The ‘Most Serene Republic of Venice’ dates back to 827 and prospered for nearly one thousand years under a Roman-style senate which was headed by the Doge. Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and through the Renaissance years, used during the Crusades as a staging area. The city was an important commercial centre especially in the silk and spice trade. Napolean conquered the city in 1797. Venice became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later was by Austria and Italy. Today Venice is still a monument to the Renaissance era with many historical buildings and monuments.
There are 121 islets, linked by 435 bridges, the most famous being the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, which make up Venice which is situated in the Marshy Venetian Lagoon on the Adriatic Sea, all of which make Venice quite unique and is a firm favourite for tourists from all over the globe. The lagoon around Venice also contains many other islands such as Burano with its world-famous lace, Murano with its wonderful glass production and Torcello which is one of the oldest human settlements in this area.
Venice is an elegant, romantic and historic destination with a wealth of monuments, churches, ancient bridges, palaces and piazzas to explore and one has to start with the most famous of all – Piazza San Marco – the heart of Venice, which is home to the Campanile Bell Tower, the Basilica, the Palazzo Ducale, the Moor’s Clock Tower and the Ala Napoleonica which houses the Museo Correr. Look out for Caffè Florian, the oldest cafe in Italy which has had many illustrious visitors over the years which include Giacomo Casanova and Lord Byron.
The best way to get around and see the sights in Venice is by foot but if you want to get around a bit quicker then there are the water buses called Vaporetti or the water taxis. For a romantic ride along the canals of Venice there are the famous Gondola.
The first Carnival of Venice was held in 1926 and is one of the most popular carnivals in the world. It has become famous for its wonderfully colourful and ornate masks which can be seen in shops all over Venice.
The gondola is a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, well suited to the conditions of the Venetian Lagoon. For centuries gondolas were once the chief means of transportation and most common watercraft within Venice. In modern times the iconic boats still have a role in public transport in the city, serving as traghetti (ferries) over the Grand Canal. They are also used in special regattas held amongst gondoliers. It is similar to punting, except it uses an oar to propel it instead of a pole. Their primary role, however, is to carry tourists on rides at established prices.
Piazza San Marco is the thousand-year-old heart of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as “the Piazza”. The Piazza San Marco has been the centre stage for some of the most significant events in the city’s history.The Piazza San Marco is one of the World’s most visited tourist attractions with its wealth of historic buildings and monuments.
The Doge’s Palace is a gothic palace in Venice, northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. Its two most visible façades look towards the Venetian Lagoon and St. Mark’s Square, or rather the Piazzetta.
The Bridge of Sighs – Ponte dei Sospiri, is a bridge in Venice, northern Italy . The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.
The Palazzo Grimani di San Luca is a Renaissance building in Venice, Italy. It is located on the Rio di San Luca channel of the city, at the point in which it flows into the Canal Grande. The palace was built in the mid-16th century for procurator Gerolamo Grimani by architect Michele Sanmicheli, and completed after his death by Gian Giacomo de’ Grigi, known as “il Bergamasco”.
The Basilica of St Mary of Health – Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the Italian city of Venice. It stands on a narrow finger of land between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water
Ca’ d’Oro /Palazzo Santa Sofia, is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palazzi, it has always been known as Ca’ d’Oro (golden house) due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls. The Palazzo was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided Venice with eight Doges between 1043 and 1676.
The Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa is a palace in Venice, northern Italy. Originally the residence of the Venetian doge Antonio Grimani, it was rebuilt in 1532-1569 by his heirs Vittore, procuratore generale of the city, and Giovanni Grimani, cardinal and Patriarch of Aquileia.
The Lido is an 11 km long sandbar located in Venice, northern Italy. The Venice Film Festival takes place at the Lido every September. The island is home to three settlements. The Lido itself, in the north, is home to the Film Festival, the Grand Hotel des Bains, the Venice Casino and the Grand Hotel Excelsior.
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