Venice is certainly one of the few cities in the world that can be described as unique without exagerating. This picturesque city on the Venetian lagoon has become recognized in the world for its splendid Baroque architecture, its unique location and it’s reputation as one of the most romantic destinations in the world.
At the turn of the 8th century the Venetians established a republic and elected their first Doge. This would mark the beginning of the city’s growth as an important trade center. Venice became the exclusive commercial link between the East and the European community and reached the height of success during the Renaissance. Marco Polo, a great and nobel citizen of the city of Venice, would come to symbolize this spirit of enterprise in the 13th century as he set out to explore China.
Venice was built on hundreds of small islands linked together by more than 400 bridges and canals. Every form of transport is on water or by foot and the classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists or in occasion of special ceremonies. Most Venetians now travel by motorised waterbuses (“vaporetti”) on regular routes along the major canals and between the city’s islands.
The heart of the city certainly is Piazza San Marco with the beautiful St. Marks Basilika, the Campanile and the exclusive cafés. Another symbole of Venice is the beautiful gothic Doge’s Palace with the legendary Bridge of Sighs linking it to the old prisons. The Grand Canal has several famous bridges and one of them, the old wooden Accademia Bridge, leads to the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery. The most famous of all is the Rialto Bridge nearby the Ca d’Oro (the Golden House). Venice is also bordered by many charming islands: Murano is most famous for its glass blowing, Burano for producing fine lace and Torcello for its Byzantine cathedral.
In February the famous Carnival brings you back to the Serenissima Republic with the glamour of hundreds elaborated masks and coustumes.