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Venice City Holidays

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The city of Venice is a place that’s on almost everyone’s bucket list, thanks to its astounding system of waterways and its architectural delights – as well as the ice cream!

An architectural triumph 

Few cities in the world can compete with Venice in terms of sheer beauty and architectural feats. If a destination’s popularity is measured by the amount of nicknames it has, then this Italian beauty is up there with the best; ‘City of Water’, ‘The Floating City’ and ‘La Dominante’ are just three of many. 

Precise historical facts surrounding the exact origins of Venice are scarce, but reports suggest it was founded by refugees from surrounding Roman cities fleeing foreign invasion as long ago as 421 AD. Tourists flock from all corners of the globe to enjoy opera at the world class Interpreti Veneziani and marvel at the beauty of the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.

An old romantic 

Many consider Venice to be the most romantic city in the world, and you can see why in just one glance; a breath-taking clash of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings line its many gondola-filled canals. The Basilica di San Marco is a site for sore eyes indeed; sitting proudly in the Piazza San Marco. This beautiful church was 800 years in the making and is undoubtedly the jewel of Venice.

The Palazzo Ducale is another must-see in the square, containing a range of exhibitions that will satisfy even the most refined of art enthusiasts. It will come as no surprise that the entire city of Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Culinary delights

If you thought you'd seen the best of Venice once the sun goes down, you'd be wrong. Enjoy an ice-cold Peroni in one of the many Italian osteries (a pub-come restaurant).You could also head to the world-famous Harry's Bar, which is the birthplace of the Bellini cocktail, and was a regular haunt for the likes of Ernest Hemingway.

The foodies amongst you will be in heaven, as Venice is teaming with delis selling local cheeses, prosciutto and Italian biscuits, whilst its many Michelin Star restaurants serve every type of food under the sun. Later, take a romantic stroll across the stunning Ponte di Rialto, or a moonlight river trip aboard one of the many gondolas.

Insider Tip

1) This is a city that can quickly add up. If you don’t have George Clooney’s budget, then avoid eating and drinking in St Mark’s square. In the side streets and alleyways there’s a host of traditional osteria’s and trattoria serving inexpensive fare to the locals. Most have set lunches at very reasonable prices. And you’ll get a real feel for Venetian life if you avoid the tour bus crowd too.

2) Don’t just stick to the main tourist sites. Explore local neighbourhoods such as Cannaregio and Castello where you will find fewer tourists and a lot more more local life, find a café and watch the Venetian way of life.

3) Enjoy a drink at a reasonable price. Head to Campo Santo Margherita which is a hang out for the local university students ensuring a great atmosphere and cheaper prices!

Food and drink

Rialto Market is alive with traders calling out offerings from their stalls, whilst even quiet canals feature authentic ice cream shops with an exotic array of flavours. Originality flows through the city – a facet you’ll find out about when you try local Venetian delicacies like soft-shelled sweet crab, cuttlefish pasta, and pancetta risotto. The region of Veneto is also famous for its fizzy prosecco.


In the heart of Venice, you’ll come across myriad shops filled with colourful, curving glass figures, many of them made on the nearby island of Murano, the home of world-famous glassware. As you wander, you’ll also spot Venetian mask shops - their intricate, delicate designs add yet more intrigue to the city. Look out for Burano lace, and shop the latest fashions on the Mercerie network of streets.


Stop at the grand cafés that line St. Mark’s Square and admire the soaring spire of the Bell Tower, the intricately designed domes of the Basilica and the magisterial Doge’s Palace. The absence of cars means the only sound you’ll hear is the paddling of water as you glide on a gondola on the Grand Canal, under the iconic Rialto Bridge. You could even take a trip to the island of Lido to enjoy its golden sandy beach.

Getting around

Travelling in Venice is a truly unique experience. There are many water-based ways to get around, including the frequent and excellent value water buses (vaporetti). A traditional ride on the iconic gondola is also a must, or opt for a private water taxi and arrive like a celebrity! The centre of the city is surprisingly compact too, so strolling on foot alongside the many canals is a real joy.

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Venice City

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At A Glance

  • Language

  • Currency

  • Time difference

    +1 hour
  • Travel

    24 hour Vapretto (Water Bus) - £16.00
  • Beer

  • 3-course meal

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