Venice - The Grand Canal

In the Veneto region, you’ll visit the most evocative place in the world: the Venice lagoon, a treasure of inestimable richeness.

Here lies the most romantic city in the world, with its canals, its typical bridges, the gondolas, extraordinary monuments, hidden squares, narrow alleys and the water silently flowing.

All around, you’ll find some small islands, with a multifaceted charm, where history and art blend with the ancient crafts and the beauty of the sea.

A charm that you will also find in the hinterland, with a bright green nature, along the placid rivers, towns rich in history, and fabulous villas.

Venice is definitely the gem of the Italian tourist scene.

The heart of Venice is the Piazza San Marco, the most elegant living room in Europe.

Artworks of unquestionable value surround it: the imposing bell tower and the Basilica, with its five portals and the decorations of marble and mosaics.

The Ducal (Doge) Palace still is symbol of the “Most Serene Republic”’s golden age,

The Moors Tower (better known as Clock Tower) has been marking the time in Venice since the 16th Century.

From the St. Mark’s Square, you’ll admire the San Giorgio Maggiore island with the high bell tower.

A true open-air museum, you can also visit by boat or gondola along the waters, is the Grand Canal, the main “street” of the city.

You’ll meet some of the most beautiful city corners, like Punta della Dogana (the ancient port), Palazzo Grassi, the Center of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (one of the most prestigious collection of 20th Century artworks), to name a few.

Ca ‘Rezzonico is one of the most beautiful Renaissance palaces.

On the Grand Canal, don’t miss the world famous Rialto Bridge, the “sestieri” area of San Polo, Santa Croce and Dorsoduro.

From Piazza San Marco, you can cross the famous Bridge of Sighs, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the lagoon.

Don’t miss a visit to the largest Arsenal in the world, built in the 12th Century and then expanded, thanks to the great political and commercial development of Venice.

Around the city, there’s a bounce of small islands: Burano, with its handcrafted production of lace; Murano, with its artisanal glass processing; Pellestrina, with sandy dunes and high reeds; Torcello, one of the oldest human settlements in the area.

Beyond Venice, some other tows are worth a visit.

Caorle, with its narrow alleys with lovely pastel colored houses; Jesolo, the soul of entertainment and nightlife; Bibione, with its its pine forest; Cavallino, the main European “open air” tourist resort.

Along the Brenta river banks, you’ll find many luxurious Venetian aristocratic villas, dating back to the years between 1500 and 1700: they are a symbol of Venetian wealth and prosperity at that time.

Some of the best architects and painters of the period, such as Palladio and Pellegrini, were the architects of these splendid buildings.

Venice and its Province host several events, festivals and cultural appointments. Some of them are internationally known and widely appreciated.

For instance, the famous Venice Carnival, a celebration of art, music, entertainment and the most ancient traditions.

Piazza San Marco becomes a huge stage: multifaceted artists and lavish masks entertain the audience, in a thousand different ways.

Every year, more than 120 regattas take place in the Venetian Lagoon.

The oldest and most famous is the Historical Regatta, a procession of 16th Century typical boats along the Grand Canal, before the real competition of “Venetian rowing”.

The “Biennale” and the Venice Film Festival are events that art and cinema lovers won’t miss.

Outside Venice, we suggest you a cruise on the Brenta River, as well as to the lagoon islands.

In Venice, beyond the scheduled events, just walk through the narrow streets and the ancient seaside villages. Stop shopping in the cute craft shops and elegant boutiques.

So many items you can bring home as gifts or souvenirs: the famous Murano glass; the beautiful Burano necklace, with or without pearls of a thousand colors; the typical ceramic or “terracotta” Venetian masks.

Moreover, don’t miss a tour of the “bacari”, typical Venetian taverns, cheering the palate with tasty “cicheti” (appetizers, similar to Spanish tapas), with an “ombrina” (glass) of wine.

If you love the wee-wee hours, you can go clubbing, or spend the night at the Venice Casino.

In the many seaside resorts, sports enthusiasts can choose between volleyball, beach volleyball, beach tennis, surfing, water skiing and sailing.

If you prefer to explore the nature, stop at the Valle Averto or Parco delle Giare WWF Oasis, to admire and take pictures of the typical fauna.

Veneto is a land of wine and in the Venice Province, there’s the “Strada dei Vini dei Dogi” (the Dukes’ Wines Route), where to discover famous and less known D.O.C. wine brands.

The freshness and delicacy of the land and sea products are at the basis of the Venice culinary excellence.

Seafood, crabs, crustaceans, molluscs, bass, eels and blue fish represent the Venice traditional link to the sea.

For the land products, white meat, including the goose one, is the basis for paté, salami, sausages, crackling, ham and speck.

Yet, the emblem of Venetian cuisine is the “polenta”, especially with creamed cod or with “osei”, small birds wrapped in lard and browned with oil and sage.

Rice too is very popular in the Venice cuisine in a thousand variations: with potatoes, or pumpkin, radicchio, just to name a few.

In the great variety of desserts, the famous buckets cookies such as baicoli, zaleti, bussolai and sagaciardi stand out , as well as and many tasty pies such as Nicolotta and Pinza.

All these Venetian specialities find their ideal companion in many local wines, such as Cabernet, Pinot, Verduzzo and Merlot.

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