When you go to Venice, nothing can quite prepare you for the first sight of the Grand Canal. Taking a Vaporetto (water taxi) from Piazzale Roma to Piazza San Marco, the journey cuts through the city in a swathe passing beneath the iconic Rialto Bridge and eventually opening out onto the magnificent lagoon allowing the full, breathtaking glory of Venice to be absorbed. Venice can truly claim to be unique. A city built centuries ago on a series of 117 islands and mudbanks in a lagoon with canals instead of roads, there is nowhere like it on earth. By the 12th century, Venice was an independent city-state and through its control of the spice and silk trade from the East, became the richest trading nation in Europe. The banks of its canals are lined with magnificent palaces dating from this period up until the 18th century. Venice lost its independence in 1797, since when this astonishing city has remained more or less frozen in time. Yet, far from being run down or derelict, Venice is alive with a vibrancy and spirit which ensures its position amongst the most compelling tourist attractions in the world.
Venice overloads the senses. The sights smells and tastes of possibly the most romantic place on earth combine to create an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever.
Millington Travel’s Top Ten things to see and do in Venice
- St Mark`s Square Have a coffee and watch the world go by (just one though…it`s very expensive)
- Try a world famous Bellini cocktail in Harry`s Bar.
- Rooftop dinner at the Hotel Danielli overlooking Giudecca Island.
- Gondola trip. You haven’t been to Venice unless you try this.
- The Doge`s Palace. Situated on St Mark`s Square, the seat of government for Venice`s early rulers.
- St Marks Cathedral. One of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture.
- Murano Island. Home of the famous Venetian glassblowers.
- Torcello Island….a peaceful oasis of calm, much of which is a nature reserve.
- Lose yourself on a stroll among Venice’s back streets and soak up the atmosphere.
When to go?
As with most of Europe, winters are cool, sometimes cold, and summers are hot. As with most of Europe, with the warmer weather comes higher prices and crowds of tourists. If you can avoid summer holidays we recommend visiting in Spring or Autumn when temperatures are warm enough to enjoy Venice outside, but prices are lower.