The heart of the Veneto region is a straight line due west from Venice taking in Padova and Verona before arriving at Lake Garda. We have more itineraries for you below.
'Brindiamo con Primavera del Prosecco' or 'Let's raise a glass to a Prosecco Spring' and who can say fairer than that. This firmly established Spring wine event takes place from the first week of March to the first week of June.
It consists of a series of related initiatives across the traditonal heart of the territory of prosecco production. The towns involved include Vidor, Santo Stefano, Guia, San Giovanni, Col S. Martino, Villa di Cordignano, S. Petro di Barbozza, Fregona, Saccol, Miane, Refrontolo, Combai, Vittorio Veneto, Colfosco, S. Pietro di Feletto and Conegliano.
The Redentore or Redeemer Festival in Venice takes place on the third Sunday of July and celebrates the construction of the church to honour the Redentore 'Saviour' who freed Venice of a horrible plague in 1577. Ever since the Venetians celebrate this most famous of nights with an hour long firework display over the canals around Saint Mark's Square.
A floating bridge is also constructed over the Giudecca Canal to connect the Ducal Palace to the Redentore Church. Nowadays the bridge is no longer built of the traditional gondolas, but heavier barges to hold thousands of people as the sun sets over the city. It is one of Venice's most important events, always accompanied by joyful old songs.
Bassano del Grappa, province of Vicenza, is located at the base of Mount Grappa on the Brenta River, just one hour by train from Venice and boasts a fine asparagus season which runs from April through May. In fact, the town is the centre of Italy when it comes to white asparagus.
The story of the vegetable is accidental; in the 1500's Bassano was hit with a hailstorm destoying the asparagus crop, forcing the farmers to harvest the part underground. Upon tasting the asparagus, its white color due to the lack of sunlight , the farmer was astounded to find how tasty and tender it was, and began to cultivate it underground.
Bassano has been famous for its asparagus at least since the mid 1500's: a receipt from from 1534 lists asparagus among the delicacies purchased for a banquet. Asparagus tasting is almost a religion in Bassano, everyone has something to say about the correct way to serve it.
VINITALY 2015, 22-25 March
Officially subtitled 'International wine and Spirits Exhibition' VINITALY it takes place every March or April in the Verona Fiere exhibition halls.
It can get quite confusing with all the tourism, food and wine fairs scheduled during the year, but the recent boom of the past few years has now seen a bit of fall out, and clear winners are emerging. One thing for sure is that the sister show of the all powerful Salone del Gusto in Turin - Wine Show - has now downed her last Barolo Gran Gru to leave Vinitaly as the country's premier wine appointment.
Turn yourself into a living piece of art for the annual Venice carnival in February. Buy a mask, put on a long cloak and wander through the early morning mists of the lagoon in mid winter. Also take lots of photos for disbelieving relatives back home. This is the best way to celebrate the carnival with the best backdrop in the world, Rio excepted.
Don't be fooled, however, by the limitless cheap carnival masks you see on sale. All have their origins in China and are not made of the traditional papier-mâché of old. There are still a handful of genuine mask makers in the city, but they no longer represent the majority of products on general sale. You have to ask for a mask made of 'cartapesta' and also view the links to Marega and Mondo Novo below.
While the celebrations of Carnival of Venice may be the most well-known among Italian carnivals, the more intimate festivities of Verona are considered to be some of the oldest in Italy, tracing their origins as far back as the 1500s.
According to legend, when a famine hit Verona in the early 16th century, the nobleman Tomaso Vico handed out gnocchi, the Italian pasta made of flour and potato, to the poor and starving citizens of the city. After he died, a tradition sprung up from his will, ordering that from then on gnocchi be distributed to the Veronese inhabitants every year on the last Friday of Carnival.
Ever wonder, amid all the festivities, exactly why you’re celebrating Carnival? The word carnival actually derives from the Latin term Carnevale, meaning “farewell to meat”. Simply put, Carnival has come to represent a sort of ‘last hurrah’ before a long period of self-denial.
Although the holiday most likely began in pre-Christian times with the ancient Roman traditions of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia, Carnival is currently known as the days preceding the Christian period of Lent, consisting of forty days of fasting during which the consumption of animal products was strictly forbidden. As a result, universal feasts were held in order not to waste any perishable foods and drink that were about to be banned, releasing an euphoric atmosphere of giddy over-indulgence before the sober austerity that was about to descend.
Today’s most famous international Carnival traditions of parades and masquerade balls can be traced back to their origins in medieval Italy, unique practices that different geographical regions proudly uphold to this day, including extravagant masks in Venice, paper-mache floats in Sicily, and even orange throwing in Ivrea. Prime time to experience local events runs from mid-February to early March, and accommodations usually fill up quickly.
The city of Verona may be the most romantic place in Italy.
Not least, of course, for being the setting for William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy of course and, in particular, the famous balcony where Juliet was won over by her Romeo.
Although the actual building dates from the 14th century, the balcony may just not, but who cares.
Over one million visitors to the spot make this one of the country's must visit attractions.
In the Spring of 2009, the balcony was in the news when the Verona authorities announced they were allowing couples to take their wedding vows here.