Very few places conjure that fairytale feel quite like Venice. With its baroque houses, serene waterways, intricately wrought bridges and gliding gondolas, it's no wonder the city has spawned a thousand imitations.
Weekend breaks to Venice are ideal for visitors from the UK. With accommodation to suit all budgets, and plenty of cultural gems to lap up too, a short break to the city could be just the thing to recharge your batteries. Here are just a few suggestions of what to look out for in this enchanting city.
A Punt Down the Canal
It might seem hackneyed but there is simply no way to visit Venice without at least contemplating a ride on a gondola. A punt down the Grand Canal or one of the smaller waterways can be the perfect way to see the city while you sit back, relax and let the world drift by. It's no secret that gondolas aren't cheap, but better prices are there for sharp negotiators. Some of the smaller waterways will be cheaper.
St Mark's Basilica - Timeless Work of Art
The Byzantine masterpiece which is St Mark's Basilica will leave you spellbound by its workmanship. Mosaics sparkle from all angles in the shifting sunlight. A facade exhibiting the fruits of breathtaking craftsmanship such as ornate columns, arches, spires and depictions of angelic creatures which look peculiarly at home here, all work together in symphony to make St Mark's Basilica a world-class attraction.
An Alternative to a Gondola
Another option for seeing the city via a pleasant jaunt down the canal may be to just use a Vaporetto or water taxi. Ok, it's not quite as romantic as a ride in a gondola, but with a good guidebook in hand you can enjoy a self guided tour as you cruise gently down Venice's romantic waterways knowing you haven't had to break the bank to do it.
Next to St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace probably ranks as the second most visited attraction. Its Venetian Gothic style brands it an unmistakable landmark in the city. One of the most notable features is the intricately wrought limestone bridge spanning the Rio de Palazzo, the Bridge of Sighs. As you gaze upon this famous feature, take a moment to reflect on why Lord Byron gave it this rather melancholy title. It was evidently the last sight of Venice for the unfortunates who were thereafter taken to the adjacent prison cells. The palace also exhibits priceless paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, features grand halls, and is also one of the most highly rated museums in Venice.
Multi Coloured Houses
Marvel at the multicoloured houses decorated by pretty window boxes on Burano Island. Being such a sumptuous feast for the eyes, it's easy to see why so may painters and artists are drawn to Burano. Via Galuppi is the main street on the island with its shops, restaurants and bars. If you want a little bit of peace and quite, then take a wander and you will soon find yourself in streets almost bereft of tourists, leaving you to tune into the peace and tranquillity of the island.
Whether you choose to visit during the busy summer months when temperatures can reach 30 degrees plus, or prefer to go in winter and maybe even see Venice transformed under a dreamy shroud of snow, you are guaranteed to see why visitors return time and again to this magical place. With low cost airlines offering flights at budget prices, there can be no excuse not to try it. Whether you're looking for cheap hotels or perhaps a bit of luxury with a top notch spa break, Venice has just the thing to suit all budgets. Check A1 Travel now for some unbeatable deals on trips to the enchanting city which is Venice.
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