Veneto, Italy

Veneto is a region located in north-eastern Italy and with the capital Venice. Thanks to a remarkable industrial development, it is today one of the richest regions of Italy. Thanks to its landscape, historical, artistic and architectural heritage, with over 15.7 million visitors and 63.4 million tourists a year, it is the most visited region in Italy (according to a 2011 statistic).


Geographic hints

Veneto borders Friuli-Venezia Giulia to the east, Austria to the north, Trentino-Alto Adige to the north-west, Lombardy to the west, Emilia-Romagna to the south and is bordered by the Adriatic Sea .

Venetian Plain — The Venetian plain is crossed by the Adige and the Piave. The Polesine is the southern part of the plain which is found in several points below sea level. The main cities of the Veneto region, Vicenza, Verona, Padua, Treviso are located in the plain.

We distinguish three areas:
Veneto coast — The Veneto coast is a region of lagoons. It extends from the Po delta to Caorle. The port of Chioggia is on the southern stretch of coast. Numerous seaside resorts line the low and sandy coasts.
Hilly area goes from Bassano del Grappa to Vittorio Veneto. It also includes isolated reliefs in the plain such as the Euganean Hills and the Berici Hills
Mountainous area - consists of the Venetian Pre-Alps and the Venetian Dolomites which affect the province of Belluno. The regions of the Veneto Dolomites are Cadore, Agordino and Val di Zoldo, all in the upper Belluno area.


Spoken languages

Even today, in addition to Italian, a considerable part of the population speaks Veneto (in a highly Italianized form and with very significant variations based on the area). In some very limited areas Emilian, Friulian, Ladin, Bavarian and Cimbrian are also spoken in some municipalities.


Culture and traditions

Carnival — Venice Carnival, Veneto Carnival and Malo Carnival.


Territories and tourist destinations

Belluno - The territory is located in the north and is characterized by the presence of the Dolomites and a purely mountain culture, very popular with lovers of hiking and skiing.
Veneto coast — Includes the coast facing the Adriatic and the Venice Lagoon.
Treviso brand


Urban centers

Belluno - The city is considered the gateway to the Dolomites. Its territory boasts renowned tourist centers including Cortina d'Ampezzo, the Ski Civetta with Selva di Cadore, Alleghe and Zoldo Alto, Auronzo di Cadore, Falcade, Arabba, Alpe del Nevegal and in general the areas of Cadore and Agordino.
Padua - Its predominantly flat territory includes the Euganean Hills and the Euganean Spas, whose main center is Abano Terme.
Rovigo — Meeting point between Venetian and Ferrarese culture.
Treviso — Capital of the "joyful and loving Marca".
Venice — Capital of the region, Venice is a city of unique charm that attracts visitors from every corner of the earth.
Verona — the city of Romeo and Juliet and the Roman Arena.
Vicenza — the city of Palladio. The Vicentine Pre-Alps with the Small Dolomites (Pasubio massif, Sengio Alto chain, Carega group and Tre Croci chain), the Plateau group (Seven Municipalities Plateau and Folgaria Plateau, Tonezza del Cimone, Florentines, Lavarone and Luserna) and the Lessini Mountains.


Other destinations

Bardolino - Location known for the production of wine.
Bassano del Grappa — Known for the distillation of grappa and for the ceramic factories but also, and above all, for the "Bassano bridge"; important battle point in WWII.
Marostica — Known for the medieval castle, the chess game with living characters.
Monte Pasubio — known for the Strada delle 52 Gallerie, for the Sacred area (combat sites of the First World War).


Ski resorts

Monte Civetta district: Alleghe — Palafavera, Selva di Cadore and Val di Zoldo.
Cortina d'Ampezzo — renowned ski resort.


Beach resorts

Caorle — seaside resort famous for its picturesque old town.
Bibione — bathing and thermal center.
Jesolo — seaside resort known for its entertainment.
Garda — resort on the lake of the same name.



Abano Terme
Montegrotto Terme
Recoaro Terme


Natural parks

Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta
Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park
Regional Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites
Regional Park of the Euganean Hills
Regional Natural Park of the River Sile



Castelfranco Veneto

Lake Garda
Poveglia Island


How to get here

By plane
The main airport of the region is Venice's Marco Polo, currently the third largest airport in Italy, while Verona's Valerio Catullo airport is dedicated to domestic flights, and Treviso's San Giuseppe airport to low-cost flights.

By car
The Veneto is crossed by the A4 motorway (Turin-Trieste), by the A22 (Brennero-Modena), by the A13 (Bologna-Padua), by the A27 (Venice-Belluno), by the A31 (Valdastico Piovene-Rocchette - Agugliaro The opening of the missing section is expected at the end of August 2015 so as to join the so-called Transpolesana near Rovigo).


What to see

Piazza San Marco, the canals, the palaces and the carnival of Venice
Island of Murano known for its glass craftsmanship, and the colorful island of Burano
Arena di Verona and Juliet's balcony in Verona
Church of Sant'Antonio, Church of Santa Giustina, Scrovegni Chapel and Botanical Garden in Padua
Palladian villas
Wine Museum Museum dedicated to the world of wine in Bardolino (Verona)

Cycle path of the Adige valley


What to do

Gardaland amusement park in Castelnuovo del Garda (Verona) Excursions by boat along the canals of Padua, the Riviera del Brenta, the islands of the Venetian lagoon.



Typical dishes and products of the Veneto region
Cod Vicentina
Venetian liver
Pasta and beans
Radicchio risotto
rice and peas
Sopa coada
Fried or stewed bisata with polenta
Sardee in saór
Veronese boiled meat with pearà

Among the best-known Venetian products worthy of note are the DOP Asiago and Montasio and Piave and Taleggio cheeses, the Treviso IGP radicchio, the Vicentina sopressa DOP, the white asparagus of Cimadolmo IGP, the Vialone nano Veronese rice IGP and the cherries of Marostica PGI.

Veneto is the largest and most productive region of the country in terms of wine. There are really many DOC wines from Veneto, while among the best known DOGC wines of the region, Amarone della Valpolicella, Bardolino Superiore, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco and Soave Superiore stand out. In addition to these, we should also mention: Asolo Prosecco, Bagnoli Friularo, Colli di Conegliano, Colli Euganei Fior d'Arancio, Lison, Montello Rosso, Piave Malanotte, Recioto della Valpolicella, Recioto di Gambellara and Recioto di Soave.



Morainic hills of Lake Garda — On the first folds of the Po valley that becomes a hill, where the large lake basin of Lake Garda begins, the route passes through towns and cities that were under the dominion of the Gonzaga, Venice, Scaliger, and then became theater of the bloody battles of the Risorgimento which were the prelude to the unification of Italy. To the tourist, historical and naturalistic importance, the area combines an oenological interest as an area of production of the wines of the hills, tokai, merlot and claret.
Places of the battle of Solferino and San Martino — The itinerary runs through the places where the historic battle of Solferino and San Martino took place on 24 June 1859.
Walled cities of the Veneto. An itinerary to discover the strongholds and history of the Veneto.
Cammino di Bardolino — An itinerary to discover the hinterland of Lake Garda.
Hills of Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene



In Veneto crime is low.



The flag of Veneto, adopted with the regional law n. 56 of 20 May 1975, synthesizes several centuries of Venetian history in symbols, colors and shapes.

The main element of the flag and coat of arms is the lion of San Marco, which has been the symbol of the Republic of Venice for several centuries. San Marco was adopted as patron saint of the city and of the Republic, replacing the Greek San Todaro in 828, following the transfer to Venice from Alexandria of Egypt of the body of the evangelist by two merchants, Rustego da Torcello and Bon da Malamocco . Starting from this date, the saint was depicted in a human figure in public coats of arms and banners.

The first ascertained representation of the winged lion of Saint Mark, which since the first centuries after Christ was associated with the figure of the evangelist, dates back to 1261, when with the fall of the Latin Empire of Constantinople Venice forged closer relations with Egypt, land whose sultan, Baybars, raised a lion andante (i.e. seen from the side) as his coat of arms. In this era the pre-eminent representation was that of the lion in moleca (or moeca, i.e. seen from the front with wings crowning him). Starting from the 15th century, banners began to be displayed in which the classic Marcian lion passant with book and sword stood out: in the same period this iconography was generally adopted as a symbol of the Republic. If the book was open it was a symbol of peace, if it was closed instead of war.


Physical geography

Veneto is a region that includes many forms of natural landscape: from the coastal strip overlooking the Adriatic to the Veneto-Friuli plain, which then rises in the twelve reliefs of the Euganean and Berici hills, up to the Alps in the northernmost part including most of the Dolomites. With an area of 18390 km², Veneto is the eighth Italian region by surface area. The northernmost point is Cima Vanscuro (on the border with Austria, there called Pfannspitze) and the southernmost point is Punta di Bacucco. Its territory is morphologically very varied, with a prevalence of plains (56.4%).

The land borders are identified by natural elements of a hydrographic type (Po, Tagliamento, Livenza), but also of an orographic type (such as the buttresses to the north of the Asiago plateau, or Mount Baldo). Another geographical element characterizing the Veneto region is the hydrographic basin of the Piave almost entirely enclosed within the borders of the region, since the Piave's sources passed together with Sappada in the nearby region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The highest peak in the region is the Marmolada (3343 m) located in the Province of Belluno on the border with Trentino-Alto Adige.

Alpine passes
There are numerous Dolomite passes that cross the regional mountain area: Passo di Giau, Passo di Valparola, Passo Fedaia, Passo di Falzarego, Passo di Campolongo, Passo Duran, Forcella Staulanza, Passo della Mauria, Passo di Monte Croce di Comelico, Passo Tre Croci, Xomo Pass, Cibiana Pass, Buole Pass, San Boldo Pass, Forcella Lavardet, Croce d'Aune Pass, Forcella Aurine, Cima Sappada, Sella di Rioda.






Lake Garda
Misurina lake
Santa Croce lake
Revine lakes



From the cold climate of the Dolomites to the Mediterranean one of the Adriatic coast, Veneto summarizes all the temperatures of Europe in an area of 18390 km².

Lake Garda is a case in itself: thanks to its size, the surrounding climate, relatively mild throughout the year, has sub-Mediterranean characteristics with mild winters and very hot summers.

The climate of Veneto is of the sub-continental type, but with the mitigating agent of the sea and the chain of the Alps to protect it from the north winds, it is overall temperate.

Among the various main climatic zones we find: the Alpine region, characterized by cool summers and cold temperatures in winter with frequent snowfalls, the hilly area and part of the flat area where the climate is milder, most of the plain where the climate is of the humid temperate type, i.e. with relatively cold and humid winters and long hot and muggy summers.



In Veneto there is a protected national park and five regional ones. They are:
Belluno Dolomites National Park
Regional Natural Park of the Ampezzo Dolomites
Regional Park of the Euganean Hills
Regional natural park of Lessinia
Regional Natural Park of the River Sile
Po Delta Regional Park
In addition to these, there are also six Regional Nature Reserves, fourteen State Nature Reserves, two Wetlands of International Importance, nine Regional State Forests and several Regional Parks and Reserves of local interest.



Prehistory and ancient history

Already inhabited in prehistoric times, initially a settlement of the Euganeans, it was occupied in the protohistoric era by the people of the Veneti, according to the classical legend originating from the Troas and Paphlagonia in Anatolia, today Turkey. Many important cities of the region originate from Venetian settlements, for example Padua, Concordia, Oderzo (among the settlements attested in more ancient times, 9th-8th century BC), Este, Treviso, Belluno, Altino, Vicenza and probably Verona and Adria.

The Anatolian provenance of the Adriatic Veneti is not accepted by all ancient authors and is still the subject of discussion today. Ancient sources hand down the existence of populations called Veneti from Brittany to Spain, the Romans called Lake Constance in Switzerland Lacus Veneticus, Epirus in Greece, Anatolia and various toponyms would be connected to these populations (e.g. the Vindelicia , region corresponding to present-day Bavaria, Vindebona - present-day Vienna). According to some scholars, these populations testify to the existence of a single Indo-European civilization which would have extended over the entire north-western Adriatic, and could be traced back to the culture of the urn fields.

The Romanization process of Venetia took place gradually: Veneti and Romans were in fact allies starting from the 3rd century BC: in 225-222 BC. Veneti and Cenomani formed a military alliance with Rome against the Insubres, the Boii and the Gesati, providing according to Polybius a contingent of 20,000 men. The Gauls were defeated in the battle of Clastidium in 222. In 216 Venetian militias fought in Cannae against Hannibal.

In 181 BC. the dedication of the Roman colony of Aquileia, built on the edge of the Venetian territory, further strengthened the traditional relations of collaboration with the Romans and after the social war in 89 BC. several Venetian cities obtained the ius Latii. In 49 BC. the populations of the territory obtained full Roman citizenship from Julius Caesar.

In the Augustan era, the territory was included in Regio X Venetia et Histria, which had Aquileia as its main centre. Under Diocletian it became a province Venetiae et Histriae extending its limits up to the river Adda.

The Christianization of the region took place starting from Aquileia, where Christianity had probably arrived by sea. According to tradition, it was St. Mark the Evangelist who founded the church of Aquileia. He would also have sent the Greek Prosdocimo to evangelize Padua, Asolo, Vicenza, Treviso, Altino and Este. A Christian community from Roman Africa would have contributed to the evangelization of Verona; also African is San Zeno, patron saint of the city.


Medieval history

The barbarian invasions and the fall of the Western Empire
The first infiltrations of Germanic tribes into the territory of the region took place as early as 168-169 AD. with the sacking of Oderzo by the Quadi and the Marcomanni. However, it was from the 5th century onwards that the incursions became repeated and more devastating, with the Huns, the Heruli, and finally with Theodoric's Ostrogoths, who established their kingdom over the Veneto and Italy in 493.
Nonetheless, the regional framework still remained essentially unitary; language, writing, institutions, agricultural and manufacturing techniques, although weakened, survived the impact of this barbaric wave.


Byzantines and Lombards

The Gothic domination ended brutally in the mid-sixth century following the invasion of the Byzantine armies led by the generals Narses and Belisarius.
Shortly afterwards, in 568 AD, however, the formidable and devastating invasion of the Lombards took place, which led to the subtraction of a large part of northern Italy from the imperial dominion. It was in that phase that a separation was created in Veneto between the continental area, under Lombard rule, and the coastal area, still dependent on the Byzantine Empire. At the same time, the Tricapitoline schism caused a further rift also in the religious field, destined to last for the entire following century.

The Venetian lands belonging to the new Lombard kingdom were divided between the duchies of Vicenza, Verona and Ceneda. The social fabric of the Mainland experienced a rapid decline; a certain continuity of city life was guaranteed by the bishops, who became authoritative references in the moral, cultural and social fields. There arose monastic foundations linked to or dependent on the abbey of Bobbio which created the basis for the development of agriculture, with the spread of vineyards, chestnut groves, olive groves, mills and oil mills. The commercial and communication routes were reopened: oil, salt, timber, meat, etc. Among these the great Piorato di San Colombano di Bardolino, with the territory of Lake Garda, the rivers Adige, Mincio, the area of Valpolicella and the Verona area, among the various wine and oil productions of the monastic territory, the fishponds of the Garda, whose fish was marketed thanks to preservation in salt and oil.

The Byzantine area, on the other hand, was first united in 580 with the surviving northern territories in forming the Annonaria eparchy, to then be made an autonomous province dependent on the Exarchate of Italy in 584 with the name of Venetia maritima. From the hinterland, the Roman-Venetian political and religious authorities, together with part of the populations, found refuge in the main lagoon centres, in particular Grado, Caorle, Eraclea, Torcello, Malamocco, Rialto, Olivolo, Chioggia, Cavarzere, in addition to the now disappeared Ammiana and Constantiacus. These islands, which had already begun to develop for a century, therefore went on to constitute, in 697, during the reign of the emperor Leonzio, the duchy of Venice.

To define the formal separation between the two worlds (although a strong osmosis always continued to exist) it was necessary to define the boundaries (terminatio) between the Ducatus Venetiarum and the Regnum Langobardorum, signed by King Liutprand and the first doge of the Republic of Venice Paoluccio Anaphaestus. The lagoon territory took on ever greater characteristics of independence from the central Byzantine power, until, with the Lombard conquest of Ravenna in 751, the political dependence on Byzantium became little more than formal. In the meantime the seat of the Dux was transferred from Eraclea to the edge of the mainland in the less accessible Metamauco/Malamocco.


The birth of Venice and the Marca Veronese

At the end of the eighth century the Lombard kingdom was overwhelmed by the Franks of Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas night in the 1800s. His son, Pepin, also attempted the conquest of the coastal territories, but, rejected, he also had to formally recognize the independence of the Venetian Duchy in the 811 treaty with the Byzantine Empire. Within that federation of lagoon centers and territories, from Grado to Loreo, known as Dogado, Venice asserted itself, an imposing urban organism that developed around the Rialto merchant pole, to which it was transferred in 812 from Malamocco, destroyed by Pipino, the capital.

Even from a religious point of view, in 827 a division was sanctioned between the world of continental Veneto and maritime Venice: the bishops of the mainland continued to be subject to the metropolitan see of Aquileia, while the dense network of new diocesan sees which arose in the lagoon recognized as referent the patriarchate of Grado.

The dynastic problems within the Frankish empire and the terrible aggressions of the Hungarians in the 900s caused a vacuum of power and rampant conflict that afflicted the mainland Veneto until the mid-10th century. Imperial authority was finally re-established by Otto I: in 962 he aggregated a vast territory of north-eastern Italy to the duchy of Bavaria and subsequently, in 976 to the duchy of Carinthia. The body that resulted, having the purpose of linking Germany and Italy, was called, from the name of its main city, Marca di Verona. In 1027, the territory of the diocese of Trento detached from this, which organized itself into an ecclesiastical principality, and Friuli in 1077, which began its own independent historical development under the authority of the Patriarchs of Aquileia. The ties between the Marca Veronese and the Empire were strengthened by the presence in the territory of various feudal dynasties of Germanic origin: among the most famous, destined to play an important role in the following centuries, the Este, the Ezzelini, the Da Camino, the From Carrara.


From the 12th to the 13th century - Communes, Lordships and the rise of the Duchy of Venice

Starting from the first decades after 1000, throughout the Veneto we witnessed an economic take-off and a recovery of social life in the main cities, which began to exercise hegemonic control over their countryside.
From the end of the tenth century, then, Venice began its maritime expansion in the Adriatic, of which it began to take the form of a hegemonic power until it became the Gulf of Venice, and to enormously increase its privileges and trade in the East.

Simultaneously with the economic development, in the Marca Veronese (which starting from 1200 began to be identified with the name of Marca Trevisana), there was a weakening of the feudal system, characterized by the progressive emergence of free communes: among the most important Verona (1136) , Padua (1138), Treviso and Vicenza.
The Mainland became less and less subject to the effective control of the German emperors.

The thirteenth century was marked by the expansion of Venetian power throughout the eastern Mediterranean, culminating in the Fourth Crusade and the creation of the Latin Empire of Constantinople in 1205, in which Venice was guaranteed dominion over a quarter and a half of the empire of Romania. The Stato da Mar came to include, in addition to the territories of Istria and Dalmatia, the Ionian islands, Crete, Cyprus, and a whole series of bases and strongholds in the Peloponnese, in the Aegean and in Anatolia. Although the sea was the primary source of its wealth, Venice never lost interest in the hinterland: it maintained strong ties in particular with the Treviso and Padua areas, supported the Veronese League and then joined the Lombard League, assuming a very prestigious role of mediator (and at the same time of third force) between Pope Alexander III and the emperor Federico Barbarossa, with the reconciliation celebrated in San Marco in 1177 (Peace of Venice).

In the thirteenth century we witnessed throughout the mainland the transformation of free municipalities into powerful lordships fighting each other for regional hegemony. The first to emerge was the lordship of Ezzelino III da Romano, who managed to conquer a large part of central-northern Veneto. Treviso fell into the hands of the da Caminos, in Verona the lords of della Scala took over in 1262, becoming the capital of a powerful state, which at its peak crossed the Apennines, reaching as far as Lucca.


The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the Venetian dominion

Although Venice had the center of its economic interests in the sea, it always kept alive the ties with its hinterland, exerting a strong attraction on the tormented cities of the Marca Trevigiana. Already in 1291 Motta di Livenza passed to the republic, the first territory of the mainland to give itself to the government of Venice. However, it was from the fourteenth century onwards that the Serenissima began to intervene more and more decisively in regional politics, above all to prevent the powerful Carrara state from threatening its land and river communication routes. In 1318, in fact, Padua had lost its communal freedom, becoming the lordship of the da Carrara family, who soon entered into conflict with Venice and Verona.

The growing power and influence of the republic aroused the jealousy of its neighbours, who formed a formidable coalition in 1379 which brought together the Carraras, the Duke of Austria, the King of Hungary, the Patriarchate of Aquileia and Genoa, unleashing against Venice what would go down in history as the War of Chioggia and ended in 1381 with the victory on the sea against Genoa and the loss of Treviso by land (obtained in 1339), ceded to the Duke of Austria.

The imminent threat of the Carraresi, to which was added the Visconti state, which took possession of a large part of the Veneto between 1387 and 1390, did not, however, diminish.
At first the republic reacted with decisions to the aims of Francesco II of Carrara, recovering Treviso in 1388 and then in rapid succession practically all the lands of the Treviso brand: on 28 April 1404, the Veneto Senate accepted the dedication of Vicenza, a few days later it was the vault of Cologna (May 7), Belluno (May 18), Bassano (June 10), Feltre (June 15), and then from the Altopiano dei Sette Comuni on February 20, 1405 and Verona on June 22. Finally, on 22 November Padua also fell and the last Carraras ended their lives in captivity.

The unity of the Veneto was practically recomposed. For these lands, in addition to the end of the conflicts and the establishment of a stable and respected government, dedications to the Serenissima usually meant the concession of particular statutes of autonomy which guaranteed, in exchange for the act of subjection to Venice and the acceptance of governors sent by the Venetian Senate, the maintenance of most of the pre-existing institutions and laws: the Stato da Tera was born, in fact, as a sort of federal state ante litteram.

During the sixteenth century, the Republic of Venice further expanded its possessions, including Cadore and Friuli in 1420, followed in 1428 by Brescia, Bergamo and Crema and conquering Polesine, already occupied in 1405 and definitively wrested from the Duke of Ferrara in 1484.


Modern history

From the 16th to the 18th century: the Pax Veneta
In the second half of the fifteenth century and at the beginning of the sixteenth century, Venice continued its expansionist policy, bringing the Lion of San Marco to Romagna, southern Trentino, Gorizia, Trieste and even Puglia. On the eve of the war of 1509, the Venetian republic, between Stato da Mar and Stato da Tera, constituted a multi-ethnic empire inhabited by Venetians, Lombards, Friulians, Istrians, Romagnas, Dalmatians, Croats, Albanians, Apulians, Greeks and Cypriots.

In 1508, following the defeat by the Venetians of the emperor of Austria who lost Trieste and Gorizia, an anti-Venetian coalition was formed under the impulse of Pope Julius II, from whom Venice had taken away the cities of Romagna, known as the League of Cambrai, which declared war on the republic. Venice reacted by mobilizing the army and putting Bartolomeo d'Alviano at its head. On 14 May 1509 at Agnadello in the Crema area, the Venetian troops were routed by the army of Louis XII of France: in a few days most of the State of Tera was occupied by the enemy.

Thanks to diplomacy, which knew how to exploit and stoke the opposition in the field of associates, and to the military victories of the reorganized army (among these that of Marignano, in which the Venetian cavalry, which came to the aid of the French infantry, allowed Francesco I to achieve a victory over the Swiss troops), the republic reconquered a large part of the mainland, returning to the borders of the late fifteenth century. The territory of Ampezzano was lost, which remained Austrian until 1918. After the long war period, in 1530 a period of development began which lasted, without significant interruptions, for almost three centuries until 1797.

The decline of trade and the maritime empire of the Serenissima that began in the sixteenth century was accompanied by a growing attention of the patriciate for landed property on the mainland, progressively reducing the dynamism of the ruling class and leading more and more towards the social and political stagnation of the republic.

If in the seventeenth century Venice was still able to fight the Turks to defend the last maritime possessions and to promote a partial reorganization of the land army, reaching a more definitive arrangement of the disputed borders with Austria, the eighteenth century marked the definitive decline of the political model that had governed the fate of the state for a millennium.


The arrival of Napoleon and the Austrian domination

At the end of the 18th century, revolutionary and bourgeois ferments also swept through the Venetian republic, while Napoleon Bonaparte's troops burst in from the Alps, descending into the Italian campaign.

Venice refused to take sides, declaring its neutrality and at the same time refusing to mobilize troops to defend its territories. Veneto became a battlefield between the opposing sides. The mainland was eventually occupied by French troops, who were allowed to enter the cities.

The explosive situation thus created exploded with the Veronese Easter, a rebellion against the French presence which provided Napoleon with the pretext for overthrowing the aristocratic government. In a futile attempt to avoid the inevitable, Venice demobilized the troops, retreating to the Dogado, but under the threat of invasion of Venice itself, on May 12, 1797, the Major Council decreed the end of the republic, ceding its powers to the democratic Municipality.

A series of looting and violence by the French followed, eager to obtain the maximum possible booty from the Venetian lands and at the same time to provide the least possible advantage to Austria, to which those lands were destined since the preliminary peace agreement then formalized with the treaty of Campoformio.

Veneto therefore remained under Austrian administration from 1797 to 1805 when, following the Peace of Pressburg, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy under French domination, within which it remained for a decade. With the fall of Napoleon, Austrian rule was re-established with the establishment of the Lombardo-Veneto Kingdom.

However, the sixty years of Habsburg domination were characterized by the Risorgimento uprisings, culminating in the rebellions of Vicenza, Padua, Treviso and the establishment of the Republic of San Marco in Venice in 1848. While Verona became one of the cornerstones of the Austrian Quadrilateral, the revolutionary uprisings in the cities of the hinterland were repressed by the imperial army. Despite the hoped-for union with the Kingdom of Sardinia, the military setbacks suffered by the Piedmontese army during the first war of independence left the Marciana republic isolated, which, despite resistance against the troops of Josef Radetzky, finally had to capitulate on 24 August 1849.

At the end of the second war of independence, in 1859, the Austrians still held the Veneto: having arrived at the gates of Verona, in fact, the Franco-Piedmontese army was arrested by the signing of the armistice of Villafranca by Napoleon III.


The union with the Kingdom of Italy

The union of Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy took place in 1866 after the third war of independence. Although Italy was defeated by the Austro-Venetian army by land at Custoza and by sea at Lissa, the Prussian victory in the Battle of Sadowa led to peace agreements between the main European powers which provided for the cession of Veneto not to Italy, country from which it did not consider itself defeated, but to France, on the understanding that Napoleon III would hand it over to Vittorio Emanuele II after organizing a plebiscite.

The peace treaty of Vienna signed on October 3, 1866 provided verbatim that the cession of Veneto (with Mantua and Udine) to the Kingdom of Italy had to be subject to the consent of the duly consulted populations.

Napoleon III proceeded to organize the plebiscite of the Venetian provinces and Mantua, in compliance with the peace treaty, according to which: "The citizens of the liberated Italian provinces, summoned to the rallies on 21 and 22 October last, declared the union with the Kingdom of Italy with the constitutional monarchy of Vittorio Emanuele II". However, Napoleon III was subjected to strong pressure from the Savoys to cede the fortresses and military control of the region ahead of time in anticipation of the outcome of the plebiscite and also to the organization of the plebiscite itself. The Count of Gramont, who was temporarily entrusted with the territory of today's Veneto, plus Mantua and Friuli excluding Trieste, tried to respect his commitment. However, the pressures induced Napoleon III to hand over the fortresses and to let the troops of the Kingdom occupy Veneto even before a plebiscite was held. The plebiscite was organized on 21 and 22 October 1866 with universal male suffrage (ie only 30% of the population was called to the polls). The result was 646,789 yes, 69 no, 567 null votes.


The Great War

On 24 May 1915, Italy entered the First World War (the first cannon shot fired from Fort Verena) alongside the Entente powers with the aim of subtracting Austrian Friuli from the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the city of Gorizia and the Venezia-Giulia, with Trieste, Istria and Fiume. Veneto therefore became the rear of the very long front extending from the Little Dolomites to the Dolomites, Carnia and the Karst plateau. Treviso became the seat of the Intendenza of the Royal Army, while various Higher Commands were established in Padua, including that of the 3rd Army, numerous logistic departments and the main military hospital of the front.

The collapse of the front on the night of 24 October 1917, during the battle of Caporetto, suddenly transformed the Venetian territory into the heart of the new front. Under the threat of encirclement and total defeat, the army attempted a retreat which soon turned into a rout. The road that threatened the Venetian capitals appeared completely wide open for the imperial-royal Austro-Hungarian army. In a desperate attempt to defend Venice and its precious naval base, the Italian army attempted to reorganize first on the Livenza, then settled on the Piave, where it engaged in a long battle of resistance.

The territories north of the front therefore remained in Austrian hands until 1918 and the final victory in the battle of Vittorio Veneto.

The First World War left very serious damages on the territory. Whole villages were erased along the Piave line, as well as in the mountains (Asiago was completely razed to the ground) while the countryside was uncultivated and depopulated.

The enormous poverty left by the rubble of the war favored massive emigration, mostly directed towards the countries of Latin America and other regions of Italy.


The Second World War

The Second World War brought further destruction. After the armistice of 8 September 1943, the territory was occupied by German troops. Verona became one of the capitals of the CSR, with the establishment of important military commands and some ministries. In this period enormous destruction was caused by aerial bombardments (particularly ferocious the one that struck and razed much of Treviso to the ground). And other massive bombings on Padua and Verona and in particular Vicenza, which was also almost razed to the ground. Enormous destruction was suffered in particular by the industrial center of Marghera, repeatedly hit by Allied bombings.

The Veneto territory then became a terrain for guerrilla actions during the partisan resistance. With the unconditional surrender of the German occupier on 29 April 1945, Veneto was finally freed from Nazi-fascism.


From the Second World War to today

On 2 June 1946, the participation of the Venetian population in the referendum which sanctioned the passage from the monarchy to the republic was massive. With the entry into force of the Constitution of the Italian Republic on 1 January 1948, the new organization of the state envisaged the creation of Veneto as a region with ordinary statute.

After the war, emigration resumed involving America, Europe and other regions of northern Italy.

An estimated 3,300,000 people emigrated in the years from 1876 to 1976 from Veneto, in fact the Italian region with the greatest emigration in that period (second is Campania, with 2,500,000).

During the fifties the industrial activity of Porto Marghera began to recover from the devastation caused by the conflict, starting to grow again, until it reached its maximum expansion in the 1960s, when the industrial center became one of the most important in Europe.

Since the 1960s, there has been a proliferation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Veneto.



Demographic evolution

The population of Veneto is not homogeneously distributed. If the middle plain boasts the greatest densities (especially along the strip that goes from Verona to Venice passing through Vicenza, Padua and Treviso), the lower Veronese are less populated (except in the quadrilateral including Bovolone, Isola della Scala, Nogara, Cerea and Legnago ) and Polesine (especially after the 1951 flood). Even less inhabited are the Pre-Alps and the mountains (the province of Belluno shows the lowest densities), except for the high Vicenza area (with Schio, Valdagno, Thiene, Bassano del Grappa) and Valbelluna. Since the 1980s there has been a widespread phenomenon throughout Northern Italy of the depopulation of large cities (Venice with Mestre in the lead) in favor of small and medium-sized municipalities in the peri-urban "belts". This has led to considerable urban development and some have noted the formation of a vast megalopolis which extends in particular between Padua, Mestre and Treviso (the so-called PaTreVe or Triangolo Veneto)[28]. The Censis annual report of 2008 speaks of a large metropolitan region (GREM) of Veneto extending over 6679.6 km² which has a population of 3 267 420 inhabitants and of a small metropolitan area (PAM) of Verona extending over 1426 km² and with a population of 714 724 inhabitants.

The annual natural growth rate was one of the highest in Italy, but it became negative for the first time since 1983. Even if today this trend persists (and, indeed, has strengthened), Veneto remains one of the regions of Northern Italy with the highest birth rate. The phenomenon, however, varies considerably from province to province, even if the resident population continues to grow due to immigration from abroad, which has become significant since 1990.

From the end of the 19th century there was an intense emigration of Venetians abroad due to the extreme poverty of the region. The inhabitants of the Veneto moved particularly towards Australia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In fact, the Veneto was, until the seventies, a land of emigration (over 3 million departures between 1870 and 1970) due to the poor peasant economy, not supported by important industrial plants. Until fascism, the flows were directed especially to Latin America (Brazil, Argentina); in the thirties the land reclamations promoted by Mussolini brought the emigrants to Lazio (Latina) and Sardinia (Mussolinia di Sardegna, today Arborea) and also to the Italian colonies in Africa; after the Second World War, the currents moved towards the industrial areas of Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, and towards central Europe, especially after the Polesine flood in 1951 (which forced tens of thousands of people to leave their land ).

The remarkable development of industry starting from the seventies transformed the Veneto from a land of emigration to a land of immigration. More than the returns, there were many immigrants from the South and later from abroad (North Africa, Eastern Europe), which made Veneto the fifth region by number of inhabitants (after Lombardy, Campania, Lazio and Sicily) and one of the first for number of resident foreigners.