Veneto sat alone in the Kingdom of Italy as an independent state for more than a millennium.  Located in the northeastern region of Italy, Veneto was viewed as the most powerful and wealthiest maritime ports in all of the Western world.  Nestled in the cove of the Adriatic Sea, Veneto extends out to the Dolomites, a mountain range that is the limestone base of the Italian Alps.  This location was a highly sought after place during early civilization with several ruling parties including Romans, Austrians and Barbarians.  The capital city of Veneto, Venice, is one of the most visited travel destinations for tourists coming to Italy.  The city of Venice is located on the coastal marshland (Venetian lagoon) where the Po and Piave River empty into the Adriatic Sea.  Venice goes by many names such as the Floating City, City of Canals or the City of Masks.  It was known as La Dominante’ as it was the center of the Western world.

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Venice became the staging area for the Crusades.  The Crusades brought much wealth to the streets of Venice, and flooded it with trade.  Silk, grains, rice and spices from the Middle East were in high demand, and the streets of Venice had merchants at every corner peddling their goods.  All great things tend to toss in a bit of tragedy, and in 16th century, the city of Venice (where 80% of Veneto’s population lived at the time) perished as a result of the Black Death.

Realizing the struggles that Veneto has faced, Spain and France began to war over the Italian region in Italian Wars.  The city fell to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797.  After the defeat of France by Austria, the region returned to the Lombardy Kingdom.  It wasn’t until 1866 that Veneto was freed from foreign rule.  The Third Italian War of Independence resulted in the independence of Veneto to the newly formed, Kingdom of Italy. It is known that many of the people in the region still speak a dialect of Italian known as Venetian. It’s a variation of Italian, Austrian and Slavic.

Now that we have gotten the history of this great region out of the way, the canals of Venice aren’t the only thing that bring people to this great region. Winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing and dog sledding are all found along the Dolomites. If you’re looking for sun and sandy beaches, check out the beautiful coastline that stretches from Bibione to Cavallino. In the city of Venice, gondolas can be found floating through canals and are a major transportation source.

If you’re looking to satisfy your appetite, fish is a wonderful staple along the region.  Freshwater eel, sardines and cod are the most popular fish. Usually the fish are served fried, salted or served in saor (marinated in white wine, white vinegar and olive oil).  With tons of marshland, Veneto has an abundance of rice fields and risotto and polenta are very popular dishes served at dinner.   In the mountainous regions of the Dolomites, excellent cheeses are plentiful and you could find Asiago DOP (the place where it all began).

After surviving the Crusades, several wars and a plague, the “Gem of the Adriatic” continues to thrive as the epicenter of culture and trade for the Western world.

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