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Find information on Venice in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
Venice, in northeast Italy on the Adriatic coast, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country with around ten million visitors each year. It was built across the islands in the marshland of the Venetian Lagoon between the rivers Po and Piave. The city has over one hundred and fifty canals with hundreds of bridges, numerous outstanding buildings and grand piazzas and an atmosphere like no other.
A Venice holiday provides visitors with an unforgettable experience.
Venice is a unique and beautiful city. Although it is expensive and, at the height of the season very crowded, it never fails to impress. There are magnificent buildings at every turn, many of them housing famous works of art. A trip along the Grand Canal is like being in a Canaletto painting. The Venetian Riviera also has very good beaches being washed by the clear waters of the Aegean.
Venice is popular with most age groups with the exception possibly of families with very young children. Renowned as a romantic city, Venice attracts couples of all ages. It also draws those with an interest in art and architecture.
A city break to Venice can be enjoyed at any time of year as it doesn’t have extremes of temperature. It can be hot at the height of the summer and this is when a trip to the Venetian Riviera may be welcome.
Venice is a truly remarkable city with its wealth of magnificent buildings, many of them housing priceless works of art. For many years now the city has been regularly flooded causing the stone foundations to be slowly destroyed and the city is sinking. At present there is an ongoing, massively expensive programme to try and remedy the problem.
The two most famous landmarks in Venice are the Basilica di San Marco, a Byzantine creation covered in gold mosaics, and the Palazzo Ducale, one of the finest Gothic buildings in the world. There are many more very fine churches, museums and galleries waiting to be explored. There are a variety of passes available, encouraging visitors to explore these less well known sights in the city.
Venice are best viewed from the water and a trip down the Grand Canal should not be missed. The romantic tourist may wish to hire a gondola, with or without musical accompaniment.
Venice has a carnival in the ten days leading to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It is a very lively time with numerous parades and celebrations culminating in masked balls and dancing in the streets.
Venice nightlife is a fairly quiet affair which closes down early as the authorities are intolerant of excessive noise after dark. Establishments with long hours of drinking and with loud music are found on the mainland. There is an opera house, La Fenice, where the season runs from November until June. Teatro Malibran hosts classical concerts as well as the occasional jazz or rock events.
There are daily markets, with the exception of Sunday, in the many squares of Venice. The Rialto Market, next to the famous bridge, is most popular with holidaymakers. Here they can buy their gifts and souvenirs such as Venetian glass, jewellery, silk scarves and ties and ceramics.
There is no so- called ‘pub culture’ in Italy so instead of drinking in the evening, many people go out for a meal and a glass of wine. The warm mellow evenings encourage al fresco eating and many restaurants provide this facility. Meals in Italy are to be savoured and much time is allowed between courses. Don’t mistake this for tardy service.
Although Venice has a reputation for being expensive, it is possible to eat well on a reasonable budget. Obviously if you coffee or dine in the busiest areas around St. Mark’s Square or the Doge’s palace you will pay a higher price. Venice specialises in sea food and risottos. Ice cream and pastries are another Venetian forte.