Venice is a romantic treasure filled with winding canals and enchanting bridges and hidden treasures. Its 118 islands are full of old-world architecture, Renaissance art and enlightening museums. You can catch a water taxi or vaporetto to most of the islands. Walk around the city to get a sense of important history in every alleyway and charming stream of water. Particularly enjoy the absence of cars.
Venice has played a major role in music, art and commerce over the centuries – all of which is on display throughout the city.
Visit the “Floating City” in spring or autumn for the most pleasant climate. Summers are very warm without being too uncomfortable, while winter temperatures stay near freezing. However in winter you can witness the famous Carnevale di Venezia – a joy if you’re not put off by the cold.
Visit Grand Canal by gondola or stand on the famous Rialto Bridge and enjoy the stunning view. These canals were once an important method of transportation, but now are used mainly for sightseeing in style. The famous job of the Gondoliers is considered noble and is passed down through families.
The canal twists and turns across a large portion of the city, starting near St. Mark’s Basilica, one of Venice’s most impressive highlights. Capture photos of the inspiring 11th-century structure, which is of Italo-Byzantine design.
The church sits on the huge Piazza San Marco, a large square surround by arcades and shops. Gaze up at the Venetian Gothic masterpiece of Doge’s Palace. Stroll through its elaborate colonnade to see historic and biblical works of art. Nearby, visit the 18th-century La Fenice Theatre, one of the world’s most prestigious opera halls.
The 16th-century Rialto Bridge is the most inspiring of the four bridges that cross the Grand Canal. Walk across one of the three walkways of the bridge which get very busy during the day. If you want a more private moment, visit the bridge late at night and you may find you have it all to yourself.
You can also take photos of the famous arched structure during a water bus tour.
The nearby Rialto Market offers a glimpse of the sights sounds and smells of a traditional Venetian market with handicrafts and food. Try the local specialty of cuttlefish and other food cooked in its black ink. Sit at a bar with a spritz (wine and Aperol cocktail) during happy hour. Venice is also the home of the Bellini which makes for a traditional aperitif. Order cicchetti, small snacks like pastries, croutons and meat. Join local Venetians eating standing up for a quicker and less expensive dining option.
If you need a change from the old-world atmosphere, spend an afternoon in the ultra-modern Peggy Guggenheim Gallery. Relax in the small garden or the café as you appreciate the impressive collection of modern art.
The Marco Polo Venice International Airport is about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) north of the city centre. Take a 20-minute cab ride or bus to the city or a 50-minute ferry that leaves regularly. Enjoy novel experiences on water taxis and water buses to get around the city. Away from the canal, the city centre is pedestrianised.