Venice was built on 118 islands in the middle of the Venetian Lagoon and is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world. The city is criss-crossed by 117 canals and connected by some 360 bridges. The whole city is an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building contains works by some of the world's greatest artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and others.
The main artery of Venice is the Grand Canal; the longest canal in the city. Along the Grand Canal the richest Venetian families built about a hundred marble palaces with their front doors looking onto the water; their style is influenced by Byzantine, Gothic and Lombardesque. A boat trip on a vaporetto or a tour with a gondola along the Grand Canal is the best way to discover the beauty of the city.
Where to stay in Venice
Our pick of the best places to stay in Venice is a wide-ranging mix with plenty to suit all tastes and budgets, just don't forget to book well ahead: Hotels in Venice
How to reach Venice (Venezia)
BY PLANE: The nearest airport is Marco Polo Airport. From the airport you can:
a) take a taxi to Piazzale Roma (duration: 15 minutes) and than walk to the city or use the "vaporetto ACTV".
b) take a Shuttle Bus ATVO to Piazzale Roma (every 30 min, duration: 20 min)
BY TRAIN: the nearest train station is Venezia S. Lucia (Venezia Santa Lucia).
BY CAR: with the highway you have some options:
a) by the Libertà bridge (Ponte della Libertà) you reach Piazzale Roma. After the bridge take right and you can find the TRONCHETTO parking place.
b) you can leave the car in Venezia Mestre and than use the public transports (train/bus) to reach the center of the city.
What to see in Venice
- Piazza San Marco, the grandest square in Venice, and the only which is actually called a piazza, this is dominated by the St. Mark's Basilica and the Duke's Palace. The most conspicuous feature of the city is the 91m high Campanile San Marco which was built between 874 and 1150 and reconstructed after it collapsed in 1902. To the rear of the Dukes's Palace is the famous Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace with public prisons and was the route by which prisoners were taken to and from the judgement hall.
- St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) was built to house the reliquary of St. Mark and the saint's tomb is the focus of the cathedral. It has one of the most unique architectures of any church in Italy. Various of its elements were contributed from Byzantine, Romanesque or Arabesque styles of architecture and combined into an extremely pleasant and harmonious presentation.
- The Duke's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) contains numerous treasures of the art world. The decorations are extraordinary and include works by the master artists of the Venetian Republica. Be sure to examine the works of Tintoretto and Veronese. The Museo dell'Opera on the ground floor includes the original capitals from the columns of the building, as well as other interesting items.
- The largest canal in the city, the Grand Canal (Canal Grande) is almost 4 km long and up to 70 metres wide. Many famous buildings are situated on its banks, including the baroque Church of Santa Maria Della Salute, the Accademia Gallery, the Corner-Spinelli and Grimani Palaces. It is crossed by three bridges: the Accademia, Rialto and Scalzi.
- Basilica of Saints Giovanni and Paolo (Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo) is the largest Venetian gothic church and contains the burial monuments of Doges and other important citizens.
- Visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (La Collezione di Guggenheim Peggy), it is filled with European and American art from the first half of the 20th century and includes the personal collection of Guggenheim. The museum is housed in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal.
- The Gallerie dell'Accademia houses an incredible art collection that chronicles the history of Venetian artists, including works by the major Venetian Masters. The Museum is very popular and we recommend that you reserve your tickets online in advance.