Cheap flights to Venice
A watery world of Gothic palaces, carnival masks and Byzantine churches, Venice does not fail to impress. Venice really is the jewel in Italy’s crown and is one of the most recognisable and unique places in the world.
A floating city of bridges, canals and winding back streets, this place is a Mecca for romantic couples, culture vultures and those wanting to step into a fairytale world. After you’ve visited the bustling St Mark’s Square, looked inside its world famous cathedral basilica and, of course, fed the pigeons, lose yourself in the maze-like Cannaregio, Castello and Dorsoduro districts where you’ll find the real Venice, you know, like the one you see in the movies.
Here you’ll come across local markets, museums galore and thankfully fewer tourists. And if you’ve still got the energy after all that sightseeing and fancy a tipple or two then hit the trendy pubs and bars around Campo di Santa Margherita in Dorsoduro.
(Calle Carminati, 5641 Castello, tel: 041 523 5500). It's hard to pass by the shop of Giovanna Zanella without stopping to eye up the stylish footwear in the window. The designer specialises in bespoke handmade shoes for men and women. www.giovannazanella.it
Officially lasting from 26 January to 12 February this year, the Venice carnival should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. There are extraordinary costumes, fascinating side-events and an ice-rink, open daily in Campo San Polo.
The Venetian island of Sant'Erasmo is famous for its purple artichokes, and spring is the season to enjoy them at their best. There's an artichoke festival held every May, and the peaceful island atmosphere makes a relaxing change from busy central Venice.
Visit the renaissance city of Vicenza (45 minutes by train) to be inspired by the graceful Palladian palazzi. The views over the city are superb from the Rotonda monument, one of Palladio's most famous.