Venice drips with old-world glamour! Its marble palaces, romantic wrought ironwork and ever-present canals create a cityscape unlike any other in Europe, leaving a dramatic first impression as you pull into its port. Remarkable buildings like the Basilica di San Marco and Palazza Ducale sit along the Grand Canal, while unassuming church facades on the back streets are filled with gorgeous marble and stained-glass detailing. The cuisine is a feast for the senses with its fresh seafood and prosecco, while its lavish Carnival celebration invites residents to put on their most opulent costumes.
Piazza San Marco is the city’s drawing room, a sprawling classical piazza where residents come to gather and mingle. It’s framed with stunning buildings like the Basilica di San Marco and Torre dell’Orologio clock tower, as well as a grand Bell Tower and historic open-air cafes. Explore high-quality art galleries like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and don’t leave without taking a gondola ride down the Grand Canal to see the sights from the water, including its romantic bridges! Take a detour to the island of Murano, famed for its beautiful blown glass, or Burano, famed for its handmade lace.
You’ll arrive at the Venice passenger terminal, and most cruise lines offer complimentary water shuttles to San Marco. If this isn’t provided for you, take a water bus from the Maritime Station in front of the port, a 15-minute journey. You could also take a 15-minute walk to the new People Mover service near the port, which will transport you to Piazza Roma with all its transport links. Venice’s water transportation is a must-see attraction while you’re in the city, so don’t be afraid to hop and off these convenient water taxis and buses – buy a Venice Card to cover costs.
The city exudes plenty of charm throughout the year, but there are a few factors to be aware of. The ‘acqua alta’ season takes place between October and January, when the city’s prone to high waters and flooding due to seasonal rains. However, the autumn can also be a lovely time to visit when temperatures are still mild and the biggest crowds have left the city! Summer is typically a popular time to visit Venice, which avoids the scorching temperatures of other Italian cities during this time. Spring offers the best of both worlds – mild, warm temperatures and little risk of flooding.
When sailing from Venice, you must be on deck to fully appreciate the view. You are treated to an incredible view of glittering canals, leaning towers and the famous St Mark’s Square edged with gondolas.
A trip to Venice is not the same without going on a gondola. Don’t order anything without checking the price first too!
Venice is the most well-known port in the region, with its beautiful architecture, history and ambiance!
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If you only have time to visit one church in Venice, make it the Basilica di San Marco; the fine details here are truly stunning. Yet there are loads of other scenic cathedrals tucked away from the main plaza, including the Gothic-styled Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute.
If you’ve already taken a gondola ride, why not try to navigate one yourself? Head to the Venetian Club to try your hand at a gondola lesson, learning how to row and steer like the locals do. At the same time, you’ll learn a bit more about this local tradition and its history (as well as giving you some amazing photo ops).
Those visiting in the summer will want to spend as much time outdoors as possible to soak in the sunshine and colourful views. A popular place to cool down and have a splash is the Lido, accessible by water bus. This overlooks both the Adriatic and Venice Lagoon, giving you great views with your swim.
There are plentiful islands surrounding Venice’s main city centre, each with its own charms. Apart from Murano and Burano, you can take the ferry over to Giudecca to enjoy the view of Venice’s cityscape from across the water.