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Get on board a gondola to see Venice and the city of bridges but don't get taken for a ride by your gondolier

See historic Venezia - the lagoon and its 120 islands

Here's our free guide to Venice

Venice is a world-famous city located on the Adriatic Sea in the north of Italy and capital of the Veneto region. It has a population of just over a quarter of a million people but, when combined with Padua (as it does in the Padua-Venice Metropolitan Area), the overall population soars to over 1.5 million. Venice is also known as Venezia and Venezsia or, more romantically, 'The City of Bridges', 'The City of Lights', 'The City of Water', 'La Dominante', 'The Queen of the Adriatic' and 'Serenissima - the latter options perhaps doing more justice to Venice's well-supported claim to being one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Venice is actually made up of nearly 120 small islands set in a former saltwater marsh - the 'Venetian Lagoon' which lies between two major rivers; the Piave and the Po. Most people live on the Mainland (Terraferma - a name of obvious choice) but about a quarter live in the city itself (the Centro Storico) with the rest of the population choosing to live on islands.

Venice has always figured high in the history books for both its maritime power and also its contributions towards the arts - especially during the Renaissance. It was also a embarkation port for the Crusades. Its main trade was made up of grain, silk and spice).

Venice is split into six districts or divisions (sestieri) - Cannaregio, Castello (including San Pietro di Castello and Sant'Elena), Dorsoduro (including the Giudecca), San Marco (including San Giorgio Maggiore), San Polo and Santa Croce.

Transport around the city was traditionally by a poled barge - known as a gondola and operated by a gondolier. On the front of each gondola is a notched metal plate which is intended to resemble the local duke's (Doge) hat. Depending upon which notch points forward, dictates which of the Sestieri the gondolier is from.

Famous places to visit in Venice

Bridges and canals
Accademia Bridge
Bridge of Sighs
Piazzale Roma Footbridge
Rialto Bridge
Scalzi Bridge

Churches
Basilica di San Marco
Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute

Palaces and palazzi
Ca' d'Oro
Ca' Rezzonico
Doge's Palace
Fondaco dei Turchi
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo
Palazzo Foscari
Palazzo Grass
Palazzo Labia
Palazzo Malipieri
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Scuola Grande di San Marco

Piazzas and campi
Campo San Polo
St Mark's Square

Other buildings
Accademia
The Arsenal
La Fenice opera house
La Torre dell'Orologio (St Mark's Clock)

The Venetian Lagoon which is made up of the following islands:
Burano
Giudecca
Lido
Murano
San Michele
Sant'Erasmo
San Lazzaro degli Armeni
San Servolo
Torcello
Vignole

Hope you enjoyed our guide to Venice.
 

 

Venice

 

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