Venice Travel Guide

The mere mention of the name of Venice is likely to bring images of a grand city situated over many waterways. Venice is therefore one of the top tourist destinations of Italy. Venice is known for its many waterways, gondolas and old world charm and hence, the mentioning of its name brings promises of a romantic gateway. It is a beautiful city, with many magnificent edifices, winding canals and traffic free streets. Venice is therefore a must visit tourist place in Italy.

If you have plans for an Italian vacation next time you mustn�t want to miss a trip to Venice. Here is a Venice travel guide to help you plan your vacation better.

History of Venice

Venice is actually 117 pieces of land connected by more than 400 bridges and 150 canals. The Grand Canal of Venice serves the purpose of a main street. To one Venice may make an impression that it spent all its time in primping but it wasn�t like that at the beginning. The swamp was once seemed inhibiting. However, the rich settlers of the place then erected a city on top of the marshland by driving wood planks into 100 ft of slit.

The history of Venice dated back to 827, when the Byzantine Duke moved his administration to the modern Rialto. Since then Venice has prospered to become the central point for trade and commerce. Venice prospered under the able governance of Roman Senate style forum headed by the Dodge.

However, the prosperity of the city didn�t last long and in 1797 it was conquered by Napoleon. Venice was then subjected to changing hands between Austrian Empire and nascent Italy. Venice was finally added to Italy on 1866.

Geography of Venice

Venice is the capital state of Italy�s Veneto region and Venice province. Venice was built on the lagoon, north of Adriatic Sea. The base of the city is provided by wooden planks that connect 117 islands of Venice. The city if often called the �Queen of the Adriatic� because of its beautiful marble structures.

Venice is unique in its own ways. There is no road for vehicular transportation. Entire Venice is connected through over 150 waterways and 400 bridges. Most of these bridges are arched to allow the boats and ships to pass.

Gondolas remain the traditional mode of conveyance. However, to keep pace with modernity powerboats too now ply in Venice. These powerboats are often used as taxies and buses. The main door of every building opens at the canal with doors hardly over the water level.

The main trade of people of Venice is tourism. But, Venice is also a thriving commercial hub of Italy with its port being the busiest in Italy.

Venice is also popular for its glass wares, jewelries and leather products. Most of these products are handcrafted for the tourists. The main industrial region is situated in Marghera area.

Weather of Venice

Venice receives tourists year round. However, Venice remains most crowded during the spring. The summer is said to be the worst time to visit the city since it is often stiffing hot and humid. Further, the canals get smelly during summer. The spring and the falls remain the busiest tourist seasons in Venice and hence, the city becomes most crowded by visitors during this time.

If you want to enjoy Venice at its quieter time you may book your tour between October and March, when the weather is mild and hotel rates drop.

The winter of Venice is mild. But it is often damp, windy and cold. However, January and February are the quietest time in Venice when you can enjoy the city all by yourself.

Traveling to Venice

Since tourism is the most important economic operation of Venice tourists from all around the globe pours into Venice year round. Hence, Venice is well connected with the rest of the world through air, water and train routes. However, the two most popular ways to reach to Venice is by boat and train.

By air
The closest international airport to Venice is Marco Polo Airport, in Mestre. Shuttles and city buses are available from airport to take you to Venice. Another important airport is the Treviso Airport. Though it is relatively smaller in size than the Marco Polo Airport it is gradually becoming the most prominent one in carrying tourist and cargo. You can reach to places like- Ryanair, Wizzair, and Transavia from Treviso Airport by budget flights.

You can also avail the water bus from the Alilaguna water-bus jetty. From there you can buy tickets for � 15 for the 75 minutes journey to San Marco. The water bus will pass through places like- Lido and the Arsenale. You can also choose to travel in luxury by the water taxies which will cost you around �100.

By train
Venice is also well connected by trains and direct international trains are available from various international locations, like- Munich, Paris and Vienna. Also there are weekly trains available from Moscow, Budapest and Zagreb. Trains from Mestre are available as well to the Venezia Santa Lucia, the train station situated on the west side of Venice.

Places to visit in Venice

Venice is the only pedestrian city in the world and hence you can walk as much as you want to soak into the life and culture of this vibrant city.

St. Mark's Square or Piazza San Marco serves as the centre square of Venice. The St. Mark�s square and its adjoining buildings constitute the heart of the city. The boundary of the square is marked on one side by the Basilica and by the Dodge palace on the other side. The city is crowded with cafes and shops and hence, ideal for evening strolls.

St. Mark's Basilica was built on 11th century and houses a treasure of medieval art. The Basilica is predominantly of Byzantine style, when the Dodge Palace is a classic example of Gothic style.

The Grand Canal serves as the main thoroughfare for Venice. The Grand Canal is 3 km or 2 miles long. It is of S-shaped and connects between the St. Mark�s Square and the railway station. On the halfway of the Grand Canal is situated the Rialto Bridge, an important landmark of Venice which was constructed during the 16th century.

While in Venice you mustn�t miss visiting its Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, which houses the works of masters of Venetian school of painting, like- Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto.

Shopping in Venice

Shopping in Venice can be a memorable experience. Venice is popular for its handcrafted items. The glass work of Venice, especially of Murano is famous for intricacies. You can also shop for patented leather items, jewelries and antiques in Venice.

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