Stretching across a swathe of north-east Italy, the joy of the Veneto is its extraordinary variety: prosperous towns are situated amongst coastal lagoons, marshlands, rolling hills and the Alpine air of the Dolomites. The imprint of Venetian dominance can be seen in the region’s elegant towns, Palladian villas dot the landscape, and thermal waters offer relaxation. This is also the region of prosecco and grappa, and tastings provide an enjoyable way to get to know the region.
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The architectural elegance of lovely Vicenza is almost solely thanks to one man: Palladio. During the 1500s, Palladio not only transformed this city but also influenced building styles across the whole of Europe. Classicism, sophistication and simplicity define the palazzi, villas and civic landmarks built in the Palladian style, and have been emulated far and wide. In addition to the stunning architecture, this small city bustles with lively markets, cafés and restaurants as well as interesting galleries and museums.
An ancient city with a youthful population, Padua was once a medieval city-state that vied for power with Venice and Verona. Today, Padua is vibrant town with an authentic feel and a lovely place to stroll the streets, markets and parks, but its previous position of power is still evident in the incredible frescoes found within the town’s churches and chapels. Giotto’s extraordinary, luminous work in the Scrovegni Chapel is the jewel in the crown. Padua played a role in more recent history too, providing a stage for Mussolini’s Fascist oratory.
Famed predominately for its eponymous firewater, Bassano del Grappa’s historic centre exudes quiet charm. Explore the quaint wooden bridge over the River Brenta, interesting little churches, pretty piazzas and ceramics collections before visiting a grappa distillery. Here you can sample this fiery spirit, which is made from the grape vines discarded in the wine-making process.
Venerated as one of Palladio’s greatest constructions, the Villa di Maser (also known as Villa Barbaro) was commissioned by the powerful Barbaro family of Venice in the 16th century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the elegant symmetry of this sublime home is lifted by the its stunning interior and flourishing grounds. Within the estate, a historic vineyard produces fine wines.
Blessed with a hilltop position in the foothills of the Dolomites, the pretty hamlet of Asolo easily earns its romantic nicknames of ‘the pearl of the Veneto’ and ‘the city of a hundred horizons’. Mountains, rolling hills and verdant plains combine around the town to create the most breathtaking views from this medieval stronghold. Long beloved by visitors creative and grand, Asolo has also acted as a muse for many writers and artists over the centuries.
“I just LOVE this part of Italy – stunning scenery and art to die for, it is elegance personified. The town of Vicenza has to be my highlight.” (Jo)
Hand picked destinations
Castel Brando is a spectacularly restored castle in the Veneto's Treviso Hills. Overlooking the village of Valmareno, this glamorous fortress is an incredible place to stay for its luxury, history, and wonderful views.
Lido di Jesolo is a vibrant seaside town situated on the sparkling Adriatic Sea. At the edge of the Venetian Lagoon, it is known as the ‘Venetian Riviera’ thanks to its miles of glorious, golden beach.
There is something utterly enchanting about a city with elegant gondolas gliding down the waterways in place of roads. Venice captures the hearts of travellers with its fascinating history, exceptional architecture and world-class museums.