Venice lays claim to be one of the most romantic holiday travel destinations in the world. This city is set in a beautiful lagoon, with winding waterways for streets.
A Venice gondola ride is one of the best and most romantic ways to discover all of its fabulous treasures - from the magnificent Rialto bridge to the unforgettable altarpieces of Titian.
Venice history is one of astonishing wealth. This was the centre of Mediterranean maritime power for centuries. The former Venetian powerhouse is now, somewhat sadly, sinking into the mud. It's a tourist theme park kept afloat by an astonishing 20 million visitors every year.
Hotels in Venice Italy take more cash per room than any other city in the world. With just 90,000 hotel beds in the city itself, many Venice city breaks will involve day trips by vaporetto from hotels on mainland Mestre. Most visitors fly to the mainland airports of Marco Polo or Treviso.
Self catering apartments in Venice can be the best way to get to know the city, with many apartments sited in some of the city's most atmospheric areas. Holiday apartment specialists such as Hostelbookers have many delightful apartments throughout the city and staying in a Venice apartment can be stylish, convenient and affordable.
However they arrive, visitors to Venice are staggered by the city's architectural heritage, charmed by its vivid colours and entranced at its artistic wonders. They may also find themselves outraged at the avaricious rip-off prices in tourist hotspots like St Mark's, stifled by the countless crowds and lost down a maze of claustrophobic side streets. Take one of the many great Venice city tours to ensure that you avoid the rip-offs and long lines while making sure you take in the best of the city.
Snaking through the heart of Venice is the Grand Canal, always busy with vaporetto boats, lined with sumptuous painted palazzo and topped by the photographic wonders of St Mark's Square and the neighbouring Palazzo Ducale.
Canaletto scenes beckon at every turn, bolstered by scores of magnificent churches, many crammed with paintings and sculptures in a roll call of the world's greatest artists, from Carpaccio to Tintoretto. Among the city treasures are museums such as the Accademia whose collections consist of virtually nothing but major masterpieces.
And off the tourist trail, visitors can delight in the backwaters and picturesque byways. Venice's intricate network of around 150 canals and 400 bridges is split into six districts, or sesistre. The city is unique in having no buses, cars, trams or taxis - only footpaths and boats.
Venice may be a glorious, glamorous cliché; its beauty may be faded and crumbling; the avarice of its inhabitants glutted by an endless stream of free-spending tourists but, no matter how many travel books you have read or photographs and films you have seen, a Venice holiday remains an awe inspiring experience. That first Venice vaporetto cruise down the Grand Canal will never be forgotten.
Venice buildings and churches may look sturdy, but most of them are shored up by ancient wooden posts. Today they are under attack like never before. The city is sinking slowly into the sea and unless more is done there won't be a Venice left to visit.
Visiting Venice, what could be better than sipping a glass of locally produced Soave, or a sparking Prosecco, chilled to perfection; the ideal way to relax while sightseeing in possibly the world's most beautiful city. TravelSavvy learns more.
While three regions of the north Piedmont, Lombardy and the Veneto say they are home to the finest risotto, the city of Venice can stake a decent claim. TravelSavvy chef Bob Cartwright investigates the secrets of this delicious Venetian dish.
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