Venice is a truly unique city that draws millions of visitors who are attracted by its stunning beauty. With ancient buildings, historic churches and world-class galleries and museums, all set against a background of canals, Venice has it all.
To experience the true heart of the city when the day trippers have left, make sure you stay in centrally located Venice hotels. That way you can enjoy a more peaceful and less busy Venice in the evenings.
Not surprisingly, the city is a UNESCO Heritage Site and it is made up of 118 islands with 177 canals winding their way between the beautiful Venetian buildings. Around 400 bridges help connect everything together. One of the most famous is the Rialto Bridge, which is the oldest of the four bridges to span the Grand Canal, dating back to 1591.
Venice is an easy city to explore on foot or on the water using water taxis and, of course, the famous and romantic gondolas.
Venice's popularity means that there are plenty of hotels to cater for visitors. Many hotels are run and managed by local families, helping to ensure you experience the true Venice. A lot of hotels are located in traditional buildings and some are converted from old palaces.
The majority of hotels are comfortable two- and three-star premises. It's common for hotels in Venice to just offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation but eating in local restaurants is part of the joy of any trip, so this suits most people.
If you are looking for something grander then Venice does, of course, have its share of exclusive five-star hotels. Famous establishments include The Danieli and The Cipriani, which are in the centre of the city and favourites with the stars who attend the annual Venice Film Festival which is held at the end of August. This is a good time to come if you want to see film stars but hotels will get booked up in advance so plan ahead.
Major attractions in Venice include Piazza San Marco, also known as St Mark's Square and Saint Mark's Basilica, which occupies the eastern end of the square. The church is in the Byzantine-Gothic style of architecture and includes fine mosaics and three famous bronze horses which were stolen from Constantinople in 1204 and installed around 1254. Napoleon took the horses to Paris in 1794 but they were returned to the city in 1815.
Venice has many fine galleries, including the Peggy Guggenheim Museum which has a collection of works painted by some of the finest artists of the 20th century. Works by Dali, Picasso, Max Ernst and Pollock can all be found here.
If you want to escape the history and find some sun, sand and sea then the Lido de Jesolo is only around 25 km away, or an hour by ferry. With its long stretch of golden sands you can combine the culture of Venice with a more traditional day by the seaside, or stay in one of the many hotels that line the seafront.
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