The beautiful Veneto region in northeastern Italy stretches all the way from the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites to the Adriatic coast. Most visitors make a beeline for Venice, the most beguiling of cities, but don't overlook the ancient charms of gorgeous Padova, Verona and Vicenza. There are hills and vineyards to explore, Palladian mansions and Renaissance castles to visit, scores of heavenly beaches, stunning Lake Garda, and even some of the most glamorous ski resorts in Italy if you fancy taking to the pistes. Of course, the food is out of this world, with lots of amazing local specialities to try.
Veneto is a destination you can visit almost year-round. In the summer its best to recline in the shade of an olive tree, and during the winter months, snuggle up by a hearth in a classically styled villa. Sound amazing? Using our clever search engine and open-search calendar feature, you can pick out the cheapest time to fly and the best place to stay. We're here to help you make your cheap holiday to Veneto a holiday of a lifetime.
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The Veneto region boasts mountains, lakes and a fabulous coastline, and is home to some of Italy’s most famous beauty spots. Its star attraction is Venice, one of the most enchanting cities in all Italy, but there are plenty of others to visit. Verona, where Shakespeare set Romeo and Juliet, is utterly romantic, and its magnificent Roman theatre hosts a celebrated summer festival of opera. Padova’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the world’s oldest botanical garden and some sublime 14th-century frescoes. Then there’s gorgeous Vicenza, surrounded by Palladian mansions. And if you want a break from the cities, you could drift around gorgeous Lake Garda on a boat, or take your pick from beaches to ski resorts, and from villages to vineyards.
All Italian regions have their own wonderful food specialities, and the Veneto is no different. The regional cuisine is based on the area’s fabulous selection of fresh produce, which encompasses everything from seafood along the coast, to game in the hills and mountains, and a dazzling variety of vegetables. Some of the most famous local dishes include sepe al nero (cuttlefish from the Venetian lagoon cooked it its own ink), the tangy sarde in soar (fried and marinated sardines with onions and pine nuts), and bigoli in salsa, whole wheat spaghetti-like pasta with an anchovy sauce. For dessert, don’t miss out on tiramisu, a Veneto classic.
Veneto is a fabulous place for a family holiday, with all sorts of things to see and do. Italians famously love kids, and yours will be spoilt wherever they go. They’ll love the beaches, of course, but they’ll also enjoy the gorgeous cities, with their palaces and castles, ice-cream shops and fountains. You could take them paddle-boarding on Venice’s canals, horse-riding in the hills, sailing on Lake Garda, or maybe book the kids on a pizza-making course. There are water parks and theme parks for some great family fun, and you’ll find scores of beaches along the Adriatic Coast, including lots of family-friendly options.
The Veneto is a huge region with everything from Alpine peaks to a stunning coastline on the Adriatic Sea, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to activities both on and off the water. The Dolomites offer winter skiing and snowboarding, and summertime hiking, mountain-biking, rock-climbing and canyoning. On Lake Garda (which is shared with neighbouring Lombardy), you can go sailing, fishing, kite-surfing and parasailing, to name just a few of the options on offer. There are even more water sports in the seaside resorts around the Venetian lagoon, particularly along the Venice Lido and in Jesolo, Bibione and Sottomarina.
Most of the beaches in Veneto are located on the Venice Lido, a long island with more than 7 miles of wide, sandy beaches. They are easily reached from Venice, but you can escape the crowds if you head to the beaches at the furthest ends of the island. The popular resort of Lido di Jesolo has more endless beaches – some of the longest anywhere in Italy, in fact – and smaller but equally appealing Eraclea. Then there are Bibione and Sottomarina, two lively little resorts with gorgeous sandy strands, or, for somewhere quieter and uncrowded, you could make for Alberoni Beach, which is set in a nature reserve. Stunning Lake Garda (which the Veneto shares with neighbouring Lombardy) has more lovely beaches and lidos.
There is plenty of nightlife in the Veneto, concentrated – as you’d expect – in the main cities and seaside resorts. While none of these are as famous for nightlife as Italian hotspots like Rome or Milan, you’ll still find enough bars and clubs to keep you partying all night long. Venice has got plenty of atmospheric places to soak up the nightlife, whether you just want to enjoy an aperitivo on a beautiful square, or want to feel the sand between your toes as you enjoy a cocktail or two on the Venice Lido. You’ll also find plenty going on after nightfall in the region’s other main cities, such as Padova, Verona and Vicenza, while in summer the party moves down to the beaches or to the popular resorts around Lake Garda.
Enchanting cities, hills covered in vines, mountain peaks and gorgeous beaches – where could be better for romance than the Veneto? Venice is a jewel of a city, made of a string of islands in a vast lagoon. You could ride in a gondola – or take the water bus – along the Grand Canal, marvelling at the gilded palazzo on the banks, or head out the Venice Lido to hit the heavenly beaches or enjoy a cocktail or two at one of the spectacular hotels. The Veneto’s other historic cities, such as Padova, Verona and Vicenza, are all blissfully romantic – in Verona, you can even visit the balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare for the famous scene in Romeo and Juliet. You can escape the crowds inland, where you’ll find traditional villages dotted among vineyards, the fairy-tale towns around Lake Garda, and the breathtaking peaks of the Dolomites.
The Veneto region brims over with spectacular cultural sights. Venice is simply dazzling, a golden city of palaces and squares straddling a network of canals. The show-stopper is St Mark’s Square, overlooked by the glittering cathedral, belltower and Doge’s Palace. Then there’s the Grand Canal, which is lined with sumptuous palaces, and a host of outstanding museums including the Peggy Guggenheim and the Galleria dell’Accademia. Elsewhere in Veneto, there’s the Roman theatre in elegant Verona, which hosts the famous opera festival, Padova's Giotto frescoes and the world’s oldest botanic garden, and the array of lavish Palladian villas and gardens around Vicenza.
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