This wealth of contrasts has inspired poets and playwrights since time began. Livy, Petrarch, Corbis, Goethe, Byron and Shelley all sojourned here. Four major Shakespeare plays are set here, and although the Bard never visited, it is easy to imagine passionate embraces and secret plotting taking place in Padua and Verona's narrow streets or Venice's maze of alleyways of piazzettas.
Nobles from the Serenissima (Venetian republic) which stretched out beyond the lagoon were more interested in fine living than government and constructed sumptuous country villas where they could escape the city's heat. Palladio was the most famous Renaissance architect and many of his villas such as Villa Malcontenta and Villa Rotonda can be visited discovering the Venetian countryside.
Veneto is perhaps the most culturally and geographically compact Italian region, providing a wealth of interest to discover on a walking or cycling holiday. To the west of Veneto the shores of Lake Garda, to the north the Dolomites, and eastwards the verdant Euganean hills give way to plains of maize stretching out to the Venetian lagoon.
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This single centre cycling holiday is a perfect choice for people wanting a genuine grass-roots Italian experience. You'll stay on a family-run farm, in the heart of the Venetian countryside, with private pool and vineyards. Venice, Verona and Padua are all possible day trips.
The wonderfully unspoilt Venetian countryside is only an hour or so from the great city of Venice, but couldn't be more different! Here is a landscape of rolling hills, shady forests, vineyards and fields ablaze with colourful flowers.
Wonderfully easy hotel-to-hotel cycling route exploring the pretty villages, villas and castles of the Venetian countryside. Lots of historic interest and great regional cooking! A day trip to Venice is a 'must' with Padua and Vicenza also within reach.