A magnificent city, on the banks of the Adige River and surrounded by the Lessini Mountains, Verona was founded by the Veneti people and later, in the second century BC, became an important Roman city in Northern Italy. In the historical city center it is still possible to see some of the extraordinary bridges and arches built by the Romans centuries ago. A great example of the ancient link with Rome is the Arena, the third largest amphitheater in Italy built in the first century and still in use today for the summer Opera Festival. The della Scala family, rulers of the city between the 13th and 15th centuries, can be credited with vast new construction projects that helped with the growth of this beautiful city. Verona is most notably known as the city of Romeo and Juliet, the dramatic novel originally written by Luigi da Porto and made famous by Shakespeare. After your visit to the legendary Juliet’s house, spend time visiting historical squares and sites, including Piazza Brà, Piazza delle Erbe which is reminiscent of the ancient Roman Forum; Piazza dei Signori, the Tombs of the della Scala Family. Take some time to visit hidden treasures, such as the Church of Saint Zeno, the Church of Saint Anastasia and the Roman Theater. Bear witness to this breathtaking city full of art and Medieval, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Prepare yourself for a unique experience of unforgettable dreams and superb harmony that inspired poets, musicians and writers like Dante, Byron and Mozart.
Although the city has always been described as the city of Andrea Palladio, the architect who in the 16th century created some of the most famous masterpieces in the world, Vicenza is worthy of a visit for the little treasures hidden in the narrow silent streets of the city. For instance, the House of Antonio Pigafetta, who circumnavigated the globe with Magellan, the Venetian gothic palaces embellished by the rare four light windows and the harmonious paintings by Bellini, Veronese, Tiepolo and other great artists in the peaceful churches.
Famous writers like Goethe, Hemingway and Camus wrote seductive pages about this city and its architecture. The area around Vicenza is full of beautiful castles and villas, some designed by Palladio, some built during the time of Venetian rule. For this reason a tour of the city cannot be considered complete without a visit to some of the beautiful villas in the countryside, such as Villa La Rotonda, Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Villa Godi Malinverni and Villa Poiana.
Situated between the Bacchiglione and Brenta Rivers, Padua is the home of one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the University of Padua. Galileo Galilei taught here for almost 20 years. While visiting the University, see Galileo’s “desk” and the original anatomic theater. In the Renaissance period, Padua became an epicenter for the development of art and architectural design, with many of the techniques still used in monuments, museums and buildings today. Donatello worked for almost ten years in Padua. His equestrian statue, Gattamelata, considered one of his masterpieces, influenced the bronze technique developed later by other local artists. Andrea Mantegna began his career in Padua, perfecting his art, before leaving for Mantova and Giotto. Besides the Scrovegni’s Chapel and the Basilica of Saint Anthony, a visit to Padua cannot be complete without a brief stop at the Eremitani Church, the Palace of Reason in the Piazza dei Signori, and the Caffè Pedrocchi, one of the most admired historical coffeehouses in Italy. A few miles south of Padua within the cities of Abano, Montegrotto and Teolo are some of Italy’s largest spa retreats. Leisure activities, a relaxing environment and thermal spa treatments can satisfy the most demanding tourist. The mineral waters found in this region, containing chloride, sodium, iodide and bromide, have been used since Roman times to heal and prevent diseases and illness.
The area of the Euganean Hills is famous for the magnificent villas built by noble families and still admired for its historical gardens full of fountains, ponds, cypresses and statues.
A refined and fascinating city on the Sile River that has been magnificently described in Dante’s Paradisio, the third part of the Divine Comedy. Treviso has been called the “Venice of the Mainland,” recalling Venice’s porticoes, canals and small colored houses. Piazza dei Signori and the Palace of Trecento are at the heart of the small historical center. A stroll on the main road, Calmaggiore, embellished by painted houses and elegant shops, leads the tourist to the imposing Cathedral where you can admire a masterpiece of Titian. It is worth visiting the Romanesque Church of Saint Frances and the Domenican construction of Saint Nicolò that house outstanding frescoes by Tommaso da Modena, a painter influenced by Giotto.
During his journey in Treviso, Sigmund Freud was so attracted by the atmosphere of this city that he “got lost”. We experience the same, just by following the flowing canals and walking on the picturesque roads.
So many words and pages have been written about this unforgettable city that everyone instantly recognizes it for Saint Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace, but Venice is not only the crowded, touristy city that we all think it is. Just a little off the beaten path, are quiet and authentic Venetian sites where life keeps going without change. It is easy to find a treasure even in the smallest campiello, around a corner or just after the narrowest of porticos, an impressive church can appear. The list of palaces, convents, museums and hidden gardens is too long to be summarized in a few sentences. The best way to visit Venice is to be led by experienced and native guides, who will help the refined tourist to leave the famous places behind and explore the unexpected jewels of the city built on water…
Surrounded by the peaks of the Dolomites, is a picturesque city that welcomes visitors with intimate architecture and elegant buildings. From the Square of the Cathedral, religious center of the city, it is easy to reach the other buildings of interest, such as the Palace of Government, the Civic Museum, Saint Steven and Saint Rocco Churches, and the lively Market Square.
The extraordinary rock faces of the Dolomites are a dream for ambitious climbers, and in these little mountain towns, tourists can find time to relax and admire the breathtaking views. One of the most famous and exclusive resorts in the Dolomites is Cortina d’Ampezzo, where travellers can experience scenic walking trips in the summer and fabulous skiing in the winter. Other delightful villages in the area are Arabba and Alleghe, known for the blue alpine lake which was formed by a landslide.
The amazing position of Rovigo between two of the longest rivers in Italy, the Po and Adige, has always influenced the development of the city and the territory. Floods have changed the look of the area and forced residents to move to safer places. Although the population has diminished over the years, Rovigo is still a picturesque town to visit. At two of the city’s most famous churches, Saint Frances and La Rotonda, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it is possible to admire complete examples of 17th century paintings by some of the most famous Venetian painters. In the main square, the Palace of the Concordi Academy houses a beautiful collection of works and paintings by Bellini, Tiepolo, Rosalba Carriera, Longhi, Dosso Dossi, Luca Giordano and many other Italian painters.