The first human settlements of the lagoon and the surrounding areas maintained a simple social structure until the arrival of the Romans in the second century B.C. The Romans founded the cities of Verona, Vicenza, and Padova, and named what was then the 10th imperial region, Venetia. Both the Veneto region and the province of Venice derive their names from the original Latin name of the area.
The area around Verona, with its temperate climate and hilly surrounding, is believed to have cultivated grapes since the Bronze Age.
The precursor of the city of Venice that we know today was founded during the Middle Ages when the locals escaped the barbaric invasions that followed the decline of the Roman Empire by taking refuge in coastal areas, islands, and the lagoon's marshland.
Veneto is among the foremost wine-producing regions, both for quality and quantity. The region counts over 20 DOC zones and a variety of sub-categories, many of its wines, both dry and Spumanti, are internationally known and appreciated.
The three most well known DOCs are Bardolino, from the town with the same name and surrounding the shores of Garda Lake, Valpolicella, and Soave. Other noteworthy wines produced here the excellent sparkling Prosecco and the Amarone - a rich and powerful red from the Verona province.