Venice, Italy

Venice is built on one hundred and seventeen small islands, and holds one hundred and fifty canals, connected by an amazing four hundred and nine bridges, of which only three cross the main canal. The area it covers is a mere 458 kilometres, the population is roughly 63,000. While most tour guides dont recommend getting lost in a citiy, Venice is the place to get hopelessly lost for a day. There are mysterious alleyways leading off from the city, endless mazes of backstreets and deserted square. It is the perfect place to walk for hours on end.

The best ways to explore Venice are walking, gondola or water bus/taxi.

The islands of the Venetian lagoon were first settled during the barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, when the people of the Veneto mainland sought refuge in the marshy region. The refugees built the now-famous watery villages on rafts of wooden posts driven into the soil, laying the foundations for the floating palaces of today. The traditional date of Venice 's birth is given as 25 March 421, but there is little evidence to support this belief.

It's nearly always the festive season in Venice , although the city is particularly busy in the flourishing months of spring, especially surrounding Easter. Accommodation is one of the most difficult things to find around that time zone, as well as around Christmas, New Year and festival Carnevale (which is in February). The most pleasant time of year to visit is late March into May, with clear spring days and fewer crowds. September is the next best in terms of weather, but October is quieter. Flooding occurs in November and December, and winter can be unpleasantly cold - although seeing Venice under a layer of snow can cast the aura of a fairy tale.

Most visitors to Venice land at Marco Polo airport, 12 km from Venice. A few charter flights land in different areas of Venice, but the majority are bound for Marco Polo.

Vaporetto (water bus) is most amazing method of getting around Venice. You wont find too many public transport routes as unforgettable as vaporetto. No 1's trip along the Grand Canal.

The famous canals of Venice pose a threat to the historical buildings, which are slowly sinking into the marshy ground. It is believed that if construction work does not continue, these buildings may, in turn, pose a threat to the safety of locals and tourists. It has been said that When this precious place sinks, the world will be the poorer, and also stated that Venice has a bleak future. Looking on the optimistic side, the villages are beautiful today, and are still open to being admired for years to come.

The attractions in Venice include many remarkable structures; such as an impressive array of bronze work, tapestries and paintings from the 5 th to 6 th century, as well as a whole handful of amazing buildings and galleries showcasing the artistic side of Venice.

If you are looking for the upbeat bars and restaurants, you cannot go wrong with the area surrounding Campo di Santa Margarita in San Polo. There you will find an Irish pub, trendy bars that do the limbo and just plain fun. The area is frequented by students from the University and is buzzing with life during the weekends as market stalls of fish and vegetables open up.

The sea surrounds Venice and the cuisine reflects this. Cichetti (chee-keht-tee) are small portions of food served in bars all over the city, usually with an ombra, which is a small glass of wine. When you go out for cichetti , you will eat standing up, hopefully in a crowded room. Mosey up to the bar, where all the cichetti will be displayed before you. A typical cichetto (this is the singular) might be a square of mortadella on a toothpick, or a rice stuffed tomato, or a ball of rice stuffed with an olive and deep fried. Summon the bar-person, order your glass of wine and point to your choice of cichetti, which will then be served to you. The bar-person will keep your tab going and present it to you when you are ready.

Overall, Venice is one of the highlights of any trip to Europe.