Veneto

       
Verona, "Piazza delle Erbe", fountain of "Madonna Verona"

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Veneto is one of the twenty regions of Italy. Its population is about five million, ranking fifth in Italy. The region's capital and largest city is Venice.
Veneto, as part of the Republic of Venice, had been an independent state for more than a millennium. The Republic wasn't restored at the Congress of Vienna after the Napoleonic Wars and was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it was ceded to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice ruled for centuries over one of the largest and richest maritime republics and trade empires in the world. Due to this rich cultural legacy and a unique identity, the regional statute describes Venetians as a "people".
Once the heartland of the Venetian Republic, Veneto is today among the wealthiest, most developed and industrialised regions of Italy. Having one of the country's richest historical, natural, artistic, cultural, musical and culinary heritages, it is also one of the most visited regions of Italy, with about 60 million tourists every year (2007).
Besides Italian, most inhabitants also speak Venetian. Having been for a long period in history a land of mass emigration, Veneto is today one of the greatest immigrant-receiving regions in the country, with 454,453 foreigners (9.30% of the regional population) in 2008, the most recent of which are Romanian and Moroccan.
 
Though being a heavily industrialized region, tourism is one of the main economic resources of Veneto. One-fifth of Italy's foreign tourism gravitates towards Veneto, which is the first region in Italy in terms of tourist presence, attracting over 60 million visitors every year, and the second after Emilia Romagna in terms of hotel industry structures. The business volume of tourism in Veneto is estimated in 12 billion Euros.
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