Veneto, the land of the “love people” (a Valentine’s Day post)

juliet balcony verona

Many believe that the name of our region comes from Venus.

Veneto: It’s a place name — a toponym — that has many different meanings.

It can mean the region of Italy where we live, a region that includes famous cities like Venice (which shares its name with the region’s name), Verona, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, just to name a few. Treviso, the city and province where we live, is also very famous in Italy although not as famous beyond Italy.

It can mean the dialect of our region. Every city and every township has its own dialect, often very different from other cities and townships. But there is a regional continuity among them. When people who are not from our region hear us speaking in dialect, they say that we are speaking “Veneto.”

But the term is also an ethnonym, in other words, the name of a person who comes from our region. In Italian the people of our region are known as the “veneti”, the plural of the name in Italian grammar.

The truth of the matter is that no one really knows where the word comes from. But some linguists believe that it might come from the name Venus and perhaps from a cult that worshipped the goddess there in antiquity.

And the people of our region are known for the romantic character. It’s no coincidence that Venice is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world. It was once also a “sin city” where a lot of romance used to happen, if you get our drift!

And of course, what other city in the world could be the backdrop for Shakespeare’s most romantic play, “Romeo and Juliet.” They were “veneti” too!

That’s Juliet’s balcony in the photo above. Every year, thousands of lovers visit the courtyard of her house to inscribe their names along the walls of the entrance. Can you think of a more romantic setting?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone, from the land of the love people!

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