Its gondolas and golden spires have been seducing visitors for centuries. Fall in love with Venice and you’ll be faithful for life.
The Floating City is one of the most visited, most photographed and most romantic destinations in the world, thanks to its rich architectural heritage, timeless beauty and shameless attachment to the good things in life.
Venice is an easy city to explore on foot thanks to its dense network of cobblestone streets winding amongst its trademark canals. Stroll across ancient bridges, dive down narrow alleyways and wander through picturesque piazzas – it seems there’s something to surprise and delight around every corner.
St Mark’s Square is where many visitors choose to start their voyage of exploration. This world-famous attraction can get very crowded, especially in the summer months, but there’s no better place to get a first taste of the splendours of Venetian architecture, such as the glorious gold and marble of St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) and the richly decorated dome of the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale).
From the piazza, head to the Grand Canal for a boat ride along one of the most breathtakingly beautiful stretches of water in the world. For speed and convenience, take the vaporetto (water bus) to access most of the principal sights, or enjoy a more traditional view of the canal from the prow of a romantic gondola. Either way you can catch a glimpse of the Basilica of St Mary of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute) as you glide beneath the ancient arches of the Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto).
The vaporetto is a great way to reach other attractions such as the Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracolo, a 15th-century church built on an ancient pilgrimage site, or take a day trip to the glass-blowers’ island of Murano or the lace museum on Burano.
As the sun goes down and the pace of the day dwindles, head for a traditional osteria (a bar that serves food) or a shady restaurant terrace to sample some delicious Italian food and wine and listen to the street musicians singing their love songs into the night.