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.
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.