Overview

Introduction

The landscape of the Veneto and Lombardy varies from flat and unappealing to mountainous and breathtaking.

The most romantic of cities, Venice is unique and captivating, with its panoramas and sudden glimpses of palaces, churches, canals and bridges. No description can adequately convey the charm and fascination of the ‘Serene Republic’. Go and see it for yourself and, by so doing, fall in love forever.

Verona, one of the most fascinating cities of Italy, is rich in Roman, Medieval and Renaissance buildings. Whilst very busy and lively during July and August when opera is performed in the Arena, it is more pleasant and cooler in the Spring and Autumn.

Located 37km outside of Venice, Padua is often overlooked by visitors to the area. This old university town (Galileo lectured here) has an illustrious academic history and is rich in architecture and art, most notably for the lyrical frescoes by Giotto which adorn the walls of the magnificent Cappella degli Scrovegni. Renaissance squares, Roman ruins and medieval palaces all vie for attention here.

In the 16th century, the River Brenta was canalised between Padua and Fusina (just west of Venice) and stretches some 36km (22 miles). Its potential as a transport route was quickly realised and fine villas were built along its length. Today many of these elegant buildings can be visited including the Villa Nazionale at Strà (frescoes by Tiepolo), Villa Widmann at Mira (French Rococo style) and Villa Foscari at Mira – one of Palladio’s most impressive villas (frescoes by Zelotti). Two of these villas may also be visited in a day on a guided tour on board the Burchiello mini cruise boat.

Vicenza, located between Verona and Venice, is another art city often overlooked by visitors to the region. It's history dates back to pre-Roman times, with fabulous architectural buildings and palaces. The Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, built more than twenty buildings here, including the Basilica Palladiana, the Palazzo Chiericati (home to Vicenza's museum and art gallery) and the Teatro Olimpico, leading UNESCO to designate the city as a World Heritage site.

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Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Veneto has six cultural sites listed which include the cities of Venice (and its Lagoon), Verona and Vicenza, the Palladian Villas of the Veneto, the Botanical Gardens of Padua and the majestic Dolomites.
  • Andrea Palladio: The Renaissance architect Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, known as ‘Palladio,’ was born in Padua in 1508. He is credited as being one of the most influential figures in the field of architecture. Three of his best known works are the Villas Barbaro, Foscari (La Malcontenta) and La Rotonda.
  • Aperitivo: The concept of having an aperitivo took off in the 1920s. A common tipple in the north is the Aperol Spritz, an Italian aperitif cocktail consisting of prosecco, Aperol and soda water
  • Cappella degli Scrovegni: Located in the centre of Padua, the Scrovegni chapel’s interior is entirely covered with beautiful frescoes depicting the life of Christ. Painted by the Florentine artist Giotto and completed in 1305, it is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art.
  • Caffè Pedrocchi: When in Padua take a break at this C19th coffee house and ask for the speciality - a Pedrocchi caffè, a perfect blend of sweet mint and bitter espresso coffee. A meeting place for intellectuals and academics over the year, even Lord Byron was a patron.
  • Wines of the Veneto: Veneto is among the foremost wine-producing regions, both for quality and quantity. The most well-known are Bardolino, Valpolicella and Soave. The excellent white sparkling Prosecco and the rich red Amarone are not to be missed!
  • Torre dei Lamberti: Climb the narrow clock tower (84m high) for fabulous views over the UNESCO World Heritage city of Verona. The tower has four bells of which the largest (Rengo) is used to call the population to arms or to invoke the city's councils.
  • Did you know? Galileo discovered the Milky Way during his time in Padua. The arena in Verona is the third largest Roman amphitheatre in the world after Rome and Capua. Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites (49).
  • Il Burchiello: Enjoy a full day river cruise that passes about fifty Venetian villas in bucolic surroundings and stop at three of the best: Villa Pisani, grandest of all; Villa Widmann, stunningly frescoed; and one of the oldest, the Palladian Villa Foscari built in 1558.

 

Transport

Airports. The Veneto region is served by three international airports.

Venice (Marco Polo) is the main airport which is connected by rail to the centre of Venice and receives scheduled airlines. There is also a regular bus service and taxi rank to Piazzale Roma, near Venice’s main train station (Santa Lucia). Alternatively, clients can get a vaporetto (regular boat service) or private boat to the centre.

Venice-Treviso, located 41km north of Venice, is used by charter airlines and is connected by rail to the centre of Venice (c.1 hour). There is also a regular bus service and taxi rank to Piazzale Roma, near Venice’s main train station (Santa Lucia).

Verona (Valerio Catullo or Villafranca) airport is located 10km southwest of Verona. It is conveniently located to access, by road, the cities of Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Lake Garda.

Trains

The Veneto region has an extensive rail network, through which you can reach almost any area of the region. The main artistic cities of the Veneto region are connected by frequent daily connections, ideal for pleasant day trips or multi-centre holiday.

Venice City Pass

Venezia Unica is the City Pass for Venice, an all-in-one pass to use for public transportation, admission to tourist attractions and cultural events in the city, and many other useful services.

 

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Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi
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Rosanna Melaragni
Rosanna Melaragni

Rosanna is the head of our Discovery Department which covers tailor made holidays to Portugal and the Azores, Italy and Sicily, Scandinavia and the new programme to Spain. She is our longest serving member of staff having joined in 1994 after completing an honours degree in French and Italian and subsequently working for a tour operator in Yorkshire. She is responsible for brochure writing, contracting accommodation, programme costing, computer inputting and generally troubleshoots where necessary. She has global knowledge of our tailor made programme.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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