Venice Italy is an incredible place and so is the region of Veneto.
The floating metropolis has only been part of Italy for a hundred and fifty years. Truly Venice affords excessive customary accommodation as a substitute for inns.
Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself: Napoleon referred to it as the ‘drawing room of Europe’, apt today as, at times, it appears that much of Europe’s population is crammed into this great square. But it’s St Mark’s basilica (Basilica di San Marco), often seen as the living testimony of Venice’s links with Byzantium; Doge’s Palace, once Venice’s political and judicial hub; and Torre dell’Orologio, a clock tower built between 1496 and 1506, that are, not just the square’s, but some of the city’s main attractions.
The Canal Grande snakes through the city of Venice in a large S shape, traveling from the Saint Mark Basin on one end to a lagoon near the Santa Lucia rail station on the other. This ancient waterway measures 3,800 meters (2.36 miles) long and ranges from 30 to 90 meters (about 100-300 feet) wide. In most places, the canal is approximately 5 meters (16 feet) deep.
No trip to Venice would be complete without a punt down one of the city’s picturesque waterways in an iconic gondola.
The canal is an ancient waterway, lined with buildings – about 170 in all – that were mostly built from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Most were constructed by wealthy Venetian families. The majority of the city’s traffic cruises up and down the canal, be it private boats, vaporetti (water buses), water taxis or the famous gondolas. Foot traffic gathers around three famous bridges that cross the canal: the Rialto Bridge, the Ponte Degli Scalzi, and the Ponte dell’Accademia. A fourth, modern (and controversial) bridge was recently added not far from the Scalzi bridge: the Calatrava Bridge.
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, referred to by most locals as simply Salute, sits on a narrow strip of land between the Grand Canal and the St. Mark’s Basin. The church was proposed in Santa Maria della Salute 1630 by the Venetian Senate in response to a particularly terrible wave of the plague, which had already killed about a third of the city’s population. The Senate promised to build the church in honor of Mary if she would free the city from the plague. After the epidemic had subsided, the Senate kept its promise and construction of the church soon started.
At almost 99m (325ft), the Campanile is the city’s tallest building, originally built between 888 and 912 (in July 1902 it collapsed, imploding in a neat pyramid of rubble. It was rebuilt exactly ‘as it was, where it was’, as the town council of the day promised). The view is superb, taking in the Lido, the whole lagoon and (on a clear day) the Dolomites in the distance.
Venice has a contemporary art scene that lives up to its glorious art history. An impressive 77 nations sent works by 90 artists to the 2009 Biennale, a two-yearly artistic bunfight where deals are hatched and hopefuls vie with big names for a piece of the action. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection of 20th-century masters has long been the city’s third most visited attraction, while the Punta della Dogana, which opened in 2009, brought works by contemporary giants including Dan Flavin, Jeff Koons, Jean Tinguely and Rachel Whiteread to the city.
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