Venice is a city without cars, built on a lagoon; with boats being the usual mode of transport. This and the city’s long history, make the Italian city a unique place to visit. The best time to visit is during spring or autumn when the temperatures are still warm but the city is less humid. Venice was this week’s Where in the World Wednesday competition answer- well done to the 189 people who answered correctly and congratulations to Lisa Ellert who is our winner this week. Best of luck next time everybody!
The Piazza San Marco is one of Venice’s most famous landmarks. During the day it is full of people taking in the sights, having a drink in a café and listening to classical music. This is where the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) can be found, featuring a newly restored astronomical clock. Guided tours allow views of the actual clock mechanism and rooftop bell. The Museo Correr is also located here with its collection of globes dating back to the 16th century.
The Basilica di San Marco is a spectacular Byzantine cathedral not far from the Piazza San Marco. It is free to visit and the mosaic interior is just as impressive as the outdoor architecture.
The Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s most recognisable landmarks. Built in the late 1500’s it was for hundreds of years, the only way to cross the Grand Canal by foot. Other impressive bridges are the Bridge of Sighs and the Accademia Bridge. Whilst in the area, you might as well take a stroll around the Rialto markets and sample some of the fresh fish, fruit and vegetables.
Other impressive landmarks include the Dogana di Mare (Sea Customs Post), the Campanile di San Marco and the Peggy Guggenheim Museum (a personal collection of modern art, including work by Picasso, Dali, Pollock, Kandinsky and Duchamp).
Shop until you drop!
If you’re not shopped out after a trip around the Rialto Markets, San Marco is where you can find your high fashion boutiques and big designer labels. Bargain hunters should head to the Mercerie close to the Rialto and if it’s souvenirs you’re after, check out the Strada Nova.
Visit the islands…
Venice is made up of around 100 different islands that are all accessible via waterbus. The island of Murano features a glassmaking museum where you can watch an authentic glassmaker at work. A similar lace museum can be found on the island of Burano which is also famous for having brightly coloured houses. San Michele used to be a prison island now used as Venice’s cemetery, full of manicured gardens, trees, monuments and yes, more than a few graves.
Row, row, row, (well punt actually) your boat…
Vaporettos (water buses) are cheap and easy ways to get around the city and a great way to view it. Gondola rides (where a personal Gondolier punts you around the sights of the city) are expensive but can be made cheaper by booking in advance and for a group. Traghetto gondola ferries (gondolas stripped of the luxury trimmings) are another cheaper alternative.
Where to stay
The Hotel Delfino is a modern, seven storey hotel situated in Mestre and is approximately fifteen minutes by bus from the historic heart of Venice. This modern hotel lies in the heart of Mestre, not far from the city centre. There is a bus stop directly in front of the hotel, from which it takes only 10 minutes to reach the historical centre of Venice. Shopping venues and bars are only a stone’s throw away from the hotel. The nearest nightclub is 2 km away. Guestrooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with a range of amenities including a television, telephone, minibar and hairdryer. The Hotel Delfino also features a café, restaurant, buffet breakfast, parking and 24-hour reception with safe.
The Best Western Cavalletto and Doge is a traditional Italian style property which is perfectly situated in the historical heart of Venice, close to Piazza San Marco and overlooking a romantic waterfront where gondolas are moored. In the surrounding area guests will find Doge’s Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark, Accedemia Galleries and plenty of shopping and entertainment venues. The guest rooms are decorated in a traditional Venetian style and are well appointed with all of the modern amenities you will require for a comfortable stay. Guests can start the day with a trip to the dining room for the complimentary buffet breakfast, whilst a concierge service is on hand to help you get the most our of your stay.
Due to the location of hotels in and around Venice, any transfer shuttle bus service may not be able to drop you at your hotel but will take you as close to your hotel as possible, with further instructions given as how to reach your accommodation. There is also a city tax to take into consideration, charged per person, per night and can vary depending upon the star rating of the hotel and the time of year in which you travel.