Venice

One of those rare places where time appears to have stood still. Renowned for charming lovers and inspiring artists, all visitors will appreciate its splendour.

Those who have visited this corner of north-eastern Italy tend to sprinkle adjectives into their tales of the Floating City. With so many sights and sounds to behold, the island captivates your senses from the very moment your feet touch the famous streets.

Marvel at jaw-dropping architecture and bask in some of the masterpieces found in the city's wealth of museums and galleries. Quaint boulevards teeming with souvenir shops form a collector’s paradise, and after sipping on some of the best coffee in the country, make your way over arched bridges and through tiny alleyways to explore the city on foot.

You’ll learn to love the absence of road traffic and be soothed by the water lapping in the canals below. You may find yourself transfixed as you watch gondolas and vaporettos (water buses) ferrying passengers over the calm waters. Hop on one of these to take in some of the island’s most iconic buildings, such as the Gothic-inspired palace Ca' d'Oro and the Basilica of St Mary of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute).

The grandRialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) is a world-famous landmark, but nothing beats gliding beneath it in a gondola. To explore further afield, hop on a ferry to the irresistible islands of Murano and Burano. These islands offer a tranquil day retreat and are renowned for the lace and glass produced by talented artisans.

Venetians are passionate about their food, and freshly cooked Italian cuisine accompanied by excellent wine, are always best savoured on the restaurant terraces. For classical local dishes, head to one of the traditional osterias (bars that also serve food).

The perfect spot to begin your love affair with Venice is St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco), which is where you’ll find two of Venice's most stunning buildings: St Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco), featuring opulent golden mosaics and elaborate domes inspired by the Byzantine era, and the imposing Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale).

The best time to visit Venice is during spring or autumn—the city gets crowded in summer as temperatures soar. But visitors flock to the city all year round for its innumerable attractions, which provide one of the most romantic backdrops in the world, come rain or shine.

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Guide to Exploring Venice


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