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Venice

Unique, evocative and romantic, floating on the Venetian lagoon, Venice is a most beautiful and captivating city. In Venice light and water combine to create a restless magic. The ethereal nature of this town has fascinated many people. One of the most enchanting cities on earth, the seemingly impossible urban layout is exactly what gives Venice its charm.

Cheap flights, accommodation, holidays and city breaks to Venice

This city of canals stretches across numerous small islands in a marshy lagoon along the Adriatic Sea. The best way to see Venice is on foot. On your first night in town, go to bed early and set the alarm clock for a few minutes before dawn. It may sound excruciating, but from dawn until about 8:30am, Venice is even more enchanting than usual. You'll have the streets to yourself. Roam them freely without worrying about where you are. At 9:00, stop in a bar to have a tramezzino sandwich and an ombra (small glass of white wine: you earned it!). We guarantee you will never forget this early morning stroll.

Venice is probably the best place in Italy for children. Ride the elevator up to the top of the belltower at San Giorgio, take them to the beach at the Lido, show them the gondola workshop or let them watch the glass-blowers on Murano. The most fascinating thing for kids (of all ages) may actually be the least known: the Naval Museum at the Arsenale.

St Mark's Square, often known in English by its Italian name Piazza San Marco, is the only urban space big enough to be called a piazza in Venice: the rest are campi. It was the Romantic French poet Alfred de Musset who called it the "drawing-room of Europe". It is the only great urban space in a European city where the sound is of human voices talking. It has been the scene of some of the city’s most important religious and political activities as well as the centre of Venetian social life for almost a millennium.

Another internationally renowned Venetian landmark is the Doge's Palace. The graceful pink-and-white building, with its rare double loggia, has been painted by almost every artist who lived in the last 200 years. The Bridge of Sighs connects the palace to the very atmospheric dungeons where generations of political and criminal prisoners spent their miserable last days before being executed.

Generally Venice only has high water in autumn and winter and even then it is not every day that the streets are flooded. However, when a higher than usual tide is expected in the city, sirens blare to warn the population so that they can prepare themselves.