Venice Hotels Articles

July 8, 2010

Venice in Brief

Venice is definitely the most delightful place in Italy, founded in the 5th century it is spread over 118 islands connected by 400 bridges crossing some 160 canals. Locals and tourists frequent rowing boats, waterbuses and the famous romantic gondolas instead of cars. One of the main attractions for tourists is to sail on the Grand Canal and see the famous Rialto Bridge. The whole city is a famous architectural work of art where you can view work by some of the best artists in the world, such as Giorgione, Canaletto and Tintoretto. Venice has a beach that extends for miles, much of it undeveloped and a central park along Venice’s main street where many events take place such as concerts and art and craft shows.

Main Attractions
Thousands of pigeons live in St. Marks Square along with some of the most important and magnificent sights of the city. In Italian known as Piazza San Marco, it was designed in the 11th century and is seen as the centre of Venice. The famous historical buildings surrounding it have been added over the centuries, including St. Mark’s Basilica, The Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Clocktower. Popular with tourists there are many cafes and restaurants to sit and take in the view.

St. Mark’s Basilica, built in the 8th century, is the most famous of Venice’s churches and a stunning creation of Byzantine domes and mosaics. The upper part of the inside is entirely covered with bright mosaics of gold, bronze and a variety of precious stones, this decorated surface covers around 8000 m2.

Doge’s Palace dates back to the early 14th century when Venice was at its most powerful. Set in the style of Italian Gothic, the inside of the palace is sumptuously adorned with paintings and carved wall decorations.

Rialto Bridge was constructed in 1591 and crosses the Grand Canal in the very centre of Venice. Its 24 foot neo Gothic arch was designed to let galleys pass through. There are 3 walkways with two along the outer balustrades and a larger central walkway with a number of small shops selling jewellery and other local products.

How to get around

It’s not possible to drive through Venice so most people get around the city centre either by walking or using the many public water buses, known as vaporetti or battelli, that line the canals. A traghetto is a gondola ferry that departs from certain places along the Grand Canal, taking people back and forth between the two banks, cheap and charming. A Gondola used to be the main form of transport for Venetians at one time, but now they are mainly for the tourists, it is quite a romantic and pleasant way to take a leisurely tour of the canals and see the city.

Shopping

Venice is a great place for shopping; local souvenirs include carnival masks made from terracotta or pottery and traditional Murano glass made on the island of Murano. Techniques have remained unchanged for centuries. You can pick up a ‘La murrina’ which is a pendant made from the coloured glass, a vase or a Venini lamp. There are plenty of fashion boutiques with Mercerie the main shopping district to find designer names. The streets here are narrow and winding and you can find designer clothes, leather goods, glassware and linens. The island of Burano’s traditional occupation is lace making and here you can purchase anything from doilies and table linens to a wedding dress. Another favourite is a Venetian sweet known as ‘zaeti’ that can be purchased from the many cake shops in Venice.

Accommodation

Finding accommodation in Venice should not be too difficult, since there are hundreds of Venice hotels available from budget to luxury class, in any suburb of Venice.

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