Veneto is a region in the northeastern part of Italy. In a word, this Italian region can be best described as a fantasy. This area will remind you of fairy tales and seem separate from the reality of the rest of the world.
The capitol of Veneto is Venice, which is also the largest tourism destination in the area. The city built on water absolutely cannot be missed, even for those who abhor typical tourist activities. The lagoon is pedestrian only, which in a way equalizes the rich and famous with backpackers, and every socioeconomic status in between. The streets form a maze, and travel experts actually recommend getting lost in Venice, since you're on an island and will eventually find your way back. Popular activities include taking a gondola ride along the canals, visiting Saint Mark's Square to enter the cathedral and see the view from the top of the bell tower, and shopping for items such as Venetian masks. Other activities include visiting the limited parks, checking out all the museums and churches, and people-watching. Several hostel options are offered in Venice proper, and it's highly recommended to spend at least a night there. The atmosphere is different once all the day trippers load on the water taxis and ride away.
If you do want to visit Venice but don't want to pay Venice hostel prices, you can consider staying in Mestre instead. Mestre is on the mainland just across the bridge from Venice. While you won't be sleeping in a room with a view of Venice canals, you can find very nice hostels and accommodation for a much cheaper price, with easy access to Venice a 10 minute train ride away.
Veneto includes (part of) the stunningly beautiful Lake Garda. The very large lake is surrounded by picturesque mountains and numerous small towns ("communes"), including the town of Garda itself. It's something that many foreign hostel travelers aren't aware of, but it's worth including in your itinerary.
Other cities in Veneto are also just a train ride away. One notable city is Verona, the city that served as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Many of the city's attractions center around the story. Even though Juliet is a fictional character, you can still visit her home and tomb. The the monastery where the tomb is located and the house do both date to the 13th century, but have been modified in the 20th century to better fit the Romeo and Juliet story. Shakespeare wrote two other plays based in Verona, although the city does not reflect these quite so much. Literature aside, Verona offers other attractions that are more based in reality, such as castles, ruins, and piazzas. Verona offers upscale lodging and accommodation, but you can find good deals, including hostels.
While Verona, and especially Venice, are the two largest cities in Veneto, you can also find Padua, Vincenza, and other cities and countryside along the same train route. Hostels in these areas will vary, but you can always take a day trip to one of these places and stay the night in a larger city.
Hi, I'm Jessica Lippe,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Veneto hostels. Welcome.