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Venice, a magical city on water, is like no other place in the world. Every trip is guaranteed to be full of show-stopping sights, from the glittering mosaics of Saint Mark's Basilica and the masterpieces in Gallerie dell'Accademia, to the picture-perfect arch of the Rialto Bridge.
Home to more than 150 canals, over 400 bridges and a whole bunch of beautiful palaces, Venice feels more like a cultural theme park than a real place.
From the gondola-packed Grand Canal to the atmospheric bars of Campo Santa Margherita and the balconies of the La Fenice Opera House, Venice is an open-air museum with not one hair out of place. As city break destinations go, it's a stunner – so don’t forget your camera.
At certain times of year, visitors outnumber locals by two to one, turning Piazza San Marco into an excitable squish of people taking selfies. Dodge the tour groups and cheap souvenir stalls by ditching the guidebook and getting a glimpse of the real Venice.
Wander down abandoned cobbled backstreets, peek through half-open doorways and generally go in the opposite direction of the flock. In doing so, you'll find hidden restaurants, cafes and museums that are free from camera-wielding tourists. You might get lost, but you won't regret it.
While you’re there, take some time to do as the Venetians do and relax over a leisurely glass of wine with cicchetti (the Italian version of tapas). Try bite-size tasters of raw fish, crostini with toppings of cheese and meat, and meatballs. In the evening, relax with a spritz or cocktail.
Even getting around on Venice’s waterways is fun. Depending on your budget, you can choose between vaporetto (waterbus) rides, zipping around by water taxis, or experiencing an iconic gondola. If you’d like to explore further afield, head to one of the islands north of Venice by vaporetto, such as Murano.
It's cheap, packed with art and culture, and pizza was invented here. Do you really need any more reasons to visit Naples? Here's how to get the most out of two days here.Read moreabout Secret Italy: How to escape the tourist trail
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