Celebrated throughout the world for its unique beauty, Venice and its lagoon were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987. Venice is elegant, precious, inimitable, entertaining, and romantic. It is a jewel in the Italian touristic landscape, where churches, buildings, old bridges, monuments and piazzas are the evidence of the artistic and cultural vivacity that marks the history of this city.
The heart of Venice is the wonderful Piazza San Marco - the most elegant in Europe - surrounded by outstanding buildings: the impressive bell tower and the Cathedral - with its five portals of marble and mosaic decorations, Palazzo Ducale, a symbol of the golden age of the Serenissima, Torre dei Mori (the Clock Tower), and the Napoleonic Wing, site of the Museo Correr. Not far away is Campo Santo Stefano, with the church bearing the same name.
Piazza San Marco offers a beautiful view of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore and the high bell tower that rises from the monumental structure of the old Benedictine monastery, a masterpiece by important architects of the time, including the renowned Andrea Palladio.
Venice is a wonderful outdoor museum, and it can be toured by boat or by gondola along the Canal Grande, the main Venetian “thoroughfare”. The Canal begins at Punta della Dogana, the old harbor of the Serenissima (historic title of Venice), with its peculiar triangular shape that is now, like Palazzo Grassi, a Contemporary Arts Center.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is another must-see, exhibited in the Palazzo Venier de’ Leoni; it is considered the most important collection of the 20th Century. Among other important museums are the Gallerie dell’Accademia, housed in the majestic structure of the Scuola Grande de la Carità (inside is a church of the same name and a monastery) and Ca’ Rezzonico, one of the most beautiful buildings from the Renaissance, housing the Museum of Settecento veneziano, dedicated to 18th-century Venice.
The districts of San Polo, Santa Croce and Dorsoduro are on the right bank of the Canal Grande also accessible by crossing the Ponte di Rialto. There, some of the most famous campi of Venice are surrounded by wonderful religious buildings and palaces: San Rocco, with one of the old Grandi Scuole di Venezia and the church dedicated to the Saint; the renowned Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, one of the most important Franciscan structures; San Polo; San Giacomo dall’Orio, with the church of the same name at its center and decorated with wonderful Venetian Renaissance artworks; San Sebastiano, masterfully decorated by Paolo Veronese; San Pantalon; San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, with one of the city's oldest churches; and Santa Maria della Salute.
From Piazza San Marco, crossing the renowned Ponte dei Sospiri, with a wonderful view of the lagoon we reach the Castello district, rich in architectural and artistic masterpieces. This sestiere (district) also hosts plenty of interesting churches: the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, where state funerals were once held; the Church Santa Maria dei Miracoli, a fabulous example of Renaissance architecture; the Church of San Zaccaria in the homonyous square; the Church of San Giovanni in Bragora - considered one of the most beautiful churches in Venice - and the Church of Santa Maria Formosa, based on a design by Codussi.
Two further places that are well-worth a visit along the same route include the biggest Arsenal in the world, built in the 12th Century and later expanded, thanks to Venice's significant political and economic development; and the Scuola San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, home to some of the most beautiful paintings by Carpaccio.
In Cannareggio, Campo della Madonna dell’Orto is one of the last surviving examples of ancient herringbone paving, and its Church of the same name was decorated by the famous Tintoretto. The Scuola dei Mercanti can also be found here. The Church of San Giovanni Crisostomo, Codussi’s last work, is another magnificent example of Renaissance architecture. Finally, in the old Ca’ d’Oro building lies a precious art collection of pieces from the Venetian School.
You might already know that Venice is surrounded by a group of islands: Burano, renowned for its lace production; Murano, for its glassmaking; Pellestrina, characterized by sandy dunes and cane thickets; and Torcello, one of the oldest human settlements in the area.
Teeming with history, culture and traditions, this Region offers enchanting places for you to discover.
Cities of art
The Venetian cities of art are treasure chests that protect precious historical and artistic evidence. The cities of Venice, Verona and Vicenza have been dubbed as World heritage by UNESCO; Padua with its elegant civic city centre; Treviso is refined; Rovigo with its demure feel and then there is Belluno - the doorway to the magical world of the Dolomites. However, there is a lesser-known Veneto that exists, made up of medieval villages, walled cities, spiritual places and smaller historical town centres where hundreds of hidden treasures await discovery!
The most beautiful peaks in the world, pure air, unspoilt nature and pretty villages: that is the magic of the landscapes of the Belluno Dolomites and the Venetian Mountains. From the gentle slopes of the Prealps to the breathtaking peaks of the Dolomites, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On Lake Garda, it is Mount Baldo that stands out, the mountains of Lessinia are a must-see, while in the Vicenza area you will find the Asiago Plateau and the Fiorentini Plateau. In the Treviso area, you will find Mount Grappa and the Cansiglio flat lands with centuries-old forests. So many landscapes make for exciting holidays!
Golden sand, clear water, sport and so much to do in the Venetian bathing resorts. Bibione, Eraclea Mare, Caorle, Jesolo, Cavallino-Treporti, Lido di Venezia, Sottomarina, Rosolina Mare: there are around ninety kilometres of equippedbeaches, awarded six Blue Flags in 2015 for the clean water and the excellent quality of the tourist services. The resorts are full of opportunities for sport lovers, while in the evening the numerous bars and restaurants come alive to make your stay even better.
Mirrors of clear water with small villages and enchanting panoramas. That is how we can summarise the uniqueness of the lakes in the Veneto area. The most well known is Lake Garda, with its resorts along the "Olive Trees Riviera". But Veneto has other surprises: the lakes of Santa Croce, Cadore, Agordino, Revine, Corlo and Mis. The Venetian lakes are a paradise for sport and they also offer interesting landscape scenes, as well as historical and cultural attractions.
Swimming pools, saunas and beauty treatments to get back into perfect physical shape, to de-stress or just to treat oneself to some pampering. Veneto is the region with the largest balneotherapy complex in Europe. Abano Terme, Montegrotto Terme, Teolo, Galzignano and Battaglia Terme are centres that boast of a tradition that dates back to antique Rome. Then, we have the spas of Recoaro and Caldiero, Bibione with its complex next to the sea, and finally, at 1,300 metres you can recharge at Terme di Valgrande, between the splendid Dolomite peaks.
There are six protected natural areas in Veneto. From the dreamy landscapes of the Parco Delta del Po (Po River Delta Park) to the rocky giants of Parco nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi (Belluno Dolomites National Park) or even the magical mountains of the Parco regionale delle Dolomiti d'Ampezzo (Ampezzo Dolomites Regional Park). For volcanic landscapes, look no further than the Parco dei Colli Euganei (Euganei Hills Park). The Parco regionale del Fiume Sile (Sile River Regional Park) is where the longest European river formed by springs flows. Lastly, the Parco naturale regionale della Lessinia (Lessinia Regional Natural Park) is a paradise for palaeontologists and archaeologists.
The unique Venetian Villas are an integral element of architecture, culture and landscape in Veneto. They were built by the nobility and rich families of Veneto in the long peaceful centuries on the mainland of the Republic of Venice. They represented widespread centres of agricultural, artisan, cultural and civil economic development, on a territory where safety was guaranteed and where there were excellent roads linking the land and river. This rich heritage amounted to 3,477 units.
The Venetian Villas organised under this charter are accessible to guests to spend a holiday or just for a simple visit to the sites designed by Palladio, frescoed by Veronese or Tiepolo, and once inhabited by the Venetian Lords and Ladies of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.
Present throughout the Region, the Venetian Villas are however more concentrated in some areas: along the Riviera del Brenta, between Venice and Treviso along the Terraglio and nestled amongst the hills of Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and Verona.