Venice & The Veneto
The Veneto extends west of Venice on the sea to Lake Garda and north to the Dolomite mountains.
Venice glitters with colour: the Grand Canal’s still splendid palaces, the gold and mosaics in San Marco Basilica.
Love art? The Accademia and Peggy Guggenheim Collection are musts. The Accademia showcases 14th to 18th century Venetian art. Guggenheim’s 20th century art collection in her former Grand Canal palazzo dazzles you with works by Picasso, Chagall and more.
Want to eat like Venetians? Head to small, casual bars and trattorias where locals enjoy drinks and small plates of fresh Adriatic seafood, vegetables or soups.
In The Veneto
If you love architecture, stop in Vicenza, famous for Palladio’s basilicas, palaces and villas, all in one big UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Verona, imagine sitting outside in its Roman theatre with 30,000 opera fans on a summer night seeing Aida! If you’re romantic, visit Juliet’s balcony and serenade your love. In Verona’s heart, market stalls and splendid palaces line lively Piazza delle Erbe.
In the pretty Valpolicella wine hills, visit wineries and discover first hand with the producers how they make one of Italy’s top red wines, Amarone and its relatives Valpolicella, Ripasso, and sweet Recioto.
Lake Garda’s beautiful lake and mountain scenery, great wines and fine olive oil make it very popular. Charming towns include Bardolino famous for its wine and Riva di Garda for hiking paths and windsurfing.
Sample dishes: tagliatelle with radicchio, seafood risotto, sardines or trout in a tangy marinade with raisins and pine nuts, veal slowly braised in rich Amarone wine.
Seventeen D.O.C. areas produce top wines like Amarone, Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave and Prosecco.
Getting There & Away
Fly into Venice’s airport or the airport near Verona. The fastest train to/from Venice gets you to Verona in one hour, Bologna in 1 hour 20 minutes, Florence in two hours and Milan in 2 ½ hours. All have international airports.
Flamboyant Venice Carnival in February
Spring of Prosecco, March to June in Conegliano area towns with tastings, special dinners, sporting events.
Venice Biennale, huge contemporary art shows in odd numbered years June to September
Verona Opera Festival, mid June to early September in the Roman arena
Bardolino Grape Festival, first Sunday in October, to celebrate the harvest. Many grape harvest festivals happen throughout the Veneto in the fall.
Venice and Verona Temperatures:
Winter December 3-8 C, 37-46 F, January 1-6 C, 34-43 F, February 2-8 C, 36-46 F
Spring March 5-12 C, 41-54 F, April 10-17 C, 50-63 F, May 13-21 C, 50-63 F
Summer June 17-25 C, 63-77 F, July & August 19-27 C, 66-81 F
Fall September 16-24 C, 61-75 F, October 12-19 C, 54-66 F, November 7-12 C, 45-54 F
In Venice November to February weather is unpredictable with rain, cold winds and fog. Until Carnival, few tourists go. From October to March Venice often floods so bring rubber boots.
In both Venice and Verona, best times to come are spring and fall, when it’s milder, sunny, not too hot and less crowded. Veneto summers can be very hot and in Venice, quite humid.
Mama Margaret’s Tours in the Veneto
West of Venice, discover the beautiful Valpolicella wine country hills, magnificent Lake Garda where they make olive oil, romantic Verona and plains where fine rice grows.
Drink Amarone and its relatives, Valpolicella, Ripasso and Recioto, and others with four quite different producers in wineries small and big and learn first hand how they make them.
Cook Veneto and Italian dishes with two great home cooks in their lovely homes and with two chefs in a casual restaurant and at a rice estate.
Meet a delightful variety of locals like: a slightly goofy restaurant owner, your very joyful, attentive hotel manager, a world famous risotto chef/promoter, a bread making cook at her home with amazing Lake Garda views, winery owners/experts. You’ll feel part of real Italian life!
Your well travelled, multi-lingual guide was born in Verona and loves showing people her region. You visit her family’s beautiful wine estate where she lives and helps produce Soave, rose Dindarella, Valpolicella and Amarone. They also make olive oil. You feel like a local friend is taking you to her favourite people and places!
Are you going on a Mediterranean cruise that starts or ends in Venice? Do you love Amarone wine and the food that enhances it? Before or after your cruise, a cooking, food and Amarone wine tour in the nearby wine country makes the perfect complement to your cruise.
With your locally born guide and sommelier, you enjoy private tastings of Amarone, Valpolicella and more and tours at two wineries and villa properties. At magnificent Lake Garda, after you cook and dine with a delightful woman in her lovely home overlooking the lake, you learn about and taste wines from Bardolino and visit an olive oil museum.
At a historic rice estate, you learn secrets of cooking risotto with a top chef.
You stay at an exquisite five star villa hotel surrounded by vineyards, run by a local family.