Venice
About

This unique city is destined to charm. The omnipresent glistening waterways instead of streets create a surreal setting, and the magnificent palaces, squares and churches testify to the history of the small but influential and wealthy trading empire and maritime power that Venice used to be for many centuries.

The city itself was audaciously built on the marshy Venetian lagoon and is seemingly floating on water, with boats going about and all around the city. With pastel colored buildings, canals and bridges, the views are universally romantic and picturesque wherever you look, as Venice is packed with rich and diverse architecture, the most famous being the Byzantine and Ottoman influenced Venetian Gothic style.

Venice enjoys a humid subtropical climate, giving both cool winters and very warm summers, and though the city never has a shortage of visitors and can feel crowded at times, quiet spots are usually just a turn away. Besides the city's main water arteries, the quarters are also lined with many small, narrow streets and passageways with hidden squares, architectural gems, cozy bars and restaurants offering some great lagoon agriculture produce, seafood and wine.

And best of all – Venice has an absolutely bedazzling and slightly mystical illusionist vibe to it with it’s iconic Carnival, buildings occasionally vanishing in fog, whole streets disappearing on high tides, gondolas still gliding around and an array of small touches and details that take you straight back in time.

Facts
  • Until the 19th century, only one bridge (Rialto) crossed the Grand Canal
  • Venice is slowly sinking with an average rate of 1–2 mm a year
  • Venice has some of the narrowest streets in the world – Ramo Varisco street is only 53 cm wide
  • Venice sits on 118 islands and has 416 bridges, 177 canals and 127 squares
Flights to Venice
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Eat

Bigoli in salsa

A signature Venetian pasta dish, typically made of whole-wheat bigoli pasta, salt-cured anchovy or sardines and onions.

Sarde in saor

A Venetian cicchetto (snack) – oil-fried sardines dipped in fried onions with raisins, pine nuts and spices, and sprinkled with vinegar.
Drink

Prosecco

World-famous sparkling white wine with strong fruit and flower notes. Great for aperitif drinks and the ideal companion to appetizers.

Spritz

The omnipresent aperitif and party-starter of Northeast Italy, made with prosecco wine, a bitter liqueur and soda. Usually served with ice.
See

Ca' Rezzonico

Step into a baroque dream of marble staircases, grand frescoes and ballrooms of this 18th century family-palace-turned-museum.

Gallerie dell'Accademia

A comprehensive collection of historical Venetian art from the 14th to 18th centuries with invaluable works. A must for culture vultures!
Perfect for
Architecture
Boat Rides
Cafes
Church Landmarks
Culture
Delicasies
History
Museums
Photography
Sightseeing
Walks
Wine Tours
Places

Sights at Piazza San Marco

This grand square is a world-famous, iconic landmark in the very heart of Venice. While the square itself is a tastefully magnificent creation of man enclosed by the impressive procuracy buildings, it’s the treasures just nearby and around it that make up a grand ensemble. First off the Basilica di San Marco – a trip to Venice is not complete without seeing this incredibly detailed cathedral, strongly influenced by Byzantine architecture and richly decorated with sculptures, gold and mosaic from top to bottom. Inside you’ll find an interior that testifies to the opulence of Venice’s days as a city-state trading empire – masterful paintings, gold, statues, various relics, abundant mosaics on the upper levels and the famous Pala d’Oro altarpiece. Right next to the basilica is the crown of the city – the Palazzo Ducale. For centuries this Gothic palace was the seat of the Venetian Republic's government and the Doge’s residence with lavishly and individually decorated, painted and fitted chambers and halls. The palace is linked to a prison with the Bridge of Sighs – a small Venetian landmark famous for its grave symbolism. Back in the day convicts would take their last sight of Venice through the bridge’s windows as they walked over to the prison. Just nearby the palace soars the majestic Campanile di San Marco bell tower, that dates back to the 9th century and has been damaged and rebuilt numerous times. Then there’s the Columns of San Marco and San Teodoro that date to the 12th Century and represent the city’s two historical patron saints. The statue of San Teodoro is somewhat overshadowed by the mystical Lion of Venice with its obscure origin. While at the square, don’t forget to take a peek at the Torre dell'Orologio clock tower. Take your time to see and take in the overwhelming beauty and history of this place. In case you are still craving for more discoveries, take just a few steps away from the square and you’ll find plenty. That’s the magic of Venice!

Grand Canal

A visit to Venice is not complete without a boat ride, be it a vaporetto, water taxi or gondola. And a ride through the Grand Canal is a great way to get the feel of the setting and appreciate the views of the sheer architectural beauty of various ages lining the bends of the canal. There’s an overwhelming number of sights along the way, from the iconic Rialto bridge, which you will be going up close and under, to the noble family palaces of Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' Foscari, Palazzi Barbaro, Palazzo Dario and Ca' d'Oro, or fondacos such as Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Fondaco dei Turchi and Fondaco del Megio, and churches such as the basilica Santa Maria della Salute, San Geremia and San Samuele, the old Punta della Dogana customs warehouse, the Fabbriche Nuove magistrate seat and many more. It’s well worth cruising through more than once, as you’ll unintentionally discover new sights every time.

Murano

Lying about 1.5 km from Venice, this group of 7 islands known as Murano is yet another beautiful place to experience. Murano is known first and foremost for its glassmaking. See for yourself and visit the Museo del Vetro that houses a carefully curated glasscraft collection dating back to the 5th century. Here you’ll see all things glass, from Roman glassware to mirrors, table pieces, various artworks and the famous Venetian beads. Just beyond the museum you’ll find the beautiful and quiet 7th century Duomo di Murano church with its unique exterior features, an impressive stand-alone bell tower and a special treat – an intricate 12th century Byzantine floor mosaic of images and ornaments. Another mystical artefact is the four ribs measuring more than 1 m in length and hanging by wires. Legend has it those are ribs of a dragon slain by St. Donatus. Be sure to check out the Campo Santo Stefano square with its striking abstract glass star sculpture and the nearby 19th century clock tower next to the church of St. Stephen. And last but not least - the marvelous 12–13th century Veneto-Byzantine Palazzo Da Mula. Be sure to explore more of Murano and shop for some fine glass produce, of which there is an abundance, of course.
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