DAY 7: Italy, Venice and Veneto region

Today’s wine is from the Delle Venezie region, one of the largest and most recognized wine regions of Italy – and – if you enjoy Pinot Grigio, this destination is for you! Located in the Northeast of Italy (bordering Slovenia – see Day 2), this area was once the Venetian Empire, a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and is where the popular city of Venice is located. 

Venice, Italy photo courtesy of Italy National Tourism Board

Venice, a center of world trade and commerce for centuries, has long been one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. The romance of the “city of masks”, its canals and architecture take center stage, but Venice is also known for its food, wine, history, art, opera, museums and festivals. And if that isn’t enough to hold you, other nearby islands, like Lido, Murano and Burano beckon you with their beach, artisan glass making and lace (respectively). 

There are many more reasons to select this region as your vacation destination besides the canal filled city which is usually the main attraction. Those willing to venture out of the city into the surrounding areas will be well rewarded with some of Italy’s greatest cultural, architectural and scenic treasures, as well as a huge assortment of activities. 

Veneto is an area known for its beautiful villas throughout the region. Andrea Palladio, known for designing some of the world’s most perfect buildings, created numerous buildings in the towns and countryside of this region. Two of his works, the Villa La Rotonda (an hour west of Venice) and the Maser – both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have inspired architects, artists, and poets through the centuries. But there are many other villas across the Veneto region and works of thousands of architects sure to captivate you as well.

An easy drive west, you can reach the city of Verona, home of Shakespeare’s timeless Romeo and Juliet. The city is filled with Renaissance architecture and also boasts one of the largest Roman arenas in Italy, now used as a venue for opera and other live performances. Continue just a bit further west and you can enjoy the beautiful Lake Garda, one of largest lakes in Italy. The lake area offers lots of outdoor water activities and sports, from hiking to mountain biking, free climbing, parasailing to sailing, windsurfing, swimming, golf, tennis and horseback riding. Or enjoy wandering through the numerous hamlets, towns, ancient fishing villages and even an ancient cloister, to discover the area’s history, as well as elegant shops, local shops, tasty local specialties and wines.  

Drive north a couple of hours to reach the magnificent mountains of the Dolomites, part of the Southern Alps, and a perfect destination for anyone who loves the mountains, sport and fun. Always a plethora of winter and summer activities, events, festivals, ancient crafts and shopping can be found here. Formerly part of Austria, you can experience Austrian and Italian cultures coexisting. Drive breathtaking, scenic routes into the mountains to Italy’s exclusive ski resorts like Cortina d’Ampezzo, which will co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics. Magnificent panoramic views can be had while ascending the peaks by cable car. Also a popular playground for the rich and famous, the shopper will want to check out the designer stores in this fashionable resort town or engage in a bit of people watching.

photos courtesy of Veneto Tourism

The Po River located in the south of the region is popular for river cruising offering a unique way to explore Northern Italy. While the area greatly appeals to romantics, food and wine connoisseurs and lovers of art, history and architecture, some cruise lines offer select family program sailings. These sailings focus their itinerary and activities on unique, fun-filled adventures for families to enjoy together. They combine culturally and historically significant experiences designed to spark creativity and curiosity, sure to provide a very memorable family vacation. 

The best travel months to visit Venice and the area are April, May, June, September, and October, but are also typically its busiest and most expensive. Venice is one of the most crowded destinations of Europe, so if you prefer to avoid big crowds, September and October are recommended.

WHEN TO GO: April/May or September/October, Allow at least 4 nights for the city alone, at least 7 to 10 if taking in some of the surrounding region  

POPULAR TRAVEL STYLES: Small Private Groups, Independent Travel, Experienced Traveler, River Cruise, Luxury Travel

IDEAL FOR: Romantic Travel, Culinary/Wine, Art, History, Architecture, Active Vacation, Ski Vacation, Family Vacation, Regional Immersion

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Published by Cheryl Walton

Travel changes your perspective while creating special memories along the way. My goal is to always help create the vacation experience you imagine - whether it's bucket list travel, a celebration or a special interest vacation - history, WWII, heritage, wine, beer, culinary, language, art, and genealogy (just a few of my favorites). My first trip abroad was to southern Belgium as part of a town twinning program to help keep French culture alive in Louisiana. My host family provided an inside view of their country, lifestyle and culture, creating a friendship now 30+ years strong through 4 generations! That trip definitely impacted my style of travel - getting off the beaten path and engaging with locals - as well as a later career change to travel advisor. I strive to provide similar experiences tailored to your interests and comfort level.

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