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Travel guide to flights & holidays in Venice.


Venice Holidays & Travel Guide

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Venice Holidays Overview

They donít call Venice as the most beautiful city in the world for nothing. Venice along with its beautiful canals and breathtaking architectures is known to offer its visitors with an exotic setting that seems to be from another world. Most people term Venice as an engineering marvel because of the fact that its ancient churches and architectural wonders are built on top of wooden posts that have been driven deep into the mud banks. But, truth be told, the unique constructions of the city were only possible because of its people and their relentless energy.

Some tourists wrongly believe that they can have it easy in the city as most of its major attractions are known to be located extremely close to each other. However, days of exploration would not allow a traveller to cover all that Venice has to offer. Right from its narrow alleyways to its musicians who play 18th century tunes, from its breathtaking architectural displays to its world famous paintings, from its world class museums to its stunning art galleries; every inch of Venice exudes romance.

One of the best ways to explore Venice is to get lost in its labyrinth of streets and alleyways. In fact, getting lost once or twice during the holiday is quite normal for most travellers. However, as one ventures off the beaten path into the backstreets of the city, the sights and sounds keep becoming much more beautiful and even more attractive. You might not really like the Venezani who grumble the moment their sight falls upon you, but do give them a second thought. After all, they have to deal with millions of inquisitive and prying tourists year after year.

The tourist population of more than 20 million travellers always beats the local populace of just 60000 on any day of the year. Unfortunately, this somewhat subdues the beauty and aura of the city and the huge crowds and the lines at most major tourist spots can be displeasing, but the atmosphere and the romantic surroundings more than cover up for any evident flaws of Venice. (Not that the large number of tourists is the cityís fault! Or maybe it is. No city should be so beautiful, so splendid, so serene.)

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Venice holidays - Top Places To Go

1. The Grand Canal (Canalazzo)

What is it? Venice's main waterway splits the city in half with sestieri in equal parts to the west and east of it. It is the hub around which much activity in Venice is concentrated and is encircled with elegant facades of the palazzi, which testify to the city's past opulence. The best way to explore the architectural splendour of these Renaissance buildings is on board a vaporetta. Pedestrian access across the canal is only provided along three bridges situated at the station, Rialto and Academia. Gondolas cross the canal at regular intervals and provide a romantic interlude to the sightseeing itinerary. The Grand Canal palaces and buildings to look out for include the Ca da Mosto, with its rounded arches in low relief. The 'House of Gold' (Ca d'Ora) is a beautiful Gothic building constructed between 1424 and 1430. Palazzo Corner-Spinelli and Palazzo Vendramin Calergi combine classical and Byzantine elements designed by Mauro Codussi. Architect Jacopo Sansovino was inspired by Codussi's style and infused this in his creation of the Palazzo Corner (Ca Granda). Another notable Palazzo is the Grimani di San Luca, designed by Michele Sanmicheli. Hours of Operation: Phone:



2. St Mark's Square

What is it? St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) has always been the nucleus of Venice. The first citadel and church were erected on its stony foundations, the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco respectively. The Basilica di San Marco is a unique juxtaposition of Byzantine, western European and Islamic architectural styles. The Basilica's most precious relic is the Pala d'Or, a Venetian-Byzantine gold relief adorned with precious gems. Travellers and pigeons flock to the Piazza with equal zeal. It is the tourists however who pay dearly to eat or drink at the elegant cafes that spill onto the pavements. Designer shops line the streets that radiate from the square. There are worthwhile places of interest to explore beyond the square that include the Museo Correr, the Archaeological Museum and the Museo del Risorgimento, which are housed within the Procuratie Nuova. Attached to the Procuratie Vecchie is the triumphal Torre dell'Orologio. The adjoining archway guides one through to the Mercerie, Venice's main commercial street that stretches to the Rialto. Hours of Operation: Phone:



3. Rialto

What is it? The Rialto has long been the commercial core of Venice and is famed as the place where the first bridge over the Grand Canal was built. The original wooden bridge collapsed under the strain of the crowds gathered here to admire a wedding procession. It was replaced by the sturdier single stone arch design of Antonio da Ponte, built in 1588. Today the area still resembles the bustling fruit and vegetable market of former times but is additionally swamped with tourists and the accoutrements geared towards them. Hours of Operation: Phone:



Venice holidays - Top Events


1. Carnival of Venice

From 2007-02-09

To 2007-02-20

What is it? Originating in the 12th century, the Carnival of Venice is one of the world's most famous festivals and fills the whole city with musicians, acrobats, clowns, magicians, puppeteers, beautiful masks, elaborate costumes, and parades. People come from around the world to participate in masked balls and general festivities in the ancient Venetian tradition, and to enjoy theatrical and dance performances, exhibitions and concerts along the canals, squares and the magnificent palaces of the city. Carnival traditions are the same, but every year the theme is different. Where is it? Centred on San Marco's Square



2. Festa del Redentore (Feast Day of the Redeemer)

From 2007-07-01

To 2007-07-31

What is it? One of Venice's most important religious festivals, the Feast Day of The Redeemer (Il Redentore) is also one of the most traditional dating back to 1576 in commemoration of the end of the plague that wiped out a third of the city's population. The Church of the Redentore was built on the Giudecca Island and a promise was made by the Doge to lead a procession of thanksgiving every year to the church; the opening of the temporary bridge of gondolas roped together that stretches across the canal to the island is the traditional start of the festivities. At sunset the waterways are filled with hundreds of brightly lit and decorated boats, while the banks of the canal are lined with feasting and dancing. The highlight is the tremendous fireworks display accompanied by music, and considered by many to be one of the most spectacular in the world. Regattas, rowing competitions, and special services in the Redentore Church (reached via the boat bridge) also form part of the festivities. For more information phone +39 (0)4 1274 7736. Where is it? Giudecca Canal and St. Mark's Basin



3. Historical Regatta

From 2007-09-02

To 2007-09-02

What is it? Regattas have traditionally been held on the waterways of Venice since the 13th century, and are still held throughout the year today, the most important of which is the Historical Regatta, held on the first Sunday in September. This is a regatta of distinction, attracting huge crowds of merry spectators to cheer on the various rowing races. The gondola races are preceded by a magnificent historical procession of elaborately carved boats, manned by Venetians in splendid costumes, which recalls the famous 16th-century procession of the Queen of Cyprus come to deliver her kingdom into the hands of the Venetians. Where is it? Grand Canal



4. International Festival of Contemporary Music

From 2007-09-28

To 2007-10-07

What is it? This long-associated music festival sees some of the newest and most interesting commissioned works and premieres brought to The Venice Biennale. Where is it? Teatro La Fenice, Teatro Malibran, Piccolo Teatro Arsenale



5. Barcolana

From 2007-10-14

To 2007-10-14

What is it? Barcolana is one of the largest sailing races in the world and draws thousands of fans to watch 2,000 boats (traditional and state-of-the-art) battle it out on the Mediterranean shores of beautiful Trieste. Where is it? Trieste, 65 miles (100km) east of Venice




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About This Page

Information on Venice Holidays, Venice Hotels, Holiday Packages in Venice (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Venice Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.