Vivre en VénétieIyna Bort Caruso
The changing scenery of Veneto, Italy, is nothing if not dramatic. The region takes in the canals of Venice, the ski slopes of Cortina d’Ampezzo and the picturesque villages lining the country’s largest lake, Lake Garda.
Veneto is a densely populated region of nearly 5 million occupying the northeastern section of the country. Its borders extend to Austria in the north and the Adriatic Sea in the east. With a diverse landscape that offers beaches, skiing, mountaineering, thermal baths and some of the world’s most loved destinations, tourism is, unsurprisingly, a main industry.
It is also an important wine region, known for Valpolicella, Bardolino and Prosecco.
The Ring of Prosecco, located in an ancient wine zone north of Venice, is a six-mile nature trail that snakes through vineyards, churches and shrines.
The countryside is scattered with historic villas and rural palaces, many built centuries ago as summer homes of Venetian aristocracy. Restoration efforts have been careful to modernize while preserving each home’s noble architectural features which often includes original frescoes, carvings and arcades.
The most celebrated villas were those of 16th century architect Andrea Palladio who used classical Greek and Roman design principals as a starting point. Palladio went on to revolutionize Renaissance architecture by focusing on geometrical symmetry. His villas, exclusively in Veneto, are considered so influential in Western architecture they’ve collectively been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
In Veneto’s largest cities, Venice, Verona and Padua, palazzi are routinely carved into luxury apartments. Some overlook historic squares. Rare is the apartment overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice. One with a water gate entrance is even harder to find. Families tend to keep their properties for generations. The dearth of homes on the market and absence of new construction is the reason Venice is the most expensive property market in Italy.