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Venetian lagoon, water canal, and buildings in Chioggia town in Veneto

Things to do in  Veneto

Land of the floating city

There’s more to the Veneto region than the superstar city of Venice. Most visitors focus on the floating city, but there's plenty beyond Venice’s watery confines. Prosecco, Italy’s iconic bubbly, is produced in the nearby Conegliano slopes. Wine tours through these DOC hills or the Amarone vineyards of Valpolicella near Lake Garda top the Veneto to-do list. For outdoor lovers, the UNESCO-listed Dolomite peaks soar to the north. Meanwhile, art and culture enthusiasts explore medieval masterpieces and ancient ruins in Padua, Vicenza, and Verona to the south.

Top 15 attractions in Veneto

St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

The crown jewel of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is an ornate cathedral that blends elements of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture. Topped by soaring domes and replete with astonishing golden mosaics, the church is so opulent it is known as the Chiesa d’Oro, or the Golden Church.More

Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

The powerful Doges ruled the Venetian Empire from the Gothic fantasy palace that is Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) until 1797. The site was one of the first things those arriving in Venice saw as their ships sailed through the lagoon and landed at St Mark's Square, and the doges ruled with an iron fist—justice was often meted out here. Today, the site is one of the most well-known attractions in Italy.More

Grand Canal

Venice is a city built on water, and the Grand Canal (Canale Grande) is its bustling main street. Lined with sumptuous Venetian palaces and crowded with gondolas, water taxis, and vaporetti (public ferries), this thoroughfare is a feast for the senses. The Grand Canal winds its way through the central neighborhoods of Venice from the Santa Lucia train station to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), passing under the iconic Rialto Bridge along the way, and functions as the scenic main artery for transporting both people and goods around the City of Canals.More

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), often referred to as “the drawing room of Europe,” is one of the most famous squares in Italy. The geographic and cultural heart of Venice—with St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace at one end, the campanile towering above, and the colonnaded arcade topped by the Procuratie palaces lining three sides—this elegant piazza is also steeped in history. Settle in at one of the many coveted café tables and watch tourists (and pigeons) pose for photos while you sip a Bellini and soak in the square’s Renaissance splendor.More

Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto)

The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) was the first to span Venice’s Grand Canal (Canal Grande) between its two highest points above sea level. The original 12th-century wooden bridge was replaced in 1592 by a stone structure resting on wooden pilings—a bold design by Antonio da Ponte featuring a single central arch over the water that allow ships to pass. Today, the bridge is among Italy’s most famous, carrying an endless stream of tourists and locals across the canal while countless gondolas and vaporetto water buses pass beneath.More

Venice Islands

Venice comprises more than 100 islands, but “the Venice Islands” refer to the three most famous outlying islands in the Venetian lagoon: Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Murano, just north of Venice proper, has been the center of Venice’s famous glass-making industry since 1291. Farther north, Burano has quiet canals lined with brightly painted fishermen’s houses and is home to Venice’s traditional lace artisans. The neighboring island of Torcello was first settled in 452.More

Juliet’s House (Casa di Giulietta)

William Shakespeare put Verona on the map for the English-speaking world, setting his tale of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet in this northern Italian city. The Bard’s timeless story has inspired a steady flow of romantics to visit Juliet’s House, or Casa di Giulietta, as Verona’s 13th-century palazzo of the Dal Cappello family is now known. Though Romeo and Juliet were almost certainly figments of Shakespeare’s imagination and the famous balcony where Juliet is said to have gazed down at Romeo was added centuries after the love story was written, the romance of Juliet’s House transcends fact or fiction.More

Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni)

Padua is home to one of Italy’s greatest treasures of medieval art: the Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni). Decorated with an exquisite early-14th-century fresco cycle by Giotto—considered a masterpiece of Western art—the chapel was restored in 2002, and the frescoes were returned to their original magnificence.More


Of Venice’s 100-plus outlying islands, the group that forms Murano is the most famous. This tight cluster of small islands has been the center of the Floating City’s historic glassmaking industry since 1291, when the city center’s glass factories were forcibly moved across the lagoon—just north of Venice proper—after a number of devastating fires. Today, travelers visit Murano to see how expertly trained artisans blow glass into exquisite stemware, chandeliers, vases, and sculptures. Those particularly interested in the history of glassmaking should stop by the Museo del Vetro, which traces the art back to ancient Egypt.More

Verona Arena

Feel like part of history as you attend an event in the Verona Arena (Arena di Verona), a spectacular Roman amphitheater that has dominated Piazza Bra since the first century. Once a venue for sporting events, games, and gladiatorial battles, today audiences of up to 15,000 gather to watch opera, music concerts, and dance performances.More

Porta Borsari

Porta Borsari is a white limestone gate that once marked an entrance point into the Italian city of Verona. With two arched entrances and two sets of windows above, it’s a lasting example of the impressive scale of Roman monumental architecture.More

Piazza delle Erbe

Ringed with bustling cafes and elegant Baroque-style buildings, Piazza delle Erbe (or market square has been the home of Verona’s main market since ancient Roman times. Today, visitors still come to browse the market tables stacked high with regional produce, olive oil, and wine; or just enjoy a traditional Italian espresso while enjoying the sounds of the open-air market.More


Venice is made up of a group of islands that is crowded with opulent churches and sumptuous palaces. The humble island of Burano, though, in the outer reaches of the Venetian lagoon, shows a completely different side of the city, with its jumble of technicolor fishers’ houses and a long tradition of lace-making.More

Piazza Brà

Home to the city’s town hall and other important buildings, Piazza Bra sits at the heart of life in Verona. The huge city square welcomes visitors from all around the world who come to stroll the wide expanse, enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of the al fresco restaurants, or attend one of the regular music performances held at the Verona Arena.More

Bridge of Sighs

As poignant as it is beautiful, Venice’s 17th-century, white-limestone Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) spans the narrow Rio di Palazzo canal between the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) and the New Prisons just opposite. It’s one of the most famous bridges in the Floating City.More

Top activities in Veneto

Best Of Venice: Saint Mark's Basilica, Doges Palace with Guide and Gondola Ride
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Murano & Burano Islands Guided Small-Group Tour by Private Boat
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Venice: St Mark's Basilica After-Hours Tour with Optional Doge's Palace
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Venice in A Day: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace & Gondola Ride
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Venice in A Day: St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace & Gondola Ride

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The Real Hidden Venice

The Real Hidden Venice

Best of Venice: St Marks, Doges Palace, with Murano and Burano & Gondola Ride!
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Doge's Palace and St Mark's Basilica Tour
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All about Veneto

When to visit

Grey, rain-filled skies hover over this northern region for much of winter, but the wet weather empties Venice of tourists if you’re seeking a quieter visit. Spring and fall are the best seasons to explore Veneto’s art cities, where temperatures soar in summer. Head to the high-altitude Dolomites if you want to escape the summer heat. Wine enthusiasts flock to the region’s cellars in fall when the vineyards are at their lush best.

Getting around

Almost all of Venice is car-free, so you can only get around the city of canals on foot or by boat. The main art cities of Padua, Vicenza, and Verona are well-connected by train, but you’ll need to rent a car (or join a tour with transportation) to explore the wineries in Valpolicella and Conegliano or to hit the trails and slopes in the peaks surrounding Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Traveler tips

To dine like a true Venetian, search out a traditional bàcari wine bar for a selection cichetti washed down with an ombra. Cichetti are Venice’s version of tapas—small plates and finger foods usually kept in a glass-fronted display case next to the bar and eaten standing up. They're paired with a small glass of local white wine, known locally as ombra. The most popular local wine bars have crowds of patrons spilling out onto the canal-side alleyway.

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People Also Ask

Is Veneto worth visiting?

Yes, Veneto is a culture-rich region, with headliner cities like Venice, Padua, and Verona stuffed with art and architecture. The region offers premier wine country for tours and tastings, mountain peaks to explore on foot (or skis), and the eastern shores of Lake Garda, ideal for hiking and water sports.

What do you call someone from Veneto?

Residents of the Veneto region are called Veneti, though most locals identify more with their city of residence than the region as a whole. Residents of Venice are known as Veneziani, those from Padua are called Padovani, and those from Verona go by Veronesi.

How many tourists visit Veneto?

Veneto is one of Italy's most visited regions, largely due to Venice. Yearly, more than five million visitors stop in La Serenissima, while Verona and Padua host three million and one million annual visitors, respectively. The Veneto Dolomites draw one million yearly adventurers looking to hit the trails and slopes.

What food is Veneto famous for?

Veneto stretches from mountain peaks to the Adriatic coastline, so the regional cuisine varies. However, there are a few flagship delicacies and dishes that stand out, including crisp prosecco and bold amarone wines, grappa spirits from Bassano del Grappa, Asiago cheese from the eponymous plateau, and Venice’s cichetti small plates.

Do people speak English in Veneto?

Yes. Tourism is a huge industry in Venice, and many Venetians speak enough English to communicate with international visitors. Hotel and restaurant staff, shopkeepers, and even gondoliers can often converse with customers in English. Once you leave Venice, you’ll find that English is much less common.

How many days do you need in Veneto?

You’ll need a week in Veneto to fully experience the region. Venice takes at least two days to visit, especially if you explore the outlying islands of Murano and Burano. Verona, Vicenza, and Padua all merit a day trip, as do the region’s wine-producing areas and the Dolomites.


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