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.
You have to want to visit Belluno, or Belun in local dialect. But if you do you will be genuinely charmed by 'The Resplendent City', a reference to the Celtic word 'bellodonam' for the hills dominating the skyline. It might also be a reference to the sparkling waters which flows down below in the Piave valley or even Beleno (Belenus), the Celtic God of the Sun.
If you want a break from all the water and tourists in Venice, then head inland for a day tour of some fabulously overlooked Venetian towns and sights.Of course, you can't not go to Venice, but do consider a long weekend or a couple of days in the neighboring countryside and towns just 30 minutes or half an hour away.
Before travelling to the Belluno Dolomites bordering Trentino, we were curious to find out if Alpine villages are still as you imagined them as a kid, or if they have changed beyond all recognition. Fortunately, we own an old children's illustrated encyclopedia dating from the mid 1960's which lists 12 giveaway clues. We went looking for them, and the images below reveal what we found.
The Redentore or Redeemer Festival in Venice takes place on the Saturday preceding the 3rd Sunday of July and celebrates the construction of the church by Palladio 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 city.
A floating bridge is also constructed over the Giudecca Canal connect 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 and Venetian food served from stalls along the waterfront.
'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.
Every March in Lazise, one of those small towns which sit snugly on the shores of Lake Garda, a couple of interesting gastronomic events take place. The first is the 'Campionato del Risotto col Tastasàl' while the second is 'Alla scoperta dei formaggi d'Italia'. We briefly describe both below and list a series of food events throughout the year you may wish to look out for if you visit the region. Even if these don't interest you, the video below demonstrates what an atmospheric setting for any event Lazise actually is.
Palazzo della Giustizia or 'della Ragione' was built in 1218-19 and is one of the most majestic and important sites in Padova. You can't miss it if you find yourself in the market squares of the city. The ground floor still accommodates shops and workshops; the northern section of which was once occupied by money lenders and the south western one by the old prison which expanded to the nearby Palazzo delle Debite.
The first floor, which is reached from four outside staircases, was initially composed of three large halls where the judges held court. The smaller rooms housed the offices of important city officials such as the tax collector, and the chapel of S. Prosdocimo.
This is a millefoglie of asparagus with a Padovan chicken in broth. Read more about the fancy, if not iconic, Gallina Padovano here. Our image above was taken in the historical meat market of Padova below Palazzo della Ragione.
1 padovano chicken, 200g asparagus, 100g liquidized 'bruscandoli' or hop tops, 60 g seasoned Asiago cheese, 1 egg, 60g flour, half glass olive oil, salt and pepper.
Padova or Padua has a tremendous artistic and cultural tradition. Unfortunately, the city is not even on most Italy traveller's lists which is a great shame as the city and its surrounding territory offer a patrimony of art, villas, castles, medieval churches second to no one, as well as the sweet Euganei hills landscape. Just outside the city you'll also find the the medieval village of Arquà Petrarca, named after the poet Petrarca who settled here, and the so called Versailles of Italy, Villa Pisani.