The Veneto is a large, beautiful region in northeastern Italy. It reaches northwards into the Dolomite Mountains, where you will find some of Italy’s most exclusive tourist and ski resorts, and westward to Lake Garda with its olive trees and unforgettable views.
The Veneto is a large, beautiful region in northeastern Italy. It reaches northwards into the Dolomite Mountains, where you will find some of Italy’s most exclusive tourist and ski resorts, and westward to Lake Garda with its olive trees and unforgettable views. Following along the course of the Brenta River, you will come to Palladio’s splendid villas. Picturesque towns seem to sprout up from the gently rolling hills. Vineyards feed off the water of Adige river which passes through Verona on its way south to the magical Venetian lagoon.
The varied landscape of the Veneto is reflected in the region’s varied cuisine, influenced in large part by the region’s history, cultural open-mindedness and presence of the most powerful maritime republic. Grains, like corn and rice, are grown in the flatlands. Rice is a particularly popular crop around Verona, were you will find the only Italian IGP rice variety, Vialone Nano Veronese. These two grains are the main ingredients of the region’s first courses, which include many types of risotto and polenta. Rice is a particularly versatile ingredient, and here you will find risotto made with everything from giblets or meat, to fish or eel, to fresh peas and other seasonal vegetables like radicchio from Treviso or Castelfranco, or asparagus from Bassano.
As you head north towards the mountains, polenta becomes the grain of choice. Polenta is often served with baccalà, or dried salted cod. Some traditional recipes include Baccalà alla Vicentina, stockfish cooked in milk, and Baccalà mantecato, a type of salt cod puree. Polenta is also served with Fegato alla Veneziana, or calf’s liver with onions, and Pastissada, braised beef or horsemeat.
Along the Adriatic coast, fish soups, or brodetti, are traditionally served as first courses. Chioggia, a picturesque costal town located just south of Venice, is particularly famous for its fish soup, and incredible fish market. Fish from the market are often fried or cooked in saor, a preparation similar to carpione, but made with fatty fish like sardines.
The mountainous areas of the Veneto are known for their excellent cheeses, the most famous of which is Asiago DOP. Casatella Trevigana and Schitz are also worth mentioning, the latter of which is served melted in a pan. The regional salumi are also quite enjoyable, including Prosciutto Veneto Berico-Euganeo DOP and Soppressa Vicentina.
When it comes to dessert, the Veneto is home to one of Italy’s most loved, golden sweet breads, the Pandoro. This heavenly bread is pro-duced in and around Verona according to an ancient recipes. In Venice, be sure to look for scalete, Pàndolo, and Baicoli, all traditional sweets of the city.