Venice, Italy

Located in northern Italy, Venice is a city that has a population of just over two hundred and seventy thousand people. Venice is a city with a very unique geography. The city itself stretches over one hundred and eighteen islands in the Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea. Venice is a city whose origins may seem lost in time, but a few experts agree that the city was founded by refugees from various ancient cities such as Concordia, Altino and Padua.

Venice is best known for its system of canals. The entire city is built on an archipelago system that is constructed of almost two hundred canals set in a shallow lagoon. Each of the islands in the system is connected by a series of almost four hundred bridges. In the older parts of the city travel is only possible by boat or by foot. In the newer parts of the city a causeway was added that allowed for automobile traffic. Though, even to this day most travel done by Venetians is done by either gondola or by water buses.

The Grand Canal is the main canal that splits the city of Venice in two. It is also one of the most popular attraction, mainly due to the fact that this is the part of the city that always appears in television shows and movies. One of the most popular activities on the Grand Canal is to take a nice leisurely ride the waterway in a gondola. This offers the best view of the city and visitors can see sights such as the Ca da Mosto and Ca d’Ora very well this way.

Piazza San Marco, or St.Mark’s Square as its commonly called, is the center of the city of Venice. This square is a popular gathering spot for locales and tourist alike. All along its borders are various cafes and shops. This square was also where the first Venetian churches were built, the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco. If one travels through the arches of the Torre dell’Orologio then visitors can gain access to the road named Mercerie. At the end of this road is the Rialto. One of the first things that visitors to St. Mark’s square usually see is the Torre dell’Orologio. This clock tower was built in 1496 and still keeps the correct time. Two bronze figures strike the bell every hour.

The Rialto is the historic place where the first bridge that stretched over the canal was built. Though the original wood structured bridge no longer exist, the current stone one was built in 1588. All around this area is a thriving market center.

Another main attraction in Venice is the Basilica dei Frari. This Gothic style church was built during the fourteenth century and is best known as being the final resting place of Titian and Antonio Canova. Not only is the outside of this building spectacular but the inside is as well. Inside this church contains the works of artist such as Donatello, Giovanni Bellini and Titian.

The Scuola di San Rocco is another famed attraction in Venice. This building, which is also known as the School of St Roch served a dual purpose. Members not only spent their time adorning the walls with their work but they also paid a tithe to the school to support fellow members. This school is probably best known for its extensive collection of work from the artist Jacopo Tintoretto that is contained there.

One of the greatest collections of art that can be found on the entire continent of Europe is located at Venice’s Gallerie dell’Academia. This collection of art from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries include works by notable artist such as Lorenzo Lotto, Giovanni Bellini, Paolo Veneziano and Vittore Carpaccio.

Another great collection of art can be found at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The collection covers the art styles of Cubism, Surrealism and European Abstraction with important pieces by Jackson Polloc, Kandinsky Magritte,Picasso, Max Ernst, Dali and Brancusi. This collection was gathered together between the years of 1938 and 1947.

Campanile di San Marco was built during the ninth century and feature a three hundred and eighteen foot bell tower. It is one of the highest buildings in the city of Venice. Visitors who journey to the top will be rewarded with great views of the city. Sites that can be seen from the top of Campanile di San Marco include the top of St. Marks and the lagoons.

When you visit Venice you can be sure of one thing. There are definitely no shortage of fine hotels here. Some of the most prominent ones are Residence Venice, Albergo La Meridiana and the Alla Bianca Hotel Trattoria. Cafes in the city include the Taverna del Campiello Reme, the Caffè Lavena and Caffè Quadri. Venice also has some nightclubs for the adventurous tourist. These include the Piccolo Mondo and the Casanova on Lista di Spoagna. The city of Venice also has a staggering amount of restaurants and markets. Some of the restaurants in this city are the Fiaschetteria Toscana, Trattoria Altanella, Vino Vino and the Ristorante Quadri. Shopping venues in this city include Fanny, Francis Model, Atelier Marega and the Venetia Studium on San Marco.

If your looking for a place in Venice to keep the kids entertained then consider one of them many theme parks and family friendly attractions located here. These include Aqualandia, the Museum of Natural History, the Naval Museum, Murano, the Parco delle Rimembranze and Po Delta Natural Park.

Venice also has a number of special events available to visitors during various parts of the year. One of the most popular of these events is held just east of Venice. Its called the Barcolana and features thousands of boats that take part in a race off the shores of the Triest. Another popular event is the Suezo Peri Ponti. This is a marathon race that is held every year in Venice. And with all the bridge crossings that the runners must traverse, you can be sure of an interesting race each and every time.