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Digital Subscriptions > Italia! > Dec 2018 > Homes in Veneto

Homes in Veneto

This sophisticated northern region is famed for its elegant historic cities, but its lovely littleknown countryside deserves a lot more attention. For superb urban holiday rental prospects or great-value rural property, you’d do well to consider Veneto, says Fleur Kinson.
The walled city of Cittadella, one of many hidden gems

Extraordinary, irresistible Venice is one of the most visited cities in the world. More than 13 million people come to wander its watery streets every year. But for all Venice’s fame, the wide region surrounding it is not only comparatively unexplored, many people aren’t even sure how to pronounce it. (It’s ‘Ven-eh-to’, by the way, with the stress on the first syllable.) To be clear, it’s not that there aren’t other places in Veneto that visitors love – Verona, Vicenza, and the super-chic ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo – are also much adored. But mention Veneto’s wild open spaces, the rural beauty of the Euganean, Lessini or Berici Hills, or the foothills of the Dolomites, and most travellers scratch their heads.

These rural gems aren’t lesserknown because they’re difficult to get to. Veneto is an extremely prosperous and well-organised region with excellent transport connections and good roads. It’s just that visitors are generally a bit too busy being wowed by Venice and Veneto’s other bijou cities to find time to wander out into the beautiful hills and countryside outside the cities.

For property buyers, of course, this lack of popular awareness means some very attractive affordable country homes, and all within easy reach of exquisite little cities.

Moreover, the popularity of those cities means great holiday rental prospects for anyone who wants to buy an urban apartment. Clearly, both types of buyer should get to know Veneto better.

CONSIDER THE WHOLE

Since the region as a whole might not be quite as immediately familiar as certain other parts of Italy, it’s worth summarising its overall flavour for you here. Visually, Veneto can be said to be dominated by a kind of elegant drama and dreamy enchantment. The architecture is highly decorated, with intricatelywrought shapes climbing out of the pink, bone-white or dove-grey stone buildings. The countryside is soft and pretty and there’s shimmery water snaking everywhere – except in the far north where the fantastical golden needles of the Dolomites pierce the sky. The region’s cities are small and jewel-like. Places like Padua, Vicenza, Verona and Treviso are packed with history and charm, but so are Veneto’s many small towns and hamlets.

Culturally, Veneto is a wellrun and orderly place, with a clear awareness of the fine things in life and a flair for good living. This is one of the most populous regions in Italy, and its five million inhabitants are quite a creative and industrious bunch, but like Italians everywhere they enjoy a healthy work-life balance – making ample time for leisure with friends, savouring fine meals, and sitting at cafés watching the world go by.

The ski resort of Cortina D’Ampezzo is a popular attraction all year round
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About Italia!

There’s a seasonal feel to the pages this month, kicking off with our Gift Guide, which is full to the brim with Italian treats and gifts for friends and family. We travel to Piedmont, where Turin takes Christmas lights to another level with sophisticated displays that will take your breath away; and on to Milan, where the city’s best cafés are wrapped up in Christmas cheer. To escape from it all, we discover the forgotten history of a quiet corner of Lazio that’s right off the beaten track, marvel at the extraordinary Krampus tradition, and attend a chestnut festival near Viterbo.