Every year millions of travellers reach the most famous destinations in Veneto. In 2019 they registered more than 12 million tourists in Venice and 25 million in Lake Garda, but there’s so much to see in the region besides these popular spots.
Last week we made you discover the province of Treviso – if you haven’t read the article yet, don’t miss it. This time we would like to explore with you the marvellous Vicenza which has been included in the Unesco World Heritage Site with its villas.
1 – Vicenza, the unexpected romantic city
You probably don’t know that, but Vicenza is home to the most romantic writer in the world who is Luigi da Porto. He was a nobleman from Vicenza and he is the one who originally wrote the Romeo and Juliet novel in 1530.
The story takes place in Verona and the protagonists are Romeo Montecchi and Giulietta Cappelletti.
The writer took inspiration from his unrequited love while spending time in his stately villa in Montorso Vicentino. According to popular belief, Luigi Da Porto wrote the story also inspired by the view from his villa: two hilltop castles, now called Romeo and Juliet’s castles.
Vicenza is also rich in history and kept all its fascinating charm in the greatness of its architecture. Andrea Palladio, Italian architect and official architect of the Venetian Republic, designed several palaces in the city centre, making it Italy’s Renaissance Pearl, and villas which are still known today as ‘Palladian villas’. You will find several of Palladio’s majestic villas in the countryside too.
Its style is still being replicated all over the world, especially in the USA. Just think about the White House and the Capitol in Washington DC which bear many Palladian elements. But also the plantation houses in the Southern States or President Jefferson’s own house, called Monticello, just to name a few.
2 – Asiago and its plateau for impressive nature
Asiago is the largest plateau in Italy and boasts some of the most beautiful peaks in the world, pristine nature and lovely hamlets.
It is a green area in the foothills of the Alps, surrounded by 2,400 metres-high peaks situated about 60 km from the Vicenza, near the border between the Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol.
The Asiago Plateau and its hamlets together compose a popular destination where, in every season, travelers can benefit from quiet woodland and uncontaminated nature, endless sports and culture.
3 – Unique tastes you should try
Two famous products are created in the province of Vicenza. They are Asiago cheese and Grappa.
The Asiago cheese is indissolubly tied to the plateau where it has been produced since the 10th Century. It is now classified as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
There are two types: Asiago Pressato, the fresh one, with only 20/30 days of seasoning, and Asiago d’allevo, the tastier sort, seasoned from 3 to 15 months.
Grappa is an alcoholic grape-based beverage made with pomace. It is usually drunk as an after-dinner drink. It is connected to the town of Bassano del Grappa where you can find the first distillery ever opened in Italy, in 1779.
Be careful, the minimum alcohol content for a grappa is 40% vol!
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