About Veneto

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About Veneto:  Veneto is the eighth largest region in Italy, with a total area of 18,391 square kilometres. It is located in the north-eastern part of Italy and is bordered to the east by Friuli-Venezia Giulia, to the south by Emilia-Romagna, to the west by Lombardy and to the north by Trentino-Alto Adige. At its northernmost corner it also shares a border with Austria. The provinces are: Belluno, Padova, Rovigo, Treviso, Venezia, Verona and Vicenza.

Prior to the unification of Italy, Veneto had been an independent state for over a thousand years, known as the Venetian Republic. Its capital was, and still is Venice, which for a period ruled one of the vastest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world. The region was annexed to Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule. Due to this recent annexation to the rest of Italy, most Venetians still retain their unique identity, and the Veneto is one of two Italian regions (along with Sardinia) whose inhabitants are officially recognized as being ‘A People’. This opened the way for a notable nationalist movement, of which many notable local politicians are members.

Once the heartland of the Venetian Republic, Veneto is today among the wealthiest, most developed and industrialised regions of Italy. Having one of the country’s richest historical, natural, artistic, cultural, musical and culinary heritages, it is also the most visited region of Italy, with about 60 million tourists every year. Besides Italian, most of the inhabitants also speak Venetian.

The capital of the Veneto is Venice, world-famous for its canals. It is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by 455 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot.

Venice is one of the most important tourist destinations in the world, due to the city being one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful cities of art. The city has approximately 50,000 tourists a day. Tourism has been a major sector of Venetian industry since the 18th century, when it was a major centre for the grand tour, due to its beautiful cityscape, uniqueness and rich musical and artistic cultural heritage.

Today there are numerous attractions in Venice, such as St Mark’s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and the Piazza San Marco, to name a few. The Lido di Venezia is also a popular international luxury destination, attracting thousands of actors, critics and other celebrities to the Venice Film Festival. The Venice Carnival is also a favourite tourist attraction.

Language spokenItalian, other local dialects
Area (km2)18,260
Population4.295 million

Culture and history info

Very little is known of the earliest inhabitants of Veneto, called “Euganei”, who were probably absorbed by the ancient Veneti, a peaceful people of farmers, who occupied the region starting from the 13th century BC and established important centers at Este, Padua and Adria.Differently from other Italic peoples, the Veneti did not fight the Romans, but established an alliance with them against their common enemy, the Gauls. In 98 BC the Romans gave Veneto the status of Roman colony and a little later citizenship.

History – the Middle Ages

The region was among the first to be threatened by the barbarians, and the political center was moved to the lagoon islands, easier to defend, and to Istria, under the protection of the Eastern Roman Empire.From that time onwards, a very profitable relation developed between Venice and the East, while the rest of the region was occupied, as the greater part of Italy, by the Lombards and later by the Franks, who established a number of countdoms and helped the rise of the Lords of Este. Other great families rose in power in other cities: the Scaligeri in Verona and the da Carrara in Belluno.

Throughout the Middle Ages however the rise of Venice continued, until the city was the first naval power in the Mediterranean and started to conquer also the cities in the hinterland, establishing a strong state that was independent until 1797, when Napoleon crushed the free republic selling it to Austria with the Campoformio Treaty.

History – the Modern Age

Only during the Third War of Italian Independence (1866) Veneto was finally united to the Kingdom of Italy, but this only caused a massive exodus of its inhabitants towards the industrial centers in north-western Italy and to America.During the First World War the region suffered greatly, being for long years frontline between Italy and Austria. Also the Second World War, especially after 1943, caused innumerable victims among the civilian populations because of the heavy allied bombings of Treviso and Verona and the bloody reprisals of the Germans against the Italian Resistance.

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