Veneto Region

coat of arms Situated in north-eastern Italy bordering Austria, the region is rich in art cities, Unesco world heritage sites and other great destinations: Venice and its lagoon, Verona and Padua, the Palladian Villas and the city of Vicenza, the Dolomite National Park, the Gardaland theme park, the spa facilities at Abano Terme, the memorial sites of World War One.

The Provinces


The Territory

The largest part of the territory is a plain, with low hills of volvanic origin, the Monti Berici and the Colli Euganei, in the middle. The coastline is low, with wide, sandy beaches, interrupted by the mouths of the many rivers, canals and lagoons. Veneto is circled in the North by some among the most spectacular Alpine summits, as the Marmolada group, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Monte Cristallo, and to the south and east includes the eastern bank of Lake Garda, the northern Po delta and a coastline of wide sandy beaches and lagoons.

History - Antiquity

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 - Modern Times

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.


The population is concentrated in the Southern part, and mostly employed in agriculture in many small farms, specialized in the cultivation of maize, barley, soy bean and sugar-beet, vineyards producing highly renowned wines, fruit and vegetables. Fishing is also an important resource, as well as the many food-processing industries.

Other specialized trades are goldsmithery in Vicenza, glass in Murano, lacework in Burano. But possibly the most promising resource is tourism, first of all to world-famous Venice, but also to the Dolomite mountains, Lake Garda, the spa and seaside resorts, and the other great art cities of the region.

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Provinces of Veneto
Veneto region
Surnames in the Provinces of Veneto