Veneto

http://www.touritalynow.com/italy_information/italy_information_regions/images/italia_regions_veneto.jpg Major Cities:

Venezia (Venice)
Padova
Verona
Treviso
Vincenza

The eighth largest region in Italy, The Veneto is one of the wealthiest, most developed, and most industrialized regions in the country. It has long been attractive to immigrants and, today, boasts an immigrant population of almost 10 percent. For about one thousand years, The Veneto was an independent state – known as the Venetian Republic – becoming part of Italy in 1866 after a period of Austrian and French rule.

Located in the northeastern part of Italy, The Veneto has a little bit of everything, including four bio-diverse zones: the Alpine zone, the hill zone, the plains, and the coastal territory. About a third of its surface is mountainous, encompassing the Dolomites and the Carnic Alps. The Po River Valley occupies another half of this Italian region and the eastern shore of Lake Garda – the largest lake in Italy – can be found in The Veneto.

Both agriculture and industry play a major role in the economic stability of the region but, by far, tourism is king in this region, mostly thanks to the presence of The Veneto’s largest city, Venice. The Italy Board of Tourism estimates that one-fifth of all the country’s annual visitors head to stunning Venice and the area around it. Known for its historic canals, museums, magnificent architecture, good food, and awesome beauty, Venice continues to be one of the world’s top tour destinations.

But Venice aside, there are plenty of other wonderful places to visit in The Veneto while touring Italy. Consider a stop at Padua, another thriving historic city with a walled center that’s decidedly medieval, and yet another Veneto region town that boasts sites that are simply breathtaking. This includes the Scrovegni Chapel with its marvelous Giotto frescoes, the Palazzo della Ragione, the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua, the 16th century baroque Padua Synagogue, and plenty of notable villas. Padua’s university is also one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1222!

Don’t miss the very cosmopolitan city of Vincenza, rich in culture and best known for its 23 buildings designed by 16th century Italian Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. His work has made this a UNESCO World Heritage Site and strolling through the city gives visitors to Italy an up-close look at his stunning masterpieces. There are also many notable churches and secular buildings designed by other greats and plenty of culture in which visitors can immerse themselves. The textile industry has made Vincenza one of the wealthiest towns in Italy.

Finally, make a stop at historic Verona, the setting for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Verona is full of medieval/Romanesque architecture including sights such as the San Zeno Basilica, considered one of the best examples of Romanesque design in the world. Also of note is its amphitheater – the Arena – completed around 30 A.D., and the 1st century Theatre of Verona.

www.regione.veneto.it