With a rich history, cultural scene and culinary heritage, there are few experiences as well-rounded as a visit to the Italian lagoon of Venice.
Holidays in Venice
If you're searching for a location that will leave you awe-inspired, as well as relaxed, educated and well-fed, then Venice might be your destination of choice. Sitting on the north eastern edge of Italy, Venice stretches across over 100 tiny islands, which are all joined together by canals and bridges.
The romantic city is well known for its historic and artistic past, and you'll find much in the way of museums, galleries and theatres here. It's not all high-brow culture though - enjoy the decadence of Italian dining and drinking at its very best here, shop until you drop, and relax with an authentic espresso while people-watching in Piazza San Marco.
For those used to typical European climates, Venice will be a comfortable temperature for you to explore year-round. The heat is at its peak - usually around 25°C - in the summer months of July and August, with May to September typically keeping to a comfortable 15-20°C, too.
Be mindful though, Venice gets around 90mm of rainfall in June - which, thankfully, typically means sporadic heavy showers that don't last all day. Pack a light waterproof for the diving between museums, and you'll be good to go!
Things to do on holiday in Venice
Take a look at what's on offer for your next holiday to beautiful Venice.
You only need to take one look around you on arriving in Venice to realise that you're standing somewhere that's truly steeped in history. Venetians do a brilliant job of preserving all this history too, which is why there's a load of museums to meander around and enjoy on your next visit to the city.
Must-sees include the Basilica di San Marco (the ideal place to visit if you're keen to discover more about Venice's direct past), Ca' Pesaro - Museo Orientale (a wonderfully interesting side step into the world of ancient Japanese art and weaponry, collected as war reparations), and Museo Correr (a treat for anyone who appreciates ancient maps).
Art and Venice go hand-in-hand - perhaps even more so than the idea of Venice and history. No matter where you turn in this beautiful city, you'll discover a great mix of famous galleries full to the brim with old masterpieces and up-and-coming artists working from modern studios.
From the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of expressionist art to the Gallerie dell'Accademia which houses some of the most important Venetian art from the 14th to 18th centuries, all artistic tastes are catered for in Venice.
Be sure to also pay a visit to the Galleria Franchetti, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Giudecca 795 and Galleria Traghetto for a well-rounded, art-fuelled visit.
Of course, you can't talk about Venice without talking about the abundance of canals and waterways.
Some of the canals date as far back as 400 A.D., and originally were designed to avoid the building of roads, which were very likely to flood. Today, goods are carried throughout the city by canal as they historically always have been, but Venetians are also aware of the draw the canals are to holidaymakers.
These thoroughfares are the quickest way to get around the city, and while many locals will have their own boats, water taxis and gondola rides are great for ferrying you from place-to-place - and let's face it, they're good fun too! There's no missing the canals and famous bridges that cross them - but be sure to see the Grand Canal on your visit, as well as the Rialto Bridge.
From Gothic churches to elegant squares, Venetian architecture is rightfully iconic. There are few better ways to spend a day in the city than by wandering through the streets, investigating anything you feel looks particularly special. Self-guided walking routes are great for this, and you'll find a plethora of guided walking tours you can join too.
True lovers of architecture will be sure to want to feast their eyes on the Gothic church of I Frari, or perhaps even the Cannaregio cathedral, Chiesa dells Madonna Dell'Orto. You can't ignore the Palazzo Ducale, the grand palace in San Marco, nor can you bypass the delightful squares (or campi) throughout the city - notably St Marks, Santa Margherita, and San Stefano.
Explore the former Chiesa di SS Cosma e Damiano to see a deconsecrated church, or opt to explore some less-conventional architecture with a visit to Ospedale del Mare - a once-hospital on Lido. No matter what your architectural tastes, there's sure to be something to suit in this varied city.
Many might say that eating out will be your biggest expense when you visit Venice. Granted, the restaurants on the main thoroughfares can be a little on the expensive side, there are some great bargains to be found once you step off the beaten track.
The expensive reputation might also be the product of simply how much good food there is to try – you'll want to sample any and every plate you find! Sarde in saor (a sardine-loaded, sharp-flavoured dish), bigoli in salsa (a thick spaghetti dish loaded with anchovies and tomatoes) and fritole (sweet pastry fritters) are all Venetian-specific cuisines, and are a must-try for any visitor.