Northeast Italy is both one of the most affluent and visited areas of Italy. It includes tourist favourites such as the historic cities of Venice, Verona and Bologna, as well as the Alpine mountain range of Dolomites, a favourite with skiers in the winter, while in the winter holidaymakers flock to the beaches of Veneto and Rimini. The Northeast also borders the independent city state of San Marino.
The fertile valleys of the rivers Adige and Po and extensive coastline provided favourable conditions for human settlements since ancient times, while the combination of water and mountains made them easily defensible. Thus, over centuries, affluence and cultural heritage accumulated, with the influence of the areas cultural, economic and religious centres extending far beyond Italy.
Easy to visit thanks to numerous well-connected airports, high-speed and local railway network as well as criss-crossed by autostradas, the Northeast promises diverse sights and experiences within mere hours, but is far from budget-friendly given the high average income of its inhabitants and popularity among international travellers driving prices of accommodation, gastronomy and tourist attractions upwards.