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Book cheap holidays to Venice

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A Very Brief Overview of Venice

Located in north-east Italy on the Adriatic Sea, this historic is home to the world's most famous network of canals. However, there is much more to see and enjoy during your weekend in Venice than just romantic waterways! Venice was a wealthy city-state for centuries, ruled over by a Doge or Duke selected from among the leading families. This wealth can still be seen, in fabulous architecture and celebrated works of art, during your weekend in Venice.

What To Know Before Visiting Venice

Flights to Venice arrive at the city's Marco Polo airport, which is on the mainland and is located about 12km from the historic city centre. You can take a bus or taxi across the bridge which links Venice with the mainland, or for a truly unique experience, take a water taxi or the cheaper vaporetto, or water bus. You can travel to Venice from several UK airports, including flights from Manchester and from all the main London airports.

English is spoken widely, although locals will always appreciate it if you can say a few words in Italian, and the currency used in Venice, as across Italy, is the Euro. UK citizens do not need a visa for their package holidays to Venice, and the city is one hour ahead of UK time.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Venice?

Located in northern Italy, Venice can actually be quite cold during the winter months, though on the plus side, the visitor attractions are fairly quiet then. While the city is warm and sunny from around May to September, this is also by far the busiest time for package holidays in Venice.

If you want to experience something magical, then book your flight and hotel in Venice at the end of January or the start of February, when the Venice Carnival takes place. Make sure you take your best outfit if you want to attend one of the famous costume balls, complete with a Venetian mask!

What Must You Do In Venice?

Perhaps the best aspect of city breaks in Venice is simply wandering around the maze of streets and alleyways which make up the old city centre. You never know what you will stumble upon around the next corner, and getting lost in Venice is all part of the fun! Taking a ride on the canals is a must, though be aware that the romantic gondolas can be pricey; the vaporetto is a much more economical way to enjoy a view of the city from the water, if you are trying to enjoy a weekend in Venice on a budget.

Venice is a musical city, and a weekend break is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some classical music. Venice-born Vivaldi's Four Seasons is a favourite for concerts, and you can pick up tickets when you arrive from performance venues around the city, which include churches as well as concert halls. You can also book tickets online in advance.

What Are Venice's Must-See Spots?

The main visitor attractions are in and around St Mark's Square, also known as the Piazza San Marco. You can walk across the city or take the vaporetto to a stop right on the square itself.

  • Take the lift to the top of the St Mark's Basilica campanile, which has amazing views over the city and out across the Adriatic.
  • Visit the opulent Doge's Palace, where the rulers of Venice lived.
  • Marvel at the architecture and artwork of the Basilica San Marco.
  • After all that sightseeing, you can always take a seat at one of the pavement cafes in the square and watch the world go by, just keep in mind that these establishments can be pricey.
  • The iconic Rialto bridge is another must-see on your weekend in Venice; walk over the bridge and take a boat under it to enjoy it from every angle.
  • Art lovers should head to the Gallerie dell'Accademia, which is home to works by Canaletto and Titian, or to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, home to more modern and contemporary works in her beautiful former home.

What to Eat and Drink in Venice

As with the rest of Italy, Venetian restaurants are well known for their pizza and pasta dishes. There are also some more regional specialities, to sample during city breaks in Venice. A particular favourite among Venetians is bigoli in salsa, pasta in a strong anchovy and onion sauce. If you have a sweet tooth, try fritoli, which are doughnuts made with fruit, lemon, and orange, and are popular as a dessert and as a snack. If you are visiting in summer, there are ice cream shops on almost every street corner selling every flavour imaginable.

You will often see locals drinking a bright orange drink at pavement cafes; this is the Aperol spritz, a refreshing cocktail made with Prosecco, Aperol, and sparkling water. Venice is also famous for its Bellini cocktails, and if you really want to splash out then you should have one in Harry's Bar, a 1930s drinking den which was frequented by movie stars in its heyday. Local, in Castello, is well-liked for its modern take on the classics, while Al Bottegon is a cosy spot for cicchetti, the city's signature tapas-like snack foods.

What To Bring Home From Venice?

The most popular souvenir to bring back from Venice is a carnival mask. These colourful, sometimes unusual masks were worn by the rich and famous of Venetian society during carnival parties to hide bad behaviour, but they are more of a fashion accessory these days. Most souvenir shops will sell affordable versions of Carnival masks, though there are high-end stores which make unique and bespoke mask designs. The city also has a number of leather goods workshops with varied wares.

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