For centuries, ‘La Serenissima’, or the ‘Most Serene Republic of Venice’ was one of the most important city states in the world. The trading port where many spices and coffee were first introduced to Europe, Venice’s meeting of cultures created a dream-like atmosphere that has enchanted for centuries. Much, much more than the canals that it is most famous for, Venice is a very special gem of northern Italy.
Where to go
Take in St Mark’s Square and explore the majesty of St Mark’s Basilica, built to hold the apostle’s bones. Experience the grandeur of the Renaissance at the Doge’s Palace. Explore the hidden streets and alleyways once trodden by Casanova. Look for a unique carnival mask. Travel down the Grand Canal in a water taxi. Cross the Rialto bridge. See the city from the comfort of a gondola. Admire the artistic glories of Venetian painting at the Gallerie dell'Accademia. Find a bar with a special someone and enjoy some prosecco as the city comes to life in the evening.
Food & Drink
Venice’s location in a lagoon means that there is quite a lot of seafood consumed - anchovies, shrimp, squid and sardines. Venetians also have a sweet tooth, so expect to enjoy lots of cakes and biscotti. You may also encounter the Venetian tradition of ‘Cichetti’ - stopping for a glass of wine (often a local white) and a small, tapas-like bite to eat. When in Venice, we recommend Il Ridotto (Castello 4509, Campi Santi Filippo e Giacomo) near Piazza San Marco for excellent local fare in cosy, intimate surrounds, or Osteria Santa Marina (Castello 5911, Campo Santa Marina) for an atmospheric, romantic meal away from the crowds.
Venice is a terrific city for nightlife - Venetians have loved to party for centuries. Caffe Florian (San Marco 56, Piazza San Marco) was the first cafe in the world and a hangout of Lord Byron, but today it is a popular bar, perfect for a drink outside as the sun sets. Elsewhere, the Skyline Rooftop Bar (Giudecca 810, Fondamenta San Biagio) might be a a hotel bar, but it has astounding views of both city and lagoon and an excellent drinks selection.
Where to stay
You might opt to stay in the Palazzo Ca’nova
, secluded apartments whose owners give visitors a very special, insider’s view of the city. The Hotel Arcadia
is a small, intimate adults only
boutique hotel centrally located and excellent for that romantic getaway you’ve been thinking of. Outside of the city, but easily accessible, La Montecchia
is a B&B located in an imposing 15th century
castle - the perfect choice for a honeymoon. Liassidi Palace Hotel
is located by St Mark’s square and ideal for sightseers. Make sure you check out their bar. For an especially romantic getaway, we recommended the tiny Bloom B&B
, bedecked in velvet and exposed timbers - a retreat back through the centuries to more sensuous, decadent era Finally, Ca Maria Adele
is a gem of a hotel tucked away in a quiet square that has wonderful views and a canal berth - a catch a ride down the canal from the hotel front door! How to get there
Ryanair, Easyjet, British Airways and FlyBe fly direct to Venice daily.