic peaks are the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Pale di San Martino. The Venetian Prealps are not as high and range between and . A distinctive characteristic of the Prealps 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 , being the deepest cave in Italy. Fossil deposits are also abundant there.

57% of Veneto are covered by the Po Valley, a plain extending from the mountains to the Adriatic sea, broken only by some low hills: Colli Berici, Colli Euganei, Colli Asolani and Montello, which constitute the remaining 14% of the territory.

The Venetian plain itself is subdivided into the higher plain (gravel-strewn and not very fertile) and the lower plain (rich in water sources and arable terrain). The lower plain is both a mainstay of agricultural production and the most populated part of the region.

Several rivers traverse 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 , of which 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 dikes. Fish ponds have been created there as well. The delta is a stopping-point for migratory birds.

Summing up, Veneto's morphology is characterized by its:
* mountains (''montagna''): , (117 ''comuni'' being classified as mountainous);
* hills (''collina''): , (120 hilly ''comuni'');
* and plains (''pianura''): , (344 ''comuni'' mostly situated in the Po Valley).

Climate


The climate changes significantly between one area to another. Continental on the plains, the climate is milder along the Adriatic coast, around Lake Garda and in the hilly areas. The lowlands are often covered by thick fog. Precipitations are scarce (750mm. /year) next to river Po River, more abundant (750-1,100mm./year) at higher altitudes; the highest values (up to 3,200mm./year) are recorded in the Bellunese Prealps, near Pasubio and on the Asiago plateau.

History



Venetic period


Between the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C., the region was inhabited by the Euganei. According to ancient historians, the Veneti (sometimes called the ''Paleoveneti''), came from Paphlagonia in Anatolia at the time of the Fall of Troy, led by prince Antenor, a comrade of Aeneas. But that is only a legend.
In the 7th-6th centuries B.C. the local populations of Veneto entered into contact with the Etruscans and the Greeks. Venetic culture reached a highpoint during the 4th century B.C. These ancient Venetians spoke Venetic, an Indo-European language akin to, but distinct from Latin and the other Italic languages. Meanwhile, the Venetians prospered through their trade in amber and were well-known for their breeding of horses. Este, Padua, Oderzo, Adria, Vicenza, Verona, and Altino became centers of Venetic culture. However, over time, the Venetians began to adopt the dress and certain other customs of their Celtic neighbors.

The Tetrarchs were the four co-rulers who governed the Roman Empire as long as Diocletian's reform lasted. Here they are portrayed embracing, in a posture of harmony, in a porphyry sculpture dating from the 4th century, produced in Anatolia, located today on a corner of St Mark's Basilica in Venice.

Roman period


During the third century B.C., the Veneti, together with the Cenomani Celts on their western border, sided with the Romans, as Rome expanded and struggled against the Insubres and Boii (Celts). During the Second Punic War (218 B.C. – 202 B.C.), the Venetians even sent a contingent of soldiers to fight alongside the Romans against Hannibal and the invading Carthaginians and Venetians were among those slaughtered at the Battle of Cannae (216 B.C.). In 181 B.C., a Roman triumvirate of Publius Scipio Nasica, Caius Flaminius, and Lucius Manlius Acidinus led three thousand families, mainly from Samnium but supplemented by native Veneti, to found a Latin colony at Aquileia as a base to protect the territory of the Venetians from incursions of the hostile Carni and Histri. From then on, Roman influence over the area increased. Thus, in 169 B.C. more colonizing families were sent from Rome to Aquileia. In 148 B.C. the ''Via Postumia'' was completed connecting Aquileia to Genua. In 131 B.C., the ''Via Annia'' joined Adria to Patavium (modern Padua) to Altinum to Concordia to Aquileia. Gradually, the Roman Republic transformed its alliance with the Veneti into a relationship of dominance. After the 91 B.C. Italic rebellion, the cities of the Veneti, together with the rest of ''Transpadania'', were granted partial rights of Roman citizenship according to the ''Lex Pompeia Transpadanis''. Later in 49 B.C., by the ''Lex Rubria de Gallia'' Rome granted full Roman citizenship to the Veneti. The ''Via Claudia'' was completed in 46 B.C. and connected Altinum, Tarvisium (modern Treviso), Feltria (modern Feltre), and Tridentum (modern Trent). From Tridentum it continued northwards to Pons Drusus and southwards to Verona and Mutina (modern Modena). After the Battle of Philippi (42 B.C.), which ended the Roman Civil War, the lands of the Veneti, together with the rest of Cisalpine Gaul, ceased to be a province and the territory of the Veneti, which included Istria, modern Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige became region X (''Venetia et Histria'') of a new entity named ''Italia'' (Italy). Aquileia became its capital. Meanwhile, under the Pax Romana, Patavium became one of the most important cities of northern Italy. Other Venetic cities such as Opitergium (modern Oderzo), Tarvisium, Feltria, Vicetia (modern Vicenza), Ateste (modern Este), and Altinum (modern Altino) adopted the Latin language and the culture of Rome. Thus, by the end of the first century A.D. Latin had finally displaced the original Venetic language.

In 166 A.D. the Quadi and Marcomanni invaded Venetia. It was the beginning of many barbarian invasions. In the fifth century, both Alaric the Goth and then Attila and the Huns devastated the area. Attila laid siege to Aquileia and turned it into a ruin in 452 A.D. Many of the mainland inhabitants sought protection in the nearby lagoons which would become Grado in the east and Venice more to the west.
On the heels of the Huns came the Ostrogoths who not only invaded, but also settled down in the region.
During the mid-sixth century, Justinian reconquered Venetia for the Eastern Roman Empire. An Exarch was established at Ravenna while a military tribune was set up in Oderzo. Byzantine rule would not last long. Starting in 568 A.D, the Lombards crossed the Julian Alps. These invaders subdivided the territory of Venetia into numerous feuds ruled by Germanic dukes and counts (essentially creating the division of Veneto from Friuli). The invasion provoked another wave of migration from the mainland to the Byzantine controlled coast and islands. In 643, A.D. the Lombards conquered the Byzantine base at Oderzo and took possession of practically all of Veneto (and Friuli) except for Venice and Grado. The 36 Lombard duchies included the Venetian cities of Ceneda, Treviso, Verona, and Vicenza. A reminder of Lombard rule can be seen in the place names beginning with the word ''Farra''.

Horses of Saint Mark, brought as loot from Constantinople in 1204.

Middle ages


By the middle of the eighth century, the Franks had assumed political control of the region and the mainland of Veneto became part of the Carolingian Empire. Though politically dominant, these Germanic invaders were gradually absorbed into the Venetian population over the centuries.
In the late ninth century, Berengar, Margrave of the March of Friuli was elected king of Italy. Under his tumultuous reign, the March of Friuli was absorbed into the March of Verona so that Verona's territory contained a large portion of Roman Venetia.
In the tenth century, the mainland of Veneto, after suffering invasions from the Magyars and the Slavs, was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. Gradually, the communes of the mainland grew in power and wealth. In 1167 an alliance (called the Lombard League) was formed among the Venetian cities such as Venice, Padua, Treviso, Vicenza, and Verona with other cities of Northern Italy to assert their rights against the Holy Roman Emperor. The Second Treaty of Constance in 1183 confirmed the Peace of Venice of 1177 in which the cities agreed to remain part of the Empire as long as their jurisdiction over their own territories was not infringed upon. The league was dissolved at the death of Emperor Frederick II in 1250. This period also witnessed the founding of the second oldest university in Italy, the University of Padua founded in 1222. Around this time, Padua also served as home to St. Anthony, the beloved saint called simply "il Santo" ("the Saint") by the inhabitants of the town.

Map showing the empire of Venice at his height, in the XV-XVI centuries.

Venetian Republic



As the barbarians were interested in the wealth of the mainland, part of the Venetian population sought refuge on some of the isolated and unoccupied islands in the lagoon, from which the city of ''Venetiae'' or Venice was born. After a period of Byzantine domination in 8th century, Venice became an independent maritime Republic ruled by its elected doge.
The Republic became a commercial superpower and its influence lasted through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In fact, the Venetian Republic enjoyed 1100 years of uninterrupted influence throughout the Mediterranean. By the 16th century, the Venetian Republic dominated over Veneto, Friuli, parts of Lombardy and Romagna, Istria, Dalmatia, the Ionian Islands of Corfu, Cefalonia, Ithaca and Zante. From the 13th to 17th centuries it held the island of Crete and from the mid-15th to mid-16th century, the island of Cyprus.
Venetian mainland holdings led to Venetian involvement in European and in particular, Italian politics. Cities had to be fortified, one impressive example being Palmanova in Friuli. However, the wise rule and prosperity brought by the Serenissima made the cities of the ''terra firma'' willing subjects. Eastern Islands served as useful ports for Venetian shipping. However, as the Ottoman Empire grew more powerful and aggressive, Venice was often put on the defensive. Ottoman control of the eastern Mediterranean and the discoveries of sea routes to Asia around Africa and of the Americas had a debilitating effect on the Venetian economy.

A XVIII century view of Venice by Canaletto.

In 1797, Napoleon invaded the territory of the Venetian Republic. Overwhelmed by more powerful forces, Doge Ludovico Manin resigned and retired to his villa at Passariano in Friuli and the thousand year old Republic disappeared as an independent state. This proved very unpopular in the mainland cities where sympathies were strong with the Republic of Venice. By the Treaty of Campoformio signed on October 17, 1797 part of the Venetian mainland was handed over to Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire and a western part was annexed to the French backed Cisalpine Republic. The territory soon reverted back to Napoleon in 1801. However, after his ultimate defeat in 1814, the Congress of Vienna handed Veneto over to the Austrian Empire, the successor state to the Holy Roman Empire still ruled by Francis. Thus, Veneto would remain under Austrian rule, except for some cities which declared their independence in 1848, until it was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy in 1866.

Italian Period


In 1866 after the Third War of Independence and a controversial referendum Veneto was annexed to Italy. In an effort to Italianize the population, Venetian language was not officially recognized and public servants were recruited from other regions.

Due to uneven economic development reducing many to poverty, the 19th century and the first half of the 20th became a period of emigration. Millions of Venetians left their homes and their native land to seek opportunites in other parts of the world. Many settled down in South America, especially in the Rio Grande do Sul region, in Brazil; others in Australia; Canada; and the United States of America. After the Second World War, many Venetians emigrated to Western European countries. In many of these places their descendants have maintained the use of their ancestral Venetian dialects.

Those who remained in Veneto would experience the turmoil of two World Wars. In 1915, Italy entered the First World War on the side of the France and the United Kingdom, after extricating itself from its alliance with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Veneto became a major battlefront. After the Italians suffered an enormous defeat at Caporetto in November 1917, the combined Austro-Hungarian and German forces advanced almost unhindered through Veneto towards Venice until reaching the Piave River. The Battle of the Piave River prevented their troops from advancing further and was celebrated in a very popular song, La Leggenda del Piave. Between October 24 and November 3, 1918, Italy and its Allies launched the decisive Battle of Vittorio Veneto. The battle's outcome aussured Italy's victory. The armistice was signed at Villa Giusti near Padua.

Between 1943 and 1945 Veneto belonged to the Italian Social Republic, while the province of Belluno was part of the Prealpine Operations Zone. Many towns in the region were bombed by the Allies during the Second World War. The most hit were Treviso and Vicenza, as well as the industrial area around Marghera.

Government and politics



Government



Veneto is a presidential representative democracy. The President of the Region, colloquially nicknamed Governor or even Doge, in remembrance of Venice's glorious tradition, is also the head of the regional government. Legislative power is exerted by the Regional Council, the local parliament. The statute, i.e. the regional constitution, was promulgated on May 22, 1971. Even though it recognizes the inhabitants as a "people" (i.e. a distinct people from the Italian people), the region is not granted a form of autonomy comparable to that of the neighbouring regions Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. This is the reason why many municipalities have held referendums in order to be united to these regions.

Politics



Traditionally a very Catholic region, Veneto was once a stronghold of the Christian Democracy. Nowadays it is a stronghold of the centre-right coalition, which has governed the region since 1995, under President Giancarlo Galan, formerly affiliated to Forza Italia and now to The People of Freedom. The governing coalition is also composed of the Liga VenetaLega Nord and the Union of Christian and Centre Democrats.

Venetian nationalism





Alternative flag of Veneto used by most Venetist parties.

A nationalist political movement gained prominence in Veneto during the 1970s and 1980s, demanding more autonomy for the region, or even independence, and promoting Venetian culture, language and history. This is the political background in which the Liga Veneta (Venetian League) was launched in 1980. Other Veneto nationalist parties such as Liga Veneta Repubblica and North-East Project emerged but they never touched the popularity of the Liga Veneta, which was a founding member of Lega Nord in 1991.

Nowadays Liga Veneta–Lega Nord traditionally scores considerable results in local and national elections. The mayors of Verona and Treviso are members of the party, as well as the Presidents of the provinces of Belluno, Treviso, Venice and Vicenza. In the 2008 general election Lega Nord reached 27.1% of the vote.

According to Robert Putnam, the "institutional performance" of Veneto's regional government is higher than average in Italy, thus Veneto belongs to the part of Italy that Putnam names "civic North".

Administrative divisions




Veneto is divided into 7 provinces and 581 municipalities. Of the seven provinces of the region, the Province of Padua is the most populous and has the greatest density, with 424.81 persons per km2, reaching 2268.58 in the city of Padua. In contrast the capital city, Venice, has a moderate density of 646.71. The province of least density is Belluno (58.08), which is the largest in area and the most mountainous.

Provinces


Provinces of Veneto.



Largest municipalities




Demographics






The region has about 4.8 million inhabitants, ranking Veneto as the fifth most populated region in Italy. Veneto has one of the highest population densities amongst the Italian regions (265 inhabitants per km2 in 2008). This is particularly true in the provinces of Padua, Venice and Treviso, where the inhabitants per km2 are above 300. Belluno is the less densely populated province, with 57 inhabitants per km2.

Like the other regions of Northern Italy and Central Italy, though with a certain time lag, Veneto has been experiencing a phase of very slow population growth caused by the dramatic fall in fertility. The overall population has so far been increasing - though only slightly - due to the net immigration started at the end of the 1960s, after more than 20 years of massive exodus from the poorer areas of the region.

Nearly 3 million Venetians were forced to leave their country between 1861 and 1961 to escape poverty. Many emigrated to South America, especially Brazil. After World War II they moved to other European countries. Due to the impressive economic growth of the last two decades, Veneto has turned into a land of immigration and has been attracting more and more immigrants since the 1990s. In 2008 the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 403,985 foreign-born immigrants live in Veneto, equal to 8.3 % of the total regional population.

Religion



Saint Mark's Basilica, the see of the Patriarch of Venice.

Veneto converted to Christianity during Roman rule. The region venerates as its patrons the second century bishop St. Hermagoras and his deacon St. Fortunatus, both of Aquileia and both marytrs. Aquileia became the metropolitan see of Venetia. Aquileia had its own liturgical rites which were used throughout the dioceses of Veneto until the later Middle Ages when the Roman Rite replaced the Aquileian Rite. By the sixth century the bishop of Aquileia claimed the title of patriarch. Rejection of the Second Council of Constantinople (553) led to a schism wherein the churches of Veneto broke communion with the Church of Rome. The invasion of the non-Catholic Lombards in 568 only served to prolong the schism until 606 and then finally 699 when the Synod of Pavia ended the schism definitively.

In 2004 over 95% of the population claimed to be Roman Catholic. The region of Veneto along with the regions of Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol form the ecclesiastical region of Triveneto under the Patriarchate of Venice. The Patriarchate of Venice is an archdiocese and metropolitan see of an ecclesiastical region which includes suffragan episcopal sees of Adria-Rovigo, Belluno-Feltre, Chioggia, Concordia-Pordenone, Padua, Treviso, Verona, Vicenza, and Vittorio Veneto.
The Archdiocese of Venice was elevated to an honorary Patriarchate by the pope on October 8, 1457 when the Patriarchate of Grado, a successor to the Patriarchate of Aquileia, was suppressed. The first patriarch of Venice was St. Laurence, a nobleman of the Giustiniani family.
During the twentieth century the patriarchs were usually appointed cardinal, and three cardinal patriarchs, Giuseppe Sarto, Angelo Roncalli, and Albino Luciani were elected pope: Pius X, John XXIII, and John Paul I, respectively. The Patriarchate of Venice claims St. Mark the Evangelist as its patron. The same saint, symbolized by a winged lion, had became the typical symbol of the Venetian Republic and is still represented on many civic symbols.

A Marian shrine is located in Motta di Livenza within the diocese of Vittorio Veneto. A basilica marks the spot of a reported apparition of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to a local farmer in 1510.

Economy



Traditionally Veneto had been a poor agricultural region as well as a land of mass emigration. Since the 1970s it has seen an impressive development, thanks to the so called Veneto development model - characterised by a widely export-oriented entrepreneurship in traditional economic sectors and strong social cohesion - making it actually the third richest region in terms of total GDP (€139 billion) after Lombardy and Lazio.

Geography and historical events have determined the present social and economic structure of the region, centred on a broad belt running from east to west. The plain and the Alpine foothills are the most developed areas in contrast to the Po delta and the mountainous areas, with the exception of the surroundings of Belluno. This is why the Alps and the province of Rovigo are suffering more than other areas a trend of declining and ageing population.

Agriculture


Though its importance has been decreasing for the past 20–30 years, agriculture continues to play a significant role in the regional economy. The agricultural sector of Veneto is among the most productive in Italy. However, it is still characterised by an intensive use of labour rather than capital, due to the specialisation in market gardening, fruit-growing and vine-growing throughout the plain and the foothills, requiring very much handicraft. In the south and in the extreme east of the region, grain crops are more common and land holdings are larger than in the rest of the region: mechanization is more advanced here. The cattle stock, although declining, still represented 15% of the national stock in.2000http://circa.europa.eu/irc/dsis/regportraits/info/data/en/itd3_eco.htm Fishing is also quite important in coastal areas.

The main agricultural products include maize, green peas, vegetables, apples, cherries, sugar beets, forage, tobacco, hemp. Moreover, Veneto is one of Italy's most important wine-growing areas, producing well-regarded wines, such as Prosecco, Valpolicella, and Soave, which is Italy's most popular white wine varietal. Overall, the Veneto region produces more bottles of DOC wine than any other area in Italy..

Industry


In the last 30–40 years industrialization transformed the appearance of the landscape, especially in the plains.

The regional industry is especially made of small and medium-sized businesses, which are active in several sectors: food products, wood and furniture, leather and footwear, textiles and clothing, gold jewellery, but also chemistry, metal-mechanics and electronics. This has led to the establishment of a strongly export-oriented system of industries.

Typical of Veneto is the partition of the territory into industrial districts, which means that each area tends to specialize in a specific sector. The province of Venice hosts large metallurgical and chemical plants in Marghera and Mestre, but is also specialized in glass handicraft (Murano). Vicenza is known for its gold jewellery. The province of Belluno hosts the so called eyeglasses district, being the largest world manufacturer Luxottica a firm domiciliated at Agordo. Fashion industry is extremely strong all over the region: Benetton, Geox, Diesel are Venetian brands.

During the last 20 years, a large number of Venetian companies relocated their plants (especially the most dangerous and polluting productions) in Eastern Europe, especially Romania. The Romanian city of Timişoara is also called "The Newest Venetian Province".

Tourism


Though being a heavily industrialized region, tourism is one of the main economic resources of Veneto. One-fifth of Italy's foreign tourism gravitates towards Veneto, which is the first region in Italy in terms of tourist presence, attracting over 60 million visitors every year, and the second after Emilia Romagna in terms of hotel industry structures. The business volume of tourism in Veneto is estimated in 12 billion Euros.

Culture



Education



The University of Padua in a 1654 woodcut.

Veneto hosts one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Padua, founded in 1222. OECD investigations show that school education achievements in North-Eastern Italy (whose population comes mainly from Veneto) are the highest in Italy. As of 2003 the university had approximately 65,000 students.

Language



Most of the people of Veneto speak standard Italian. However, there is widespread usage of Venetian language.
Venetian dialects are classified as an Italo-Western Romance language. Scholars distinguish between an Eastern or Coastal (Venice) group, a Central (Padua, Vicenza, Polesine) group, a Western (Verona) group, a North-Central (Treviso) group, and a Northern (Belluno, Feltre, Agordo, Cadore, Zoldo Alto) group of dialects. All dialects are mutually intelligible to varying degrees.
Ladin is spoken in parts of the province of Belluno, especially in the municipalities of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Livinallongo del Col di Lana and Colle Santa Lucia. A German dialect is spoken in Sappada (''Pladen'' in German). Moreover, in the area around Portogruaro people speak Furlan.

As the region does not enjoy a special status of autonomy, minority languages are not granted any form of recognition. Anyway a motion to recognize Venetian as an official regional language has been approved by the regional Parliament.

Cuisine



Asiago cheese and crackers.

Veneto is an important wine-growing area. Among the best wines can be remembered: Soave, Bardolino, Recioto, Amarone, Torcolato, Prosecco, Tocai Rosso,Garganega, and Valpolicella. Other, more common wines are Verduzzo, Raboso, Moscato, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Merlot. Homemade wine making is widespread. After making wine, the alcohol of the pressed grapes is distilled to produce grappa or ''graspa'', as it is called in the local language.

Among the best-known cheeses of Veneto the following should be mentioned: Asiago (PDO) (from Asiago), Monte Veronese (PDO), Piave (PDO), Morlacco, Grana Padano (PDO).

The sopressa vicentina (PDO) is an aged salami, cylindrical in shape and prepared with raw, quality pork meat. It may or may not include garlic in its ingredients and comes in medium and large sizes. Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo (PDO) is obtained from the fresh meat of a top breed of adult hogs. The aroma is delicate, sweet and fragrant.

Radicchio rosso di Treviso (PGI) is a peculiar vegetable with a faintly bitter taste and a crunchy texture. The production area encompasses many town districts in the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice. The radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco (PGI) has a delicate and slightly sweet taste and a crunchy texture. Veronese Vialone Nano Rice from Verona (PGI) is a type of rice with short, plump grains, which have a creamy consistency when cooked. They are commonly used in risotto dishes and have a high starch content. The Bean of Lamon (PGI) is particularly prized for its delicate flavour and extremely tender skin. The White Asparagus of Cimadolmo (PGI) has a characteristic scent and a very delicate taste. The White Asparagus of Bassano is a typical product of the northern part of the province of Vicenza. The San Zeno di Montagna (Verona) chestnut is another remarkable product. The town of Marostica is famous for its cherries.

Festivals



Example of masks used during the Carnival of Venice.

Each town, often every quarter, has its patron saint whose feast day is solemnly celebrated. Many other festivals are closely linked to the religious calendar. Among these:

* Carnival of Venice celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday;
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fspl-e5txVo Panevin] celebrated around Epiphany;
* Pasqua (Easter Sunday);
* Saint Mark's feast day (April 25);
* La Sensa (Ascension Thursday);
* San Giovanni Battista (June 24);
* La festa del Redentór (mid July);
* Vendemmia (grape harvest in September);
* San Nicolò de Bari (St. Nicholas, December 6);
* Nadàl (Christmas)

Tourism



Here is a selection of the main attractions of Veneto.

;The cities of art
* Venice: Venice and its lagoon are listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
* Padua: also known as the "City of the Saint"; the Orto botanico di Padova is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
* Verona: The city of Shakespeare's famous lovers: Romeo and Juliet. Verona has been named a UNESCO world heritage site.
* Vicenza is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, together with a number of the Palladian Villas.
* Belluno the capital of the Dolomites, the bell tower was designed by Filippo Juvarra
* Montagnana is a municipality in the province of Padova with perfectly conserved medieval walls
* Bassano del Grappa with its Ponte degli Alpini on the river Brenta, designed in 1569 by Andrea Palladio
* Marostica : The 'Chess Game' is the most important event of the town, taking place on the second weekend of September, involves over 550 participants and lasts two hours.
* Asolo is known as 'The Pearl of province of Treviso', and also as 'The City of a Hundred Horizons'.
* Este : The House of Este held the city until 1240, when they moved their capital to Ferrara.

;Ville Venete
All over the Venetian plain, but especially in the provinces of Treviso, Padua, Vicenza and Venice, stand the famous Ville Venete. The date of construction of these villas ranges from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. There are approximately five thousand Ville Venete, of which 1,400 are declared of historical and monumental interest.

;Parks
Cansiglio is a pre-alpine massif located in the north-eastern Veneto in the provinces of Treviso and Belluno.

'Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi' is situated in the southern section of the Province of Belluno.

;Lakes
The area of Lake Garda is a major tourist destination. Various towns along the lake, such as Lazise, Cisano, Bardolino, Garda (VR), Torri del Benaco and Malcesine, are popular resorts.

;Mountains
Cortina d'Ampezzo, it's situated in the province of Belluno and is one of the most exclusive mountain locations in Europe together with Kitzbühel in Austria and St. Moritz in Switzerland. It was scene of the 1956 Winter Olympics. To the north there are the ''Tre Cime di Lavaredo'' ,said to be a symbol of the Italian Dolomites.

Arabba lies between the Sella group and the Marmolada.
Auronzo is in the upper Cadore.
Sappada is in the extreme north of the region.

;Thermal baths
The thermal baths of Abano Terme are an important tourist attraction. Despite being the most famous, Abano is not the only thermal town in the area. Montegrotto Terme and Recoaro Terme are other popular resorts.

;Beaches
Venice's Lido is an 11-mile long sandbar, visited by many tourists every summer.

Jesolo is one of the most important seaside resorts on the Adriatic coast, just a few kilometres far from Venice. Every year Jesolo gives accommodation to over 4.5 million tourists.

Caorle has often received awards forone of the cleanest beaches in Italy. Bibione,
Eraclea and Sottomarina are popular resorts too. Albarella island is a private island on the Lido that has some of the best beaches. Alberoni Beach is set in a nature reserve.

Notable people






Source: Wikipedia