Imagine the impudence and audacity required to build a city of marble palaces on a wetland, and that was merely the beginning. Explore my insider’s guide for everything you need to know about traveling to Venice, Italy.
Venice, the capital Veneto, Italy’s northern region, is built in a lagoon on over one hundred small islands. With no roads this island city is traversed by canals, including the Grand Canal thoroughfare which is lined with iconic Renaissance and Gothic palaces.
St. Mark’s Basilica, situated in the central square Piazza San Marco, is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, while the Campanile bell tower offers magnificent views of the city’s red roofs.
When to Travel
Spring and Autumn are both beautiful times of the year to visit Venice and to be in the City of Canals. Spring can be cool and damp and of course it remains as lovely as ever indoors. While the city begins to empty of peak summer crowds in Autumn, making for a magical atmosphere.
As you would expect with the warmth of summer, the hot weather brings with it the tourist and the crowds eliciting a buzz of excitement that is electric. During summer gondolas and hotels are in high demand as tourists flock to take advantage of the longer days and abundance of sunshine. Summer in Venice is more temperate than the inland cities of Italy.
Visiting in the winter months certainly has its advantages, you will find it easier to explore with few crowds. Do keep in mind though that attractions may have reduced hours with many closing early.
Venice is more than a mere pit-stop so it’s not hard to feel sorry for the day trippers dropped off at San Marco with a meagre three hours to take in her splendour. In fact it’s just about enough time for one long gasp at the show-stopper that is Piazza San Marco. It most certainly is not nearly enough time to discover all the secrets Venice is hiding.
Linger longer in this fairy-tale city and you’ll discover the true meaning of “la bea vita” – the beautiful life!
Where to Stay
The St. Regis Venice, a combination of five 18th- and 19th-century palazzi, has views across some of Venice’s most iconic landmarks and been defined by the city’s artistic and cultural legacy. Revolutionary in design, The St. Regis Venice merges the historic origins of its location with striking, custom interiors. The ultimate sophisticate, The St. Regis Venice combines an impeccable legacy with progressive luxury at the city’s best address on the Grand Canal. Both refined and inventive, it is an expression of the cultural curiosity of Venice and the innovation of the modern day against a privileged backdrop.
Where to Dine & Drink
Offering local, Mediterranean and international specialties with an upstanding service, the Club del Doge Restaurant has an intimate and refined atmosphere. During the nice season and when the weather allows it, is located on its terrace on the Grand Canal.
Contemporary Classic cuisine by Chef Enrico Bartolini whose cuisine has influences from across the world, using the fresh local ingredients. From the sensation of taste to the incredible and memorable presentation, every meal at GLAM is a gratifying and engaging culinary experience.
The restaurant was opened in Venice in 1954 by Mr. Fulvio Rado and managed by his son Lucio from 35 years. It is located near the Rialto Bridge right by the fish market and it is a very popular trattoria which offers all the local specialties offering an alternative menu for those who don’t love fish.
GIO’s is an immersive indoor and outdoor experience surrounded by multi-layered Italian traditions that have been shaken and presented with a creative touch in an casual yet elegant and refined setting from dawn to dusk.
One of the most famous places among venetians, it serves traditional Venetian and Italian cuisine. It has been under the care of the Family Paties since 1973. The Restaurant offers a traditional setting in its Venetian-style rooms and luxurious in those that reproduce an Orient Express dining car.
What Not to Miss
Venice is a city to be savoured. Let a gondolier serenade you as you glide past graceful palazzos. Dine by candlelight beside the Grand Canal. Shop for carnival masks and Murano glass on the Rialto Bridge. Wander through the quiet backstreets of the Dorsoduro. Enjoy a gelato on Piazza San Marco, and experience the Doge’s Palace, which once held legendary lover Casanova.
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