Best time to go: Venice is beautiful year round. The height of summer can be tourist-packed, winters can be very cold.
What could be more romantic than floating down a Venetian canal in a gondola? Lovebirds everywhere cannot fail to be charmed by this wonderfully unique city and its maze of canals and bridges.
Venice is located on an archipelago of 118 flat islets. Visiting Venice is like stepping back in time. There are no cars and the 200 or so canals crossed by 400 bridges are the streets of Venice, so you will have to walk or float to get around.
A journey down the Grand Canal will take you from the railway station at the Piazza Roma to the Piazza San Marco, described by Napoleon as ‘the drawing room of Europe’. This is one of the most beautiful squares in the world and it dominates the city. The square is lined with stunning buildings, many of them 400 or 500 years old, sheltered walkways and shops.
The Basilica of St Marks lies on the Eastern side of the piazza and it is reputed to contain the remains of Venice’s patron saint. South of the Basilica is the Doge’s Palace housing many famous paintings and sculptures.
The magnificent buildings which line the canals add to the ambience of the city. Venice’s Byzantine, Renaissance, Moorish and Gothic architecture has inspired artists for centuries, and Venice seems to have escaped the modern touches that so many other cities have acquired over the years.
Did you know?
- Venice is suffering from rising sea levels, and experts have warned that if action is not taken, the city could be largely under water by the next century.
- Marco Polo was one of Venice’s most famous citizens.
Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide to Venice (Eyewitness Travel Top 10)