A City Guide To Venice.
Tourist Information: www.enit.it
Venice is a work of art with waterways as its streets, a city of palaces and canals. There is no city like it anywhere in the world and the magical beauty of its magnificent palaces, architecture, antiquity and elegant piazzas are guaranteed to captivate and impress every visitor.
Sestieri. The main centre of Venice is divided into six quarters (sestieri). They are: San Marco, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce, Cannaregio and Castello. The Grand Canal is the main artery of Venice and it intersects with each district as it stretches through the length of Venice from the railway station to San Marco.
Places of interest in Venice: The city has a style of its own which stems from the days of Byzantine rule. Splendors like the ancient basilica of St. Mark's
(Piazza San Marco), the Doges Palace, Rialto Bridge, the Campanile and the Bridge of Sighs all provide testament to the city's historical significance as a centre of Mediterranean and European culture and commerce. Visit the Accademia Gallerie with its extensive collections of art by masters such as Tintoretto, Bellini and Canaletto and is rated as
one of Europe's finest art collections
Waterways: Venice is surrounded by canals, the most spectacular the Grand Canal
is Venice's main waterway that splits the city in half. The Gran Canal is home to the gondola and vaporetti and is lined with colourful stuccoed houses.
When travelling along the canal look out for the impressive 'Ca da Mosto' with its rounded arches also the famous Gothic 'House of Gold' (Ca d'Ora) built between 1424 and 1430.
Hotels in Venice: If your planning a short break or a long weekend to the magical city of Venice, check out the low hotel prices and discount rates at Hotel2.co.uk. Hotel2 have many centrally located hotels ranging from 2 and 3 star properties through to luxury accommodation. Compare low hotel rates with live availability and secure online booking with instant hotel booking confirmation, guaranteed.
Flights to Venice: Which airlines operate direct and non direct flights from the UK to Venice Marco Polo airport (VCE). Several airlines operate schedule services from London Gatwick (LGW) and London Heathrow (LHR). British Airways operates a daily service from Gatwick and BMI from Heathrow. Several European airlines offer cheap flights to Venice with 1 stop (a change of aircraft required en route). Swiss (LX) via Zurich and Lufthansa (LH) via Munich are worth considering for good connecting times and low cost airfares.
Drift & Discover: Wander off the tourist trail and lose yourself in the real Venice, take a tranquil and stately gondola ride on the labyrinth of canals intersected by pretty arched bridges and narrow walkways that offer glimpses of hidden piazzas and silent churches.
Nightlife in Venice: Evening entertainment is focused on the bars and restaurants. It's worth paying a high price for a coffee to listen to the orchestras in the Florian and Quadri cafes in St. Mark's Square (by night). Alternatively, try the smaller side streets for traditional Italian restaurants (they offer the best value for money). You will find locandas and trattorias in virtually every square.
Recommendation: After dinner, try the famous Bellini cocktail at Harry's bar or slip into one of the grand hotel bars overlooking the lagoon and enjoy a glass of Italian wine while admiring the passing sights.
The Carnival of Venice: With its origins dating back to the 12th century the Carnival of Venice has become one of the worlds most famous and best known celebrations. Party goers from all over the world come to the festival to admire and take part in the parades, masked balls and general festivities. Everywhere you look there are musicians, magicians, elaborate costumes, beautiful masks, acrobats and parades with concerts, dance and theatre all taking place along the canals, squares and in the magnificent palaces of the city. For more information on the Venice Carnival go to:
Transfers: Public boat transfers leave every hour from Venice VCE airport (Marco Polo). To use this service go to the boat jetty next to the arrivals hall. The boat transfer takes about 70 minutes and calls at Murano and the Lido, finishing at St Mark's Square. Prices start at £8.00 one way, see www.alilaguna.it for further details.
Private water taxi transfers cost about £65.00 direct to your hotel, you can book through Motoscafi Venezia, www.motoscafivenezia.it
Shopping: For elegant and expensive shopping try the Mercerie which runs from St. Mark's to Rialto, cross the Rialto bridge for less expensive wares and interesting markets. For better buys try Lista di Spagna and Strada Nuova. The famous Venetian glass is displayed everywhere.
Local Transport in Venice: Walking the city of Venice is one of the the best ways to soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful historic city with its Renaissance buildings
and architectural splendor.
A great alternative to walking is to cruise along the veins of the city, meandering the labyrinth of canals and waterways onboard the motorboat buses known as vaporetti.
Instead of taxi cabs visitors can hire a water taxi or a gondola, but be prepared for high prices.
Tips: Venice stands on 117 islets divided by more than 100 canals that are spanned by 400 bridges and with over 2000 alleys or (Calli) as they are known in Venice. Many of the streets look the same so it is important to look out for the 'yellow signs' on sides of buildings or signposts as they give you directions to San Marco, Rialto, Piazzale, Roma, Ferrovia (train station) or Accademia, from these main locations you can regain your bearings.
What to buy: Good buys include: Leather goods, glass, carnival masks and venetian lace.
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