The picturesque city of Venice attracts hordes of tourists each year, amongst them couples who choose to come here for a romantic break and fans of architecture and art. It may be slowly sinking, but wandering through the canals in a gondola or walking down its narrow streets are incomparable experiences.
Spring and autumn are good times to visit, as the heat and humidity of the summer months can get too much for many, not to mention the sheer amount of travelers who make Venice very busy indeed.
The Basilica de San Marco on St Mark’s Square contains a golden mosaic and the Pala d’Oro, a screen covered in jewels which is just behind the altar. The top of the belltower has fantastic views over the city.
Next door the Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace, fuses Islamic and Gothic architecture. The setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ is the Rialto Bridge, where many goldsmiths and vendors do business today. The best views over the canal are seen from here, and this was also the only way to cross the canal on foot right up until the mid-19th century.
The Accademia, situated in a former church building, is the main art gallery for famous classical artists, while the Peggy Guggenheim Collection contains an impressive selection of Dali, Picasso and Pollock artworks.
As well as these popular sights it’s worth visiting some of the islands in the lagoon, the main ones being Murano, Torcello and Burano.