It is safe to say there is no other city in the world quite like Venice (Wikipedia official page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice). Unique is one word to describe this remarkable place, beautiful another, and it should be on everyone’s list of places to see.

Famous for its canals and the traditional gondolas, the beauty of Venice has been built up over a long and illustrious period, with the part it played in the Renaissance remaining visible in its wonderful architecture and cultural sites.

It should be noted that Venice is also unique in being an entirely pedestrian city; no cars are allowed within the city itself. It is difficult to decide where to begin when describing things to see and do in Venice, but one should start at Grand Canal, the central waterway.

venice

vaporetto

The Vaporetto and the Gondola

Visitors are strongly advised to take the "vaporetto" – a wonderful water taxi that takes you on a spectacular journey along the Grand Canal itself – in the first instance, as it is specially designed to take tourists to the main attractions along the way.

Many of the finest museums are on the route, and the ticketing system – online booking is available – enables people to get on and off at any of the many stops on the canal. The journey itself is worth the effort, but it’s the cultural attractions on the side of the canal that make the trip special.

Away from the canal and San Marco Square is the place to go for some of the most important buildings in the city: the Doge’s Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Italy, and guided tours are available at little cost, while the wonderful Bell Tower of St Mark and the famous Clock Tower stand proud over this charming piazza.

Venice is also famous for its bridges, in particular the charming and unique Rialto Bridge; its 800 year history is fascinating in itself, and visitors can also take in the many quaint shops and the wonderful market close to the bridge itself.

No trip to Venice could be complete without a trip on a Gondola, the history of which is beautifully explained in a superb museum on the Guidecca Canal, while St Mark’s Basilica, one of the most important churches in the country, combines stunning architecture with wonderful historical and cultural information that adds to the sense of importance of Venice itself.

The museums

Also recommended are the Correr Museum, on San Marco Square, with its exquisite collection of Roman artefacts and impressive picture gallery, as well as the Peggy Guggenheim Museum where visitors can see an important collection of antiquities and art. The island of Murano, from which the spectacular and famous glass of the same name comes, is also worth a visit.

Last but not least, as with all cities in Italy, eating is more than just a necessity. A choice of fine restaurants and trattoria serve a range of local cuisine, and visitors are encouraged to try the local style of pizza as well as another speciality, cuttlefish and ink served with pasta. Wine bars are plentiful, and provide a charming and friendly way to take the weight off one’s feet before returning on the vaporetti to your hotel.

rialto bridge