Is Venice the most romantic city in the world? It’s certainly hard to beat, especially when you’re staying right in the centre of things.
Where is it?
Venice is a city built on water – just off the north east coast of Italy, facing the Adriatic Sea – and is famed for its canal network, opulent palazzos and beautiful religious buildings and art. It has an airport on the mainland but from there, you need to take a water bus to reach the city.
Where can I stay?
The best way to experience Venice is in a cool, quiet and sophisticated hotel. These small but beautifully designed hotels offer you respite from the tourist throng and the sort of service you would expect from much more expensive locations. Try Ca’ Pisani, a small palazzo that has been sympathetically renovated and decorated to provide a haven of tranquillity, or the Ca Maria Adele, an eclectic boutique hotel in one of Venice’s most exclusive quarters.
What can I see?
For a relatively small city, there’s a lot to pack into a short visit. The central area of St. Mark’s Square with the Doge’s Palace and the Campanile is a great place to hang out and soak up the atmosphere, although bars and cafes here can be expensive. Instead, visit the churches, galleries and restaurants that are slightly off the beaten track, where atmosphere and tradition are still rich. If you have time, visit the nearby islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello, all historically and culturally worth a visit.
How do I get around?
One of the beauties of Venice is that it has no road network. Most tourists use the waterbus (Vaporetto) system, which is regular and fairly cheap. Those who are looking for romantic Venice can hire a gondola at a greater cost. By far the best way to explore the city, however, is on foot. This way, you can reach the parts of the city that most waterbuses don’t travel to and discover architectural and shopping delights along the way.