Located in the northeastern part of Italy, Veneto borders Trentino - Alto Adige, Austria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Adriatic Sea, Emilia Romagna and Lombardia. It offers a great range of natural beauties from the breathtaking peaks of the Dolomites to the plains of the Adriatic coast. Veneto also offers man-made masterpieces like Venice, "The Queen of the Sea" and capital of the region.
The region was named after the Veneti, a people who settled in this region around 1000 BC and later became allies of the Romans. Subsequently among other vicissitudes, Veneto was invaded by the "Barbari" or nomadic type tribes, inhabitants of modern Germany and known as the "Barbaric". The advent of the "Communes" followed, then came the climax of the splendor of the Republic of Venice. Venice features Byzantine architecture with Gothic buildings such as Doge's palace and the Baroque of Baldassarre Longhena, the architecture of Palladio and the neoclassic artists that followed him. Modern Veneto has a population of approximately five million people.
Veneto is predominantly flat with thirty percent of its territory covered by mountains and fourteen percent covered by hills. Agriculture is still considerable although the region is heavily industrialized. Tourism is very active year round with many attractions including skiing in the area's famous mountain resorts like Cortina d'Ampezzo. Other attractions include the Euganean Spas of Abano, Montegroot and Battaglia near Padova (Padua), the lakes (particularly Lake Garda, the largest natural lake in Italy), and the beaches in the Adriatic Coast.
The cuisine is very rich and varied ranging from many seafood specialties from the areas surrounding Venice to other delicacies like rabbit, venison, local mushrooms, and white asparagus from Bassano del Grappa (home of the homonymous spirit). Veneto is also known as one of the main rice growing regions in Italy. It's use as starch in the local diet is widespread, and in homes and restaurants, a good "Risotto" is often preferred to pasta.
Viticulture has been present in the area since the Bronze Age. Several excavation sin the area near Peschiera on the southern shore of Lake Garda brought up the existence of the "Vitis Vinifera" in the area. The total wine growing area covers about 170,000 acres. There are distinct types of grapes grown in the areas surrounding each of the provinces. The most famous is in the Province of Verona around the shores of Lake Garda, including very well known areas such a s Soave and Valpolicella, where the famous Amarone is made. Other important areas are located near the province of Treviso near the town of Valdobbiadene, home of the famous Prosecco grape. The Euganean Hills outside Padova and the Berici Hills outside of Vicenza are also prized areas that are getting more attention lately.
The bulk of the wine production is located in the flatter part of the region, particularly around the province of Venice extending toward Treviso, Padova and the Friuli region. Castelfranco Veneto is also known internationally for its School of Enology and its many coopers working to make most of the large wood Slovenian oak casks found throughout Italy.