Venice Holidays

A dreamy Italian city

Grand squares, churches and palaces set across 118 islands with no roads, just canals connected by more than 400 bridges – Venice is simply exquisite. Poised elegantly in the shallows of the Venetian Lagoon, there’s nowhere quite like it. A major artistic and political centre in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Venice today is still an enthralling place that sets the imagination on fire.

On Venice holidays you can spend days just swooning over its ornate bridges, elegant archways and gilded domes. Romance is just about everywhere you look, from its pretty squares and canals to its beautiful art collections. A real visual feast, just wandering and taking in the sensational architecture of the Rialto Bridge, St Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the vistas of the Grand Canal, is a wonderful experience.

That’s not to say that city breaks to Venice are just for architecture fans – both the ancient city’s narrow streets and Venice’s outer islands are full of offbeat attractions. There are contemporary art festivals and scores of talented artisans, such as gondola makers, keeping age-old traditions alive. And, best of all, on holidays to Venice you can even have a go yourself – there are opportunities to try glass blowing, mask painting or a paper-making class. That’s before even mentioning the city’s excellent restaurants, bustling fish markets and world-class ‘gelaterias’. Venice has it all, and each new discovery will draw you deeper into its opulent, enchanting world.

All resorts in Venice

Three tips for a top trip

Take the vaporetti
When you get tired of walking, hop on a ‘vaporetti’ water bus to tour the harbour or visit some of the more far-flung islands – they’re inexpensive and efficient.
See the sights at night
Enjoy Venice’s legendary views when they’re floodlit – somehow attractions like the Grand Canal and the Rialto Bridge look even prettier and more romantic than they do by day.
Come for Carnevale
You can buy a souvenir mask at any time of year, but why not visit during February’s Mardi Gras carnival – with mask-painting workshops and a city-wide masquerade.

Best attractions to see in Venice

Murano Glass

Venetian glass has been produced on Murano since the 13th century, and its colourful curlicues are world-famous. Explore its history and see glass-blowing demonstrations at the museum.

St Mark’s Square

The principal public square of Venice is the place to people-watch. Have a coffee, buy some corn to feed the pigeons and bask in its beauty and character.

Squero di San Trovaso

This ancient boatyard is one of the few still making gondolas, Venice’s signature pleasure craft. Watch the craftsmen from outside, or arrange a group tour.

Your Venice questions, answered

The cooler months are less crowded, though you might want to coincide with a festival – the winter Biennale, February Carnevale or September’s Venice Film Festival.

Italy’s answer to tapas – ‘cichetti’ – is authentically Venetian and traditionally served from dedicated ‘bàcari’ (cichetti bars). Have one as a snack or order several to make a meal.

Seek out the tiny boutiques selling exquisite handmade paper and notebooks – Venice has an ancient paper-making tradition, and these marbled treasures will stand out in any collection.