The unique city on water; Venice is one of the most visited places in the world and is renowned for its spectacular landmarks and sights. The backdrop to many a romantic Hollywood film, Venice is home to the Ponte di Rialto and one of the most beautiful squares in the world; the Piazza San Marco, where locals and tourist alike, gather to watch the world go by. To one side of the piazza, the stunning Basilica di San Marco and the 15th century Clock tower (Torre dell’orologio) further enhance this spectacular setting.
Yet Venice is so much more than the superb monuments that draw the visitors in their thousands each day. Beyond the city, scattered across the Venetian lagoon, are a string of islands, some well-known but others far from the usual tourist routes. The most visited of these islands must be Murano, world famous for its glassblowing. Then there is Torcelli, known for its Byzantine mosaics and Burano, home to the Venetian lacemakers. For the adventurous, the abandoned islands are the most fascinating, with their ruined churches and abandoned gardens.
Venetian cuisine is well-known for its fish and seafood and also for its polenta, which is an important ingredient and used in numerous dishes. Risotto and pasta soups are also popular, as is “fegato alla Veneziana” (Venetian style liver). Venice provides a wealth of restaurants where visitors can enjoy its traditional cuisine. Bistros in and around Piazza San Marco and Rialto areas tend to be expensive, and are not necessarily the best value. Take a tip from the locals and venture into the back streets and you will find a wealth of reasonably priced restaurants and trattorie, which are good value for money and often better quality.
Venice is an excellent place for shopping. Those seeking the best boutiques should head for the chic streets of Calla Larga XXII, Marzo and Mercerie in the Rialto area, where Italian and International designers clothing can be found. Visit the numerous craft shops, which sell the famous Murano glass or paper mache masks, which are worn during the famous Venice Carnival, which takes place in February.
Whatever time of year you visit, Venice is a magical city.
Flying time from London to Venice 2hrs
Distance from Venice Airport
Venice Centre 20km
Distance from Venice
Florence 258kmMilan 267km
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