Introducing holidays to Venice
Brimming with breathtaking sights, mouth-watering meals, and unique exploratory means - Venice city breaks transport holidaymakers to a different world. Expect plenty of hideaway restaurants boasting stunning views of the canals, unique boutiques selling colourful Murano glass jewellery and plenty of ice-cream parlours to enjoy Italian treats at their best and quite a few remarkable cultural and historical sites.
Possibly the most romantic city in the world, this gem of Italy is perfect for city breaks for couples, but with its rich history, culture and scenic sights, this city charms all manner of holidaymakers. The relentless picturesque quality of Venice will keep visitors captivated throughout their stay, from the snaking canals and pretty bridges, to the grand squares and splendid churches – Venice is a truly special part of the world.
Venice, which is essentially 118 islands joined together by over 400 bridges, is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations. There are many things to do in Venice and so many sights to see, all enclosed in a relatively small area but concentrated on the centre of Venice, dominated by St. Mark’s Square, or the piazza as it is known locally. On the square you can find St. Mark’s Basilica, dating originally from the 9th century, and the perfect spot to start simply walking around Venice, admiring the amazing architecture, as the views across the lagoon to the mainland and the magnificent bridges is an activity in itself. The most well regarded bridges are the Rialto and The Bridge of Sighs, both of which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as two of the top Venice attractions.
Venice is overflowing with history and has many museums, galleries and monuments of interest. The Correr Museum has an exhibition of Roman artefacts and a picture gallery while the Peggy Gugenheim Museum houses an amazing collection of modern art including works by Picasso and Pollock. Two of the more unique Venice attractions, the Jewish Museum details the rich history of the Jewish people in Venice, and the Glass Museum on the island of Murano has a fine collection of typical glasswork from the area. Aside from museums, the beautiful St. Mark’s cathedral and Venetian icon is the most popular and most visited attraction in Venice. The Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta on the island of Torcello is also worth a trip, as apart from its amazing architecture, it is also known for its unique collection of mosaics.
Spanning over 100 tiny islands and surrounded by a sparkling blue lagoon that filters its way through to a labyrinth of city canals, there are plenty of places to explore while visiting the city. City breaks to Venice are a popular choice regardless of the seasons - while many flock here during the summer months for its pleasantly warm weather, others are enchanted by the misty ambience that settles over city during the winter.
Enjoy the atmosphere in St. Mark’s Square before wandering through the narrow winding streets to cosy bed and breakfasts in the heart of the city, or elegant 5-star hotels with views over canals amid some of the most romantic and iconic architecture Europe has to offer. With a booming café and restaurant culture, Venice city breaks are perfect for those who want to experience a lot but get away from it all and relax at the same time. With all the winding streets, plentiful cafés and shops, you will be amazed by the countless things to do in Venice.
Venice is filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. Sightseeing during city breaks in Venice is an infinite affair, but at the top of the list has to be a visit to St. Mark’s Square. Traditionally a meeting place for Venetians, this famous square is always bustling with activity from flower stalls to cafés. One of the top attractions in Venice is the square’s Duomo, a magnificent church marked with beautiful floor-to-ceiling mosaics. While you are there make sure you absorb the views from the top of the bell tower. Afterwards, sit in one of the many cafés that line the square or tuck into one of the country’s delicious gelatos.
Another popular sight is the Rialto Bridge. Stand back in awe of the amazing structure or buy a souvenir in one of the shops that line the bridge itself. You can even take to the waters on a romantic gondola ride for a totally different view of the city. City breaks to Venice also benefit from a convenient location, with plenty of gorgeous Italian cities located nearby. Verona - only 113 kilometres by train from Venice – is the perfect addition to a romantic multi-city break, while the charming nearby town of Mestre will also give you a great daytrip option.
Wine and Dine
Venice houses many top-quality restaurants and other eateries, many serving up everything from traditional southern Italian pizza, and plenty of dishes local to Venice. A local favourite is fresh cuttlefish and is used in numerous dishes, the ink often being used as part of the exquisite sauce. Don’t miss out on risotto dishes with fresh fish – as Venice is surrounded by water - or the cod and polenta meal. Take an afternoon espresso for a pick-me-up or satiate your sweet tooth with a bite or four of tiramisu to end the perfect culinary day.
Action and Adventure
Venice is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an action and adventure break, nevertheless, there are a few things to do in Venice for those who wishing to keep the blood pumping around their veins. Row Venice offers a 90 minute session that allows you to learn to row like a Venetian gondolier; you’ll get the inside tips on how to get around Venice the traditional way and get to see the city from a gondolier’s point of view. October sees the Venice Marathon take to the streets of the city. The race actually starts around 30km to the west of the city but finishes in the heart of Venice, and you get to run over many of the famous bridges before you reach the finish line!
Venice is a perfect destination for a romantic city break, with so many beautiful sights and many wonderful places to eat and drink in an exceptional setting. There are many things to do in Venice for couples, from taking a gondola or water taxi to explore the sights from the water, to strolling around the narrow connecting streets and discovering hidden parts of this amazing place. Other things to do in Venice include taking a sunset boat trip out to one of the surrounding islands, try a cycling excursion to some of the sights just outside of Venice, or take a stroll in the enchanting gardens of Villa Pisani.
Festivals and Events
The Venice Carnevale runs for the 10 days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, and is the world’s most famous masked ball, though there are numerous events and parties throughout the carnival period. La Biennale di Venezia runs on alternate years and features amazing Art and Architecture exhibitions, though the scope of these are quite wide and also include the acclaimed Venice International Film Festival. The Veneto Jazz Festival takes place at various times throughout the year and attracts some big names from this genre. Mare Maggio is a relatively new festival that allows a three day glimpse into the walls of the Arsenale, including historical re-enactments as part of the programme. The festival of St. Mark’s, or Festa di San Marco, is the celebration of the saint, with a gondoliers’ regatta and other festivities throughout St. Mark’s Square.