Fall under the spell of Italy’s famous and unique ‘floating city’
Venice, the capital of north-east Italy's Veneto region, is remarkable from the outset. The 'city' is actually 118 small islands which sit in a marshy lagoon and are linked by canals and bridges. Venice's buildings stand on piles made from the sturdy and water-resistant trunks of Alder trees that were sunk into the lagoon centuries ago. This miraculous, feat of civil engineering alone justifies the entire city's status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Founded in the ninth century, Venice has enjoyed a colourful and prosperous history. By the seventeenth century the city was one of the wealthiest Adriatic Sea ports and a powerhouse of trade and industry. The legacy of this commercial importance is Venice's abundance of breath-taking architecture and a longstanding reputation as one of the world's most beautiful cities.
Venice is entirely car-free, which ensures that exploration on foot or by gondola is a thoroughly pleasurable experience. And there is much to discover: Venice is steeped in architectural wonder and artistic beauty at every turn, from the Gothic magnificence of the Doge's Palace to the Tintoretto-decorated Scuola Grande di San Rocco.Add in a rich profusion of churches, art galleries, museums, and cultural attractions, fine shops and restaurants and a relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere and it's easy to see why romantic and remarkable Venice is one of the most visited cities on earth.