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Italy


VERONA in fair


Verona, Venice, Lake Garda: Peter Ellegard explores the most impressive golfing spots in the Veneto region


I


taly’s Veneto region is an area that stirs the soul with its breathtaking scenery, its glorious cities, its gorgeous wines and its


enviable gastronomy. The place is a veritable tourist magnet. How


could it not be when you can soak up the ambience of its crowning glory, Venice, with a coffee in iconic St Mark’s Square and explore the city’s maze of canals in a gondola; or bathe in the thermal springs of Abano Terme, close to the architectural marvel that is Padua. For this is an area steeped in history, with


grand Palladian villas in abundance — classical Romanesque mansions by 16th century architect Andrea Palladio that spawned a style copied across Europe, and even the US. Add in the soaring, craggy peaks of the


Dolomites, the serene shores of Lake Garda, the fabled medieval Verona or the Adriatic, where you can paddle or swim along the 70 miles of gently sloping beaches. Meanwhile, Veneto’s golf is increasingly


an atraction. (In 2013 the region was named ‘Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year’ by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.) It boasts almost 20 golf courses, all of which welcome visiting golfers. What sets them apart from those in other parts of Italy is their diversity, with courses laid out alongside beaches and in the mountains. There is even a course in Venice you can only reach by boat.


A number have on-site hotels, so golfers can


stay at one course and play others, taking in the sights and experiences of the cities, too. From a city-centre hotel, you can also head out to play courses in the surrounding countryside. Several courses are in the grounds of former


parks. Among them is Frassanelle Golf Club, where the fairways wind through a 500-acre, 19th-century seting; and Ca’ della Nave Golf Club which lies in an 18th-century park alongside a 450-year-old villa that serves as the clubhouse. The region boasts courses by other noted golf


architects. Tom Fazio designed the Paradiso del Garda Golf Club course in the rolling hills above Lake Garda and Peter Harradine laid out the spectacular mountain course at Asiago Golf Club, set on a high plateau and with an adjacent boutique hotel and spa. Other courses built next to grand villas include


the 27-hole Padova Golf Club, its neatly-kept fairways and greens bordering a 17th century villa; and Villa Condulmer Golf Club, laid out around a palatial villa that is now a five-star hotel. Beach-lovers are in for a treat at Pra’ delle Torri


Caorle. Its par-3 fiſth hole skirts the sea and the sixth tee juts out onto the sandy beach. Like the nearby Jessolo Golf Club, Pra’ delle Torri is close to beach resort Lido di Jessolo, on the so-called Venetian Riviera. And aſter a round in Veneto, chill out like the locals on the terrace with a glass of Amarone .


Lake Garda, Lombardy, Italy 102 ABTA Golf 2017


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