Soak up the beauty, romance and history of Venice, Italy, beforeit's too late. The city, made up of a hundred islands connected bybridges and alleys, is slowly sinking. But the water that threatensVenice's existence is also what draws hundreds of thousands of touristshere each year. What's an Italy vacation without a gondola ride and astroll through St. Mark's Square? Wandering about Venice can get youlost; but it's the sights down every alley and waterway that makeVenice worth the trip.
Few places on earth can be traveled only by foot or by boat. Thiscar-free city can be enjoyed with a good pair of walking shoes, acamera and a map of Venice. Picturesque palaces line the Grand Canal,which winds through the middle of Venice to St. Mark's Square.
When to Go
April, May, June, September andOctober are the most popular times of year to visit. Hotel rooms arehard to find for Carnevale (Carnival), Venice's most famous festival inspring. Carnevale masks are sold year-round in shops around the city.Venice floods about 60 times a year, normally in March and November.The city is well equipped to handle the flooding, which tends to startin St. Mark's Square.
How to Get There
Where to Stay
From 4-star hotels to cheaphotels and hostels, Venice offers them all. For an air conditioned roomwith a private bath, however, expect to pay $150 or more. Save enoughspare change to enjoy a gelato, pizza, bar snacks or a Bellini (peacejuice with Prosecco wine).
St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)tops any Venice tourism list. It's nearly the size of two footballfields and popular with musicians, lovers, tourists - and hundreds ofpigeons. While there, visit St. Mark's Basilica (dress modestly, withshoulders and knees covered). Take in Venetian paintings at AccademiaGallery and Peggy Guggenheim Museum. See Doge's Palace. Kiss a lovedone atop the Rialto Bridge. Ride an elevator 300 feet to the top ofCampanile bell tower for the best view in Venice. And at the end of theday, or somewhere along the way, step aboard a gondola for a trulyVenetian experience. Bring plenty of cash to pay your gondolier.
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