Molinetto della Croda, Refrontolo

Photo © April Pedersen Santinon


area:  7,095 sq. mi (18,376 sq km), a little smaller than the state of New Jersey (my birthplace).

inhabitants:  4,900,000

products  include: textiles, chemicals, paper, processed  food, wine, industrial machinery, eyeglasses, gold jewelry, shoes, wearing apparel, furniture, engineering. The Veneto region produces 15% of all Italy's manufactured output, and exports more than Greece and Portugal combined. Eighty percent of Italian-made eyeglasses, 90% of the world's high fashion shoes for women, 95% of those  made for men, 65% of the world's ski boots, and 70% of  Italian sport shoes are manufactured in the Veneto.  Diesel, Benetton, De Longhi, Zamperla, Geox, and Luxottica (owners of Oakley, Ray-Ban, Lens Crafters, Pearl Vision Center, and Sunglass Hut), and Segafredo coffee (sponsor of the Trek cycling team) are among the region's best known companies. Asiago and Piave cheeses, and Prosecco and Amerone wines are other well known products, as are Aperol--and the spritz.

Even  the word ciao is a Veneto "product," originally meaning "your slave" (in the sense of "at your service") in the Veneto language (the true spoken language of the Veneto).

• The winged lion of Saint Mark is the symbol of the Veneto Region, and appears throughout the region on flags and banners, in frescoes, reliefs, sculptures and statues, in logos, and more.

History in a nutshell...

1000 B.C  - settled by the Veneti people

2nd century B.C - came under Roman rule

mid-5th century A.D. - devasted by Attila the Hun

568  - invaded by the Longobards/Lombards...sometime after, natives  flee to islands just off the shore, said to be the beginning of Venice

10th century - towns began to reacquire importance, ruled at first by their bishops, then becoming free communes, i.e.  independant city- states. Venice is one of them.

by the early 15th century - the area of today's Veneto region was part of the Republic of Venice (as were the neighboring Trentino and Friuli regions)

1797  - Napoleon conquered the Republic of Venice, and then passed it to Austria

1805  - made part of the Napoleanic kingdom of Italy

1814 - restored to Austria, eventually

1866  - ceded to Italy, which had finally become one nation. (Trentino and Friuli, however, remained in Austrian hands, a situation which eventually lead to Italy's entrance into WW1).

click here to see a list of films shot in the Veneto

Harmony and sensuality: two words that characterize the Veneto. Harmony between the works of humankind and those of Mother Nature: centuries-old towns built of stone almost seem part of the earth itself, and even the opulent villas of Andrea Palladio were designed to harmonize with the surrounding natural features. Few structures are jarring or out of place. The senses are delighted by the sight of stone archways, carved wooden doors, wrought iron gates, brightly colored flowers spilling over balconies, Venetian Gothic windows, frescoed arcades, cobblestoned streets, earth-toned houses, red tile roofs, enchanting piazze, fountain spray sparkling in the sunlight, luscious grapes ripening on the vines...the intoxicating aromas of coffee brewing, pastries baking, and the must fermenting at harvest time...the chime of church bells, the echo of footsteps in winding cobblestoned ways, the music of an aria floating from a window on high...all are parts of a vast mosaic that never ceases to intoxicate the senses, delight the heart, and satisfy the soul.


The Veneto is one of Italy's 20 regions (Tuscany, Calabria, Sicily, and Lombardy are some of the others). It consists of seven provinces: Verona, Vicenza, Padova (Padua), Rovigo, Venezia (Venice), Treviso, and Belluno. As you can see, it encompasses an incredible variety of terrain, from the maritime environment of Venice and the waterways of the Po River Delta to picturesque hills formed by both volcanic eruption (the Colli Euganei--Euganean Hills) and glacial action (the hills of Asolo and the Prosecco wine region), pre-Alps, including the Monte Grappa massif and the plateaus of Asiago Sette Comuni, Tonezza-Fiorentini, and Cansiglio, and finally, the spectacular Dolomites, a unique section of the Alps. Seventy percent of the Dolomites are in the the Veneto province of Belluno.