Venice (map), the capital of the Veneto region. It is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges.
Venice has decayed since its heyday and suffers from overtourism, but the romantic charm remains. Venice and its lagoon are a UNESCO World Heritage site. It used to be an independent republic, and remains one of Italy’s most important cities.
Venice is divided into six boroughs, the most famous of which (known as Venezia Insulare) comprises the historic city of Venice. The historic city is divided into six sestieri (districts): Cannaregio, Castello, Dorsoduro, San Polo, Santa Croce and San Marco, where the main monuments and sights are.
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It has been described by the Times Online as one of Europe’s most romantic cities and by The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”.
Venice, the world’s only pedestrian city, is easily walkable, and the absence of cars makes this a particularly pleasant experience. However, walking and standing all day can also be exhausting, so it is best to pace yourself. The Rialtine islands – the ‘main’ part of Venice – are small enough to walk from one end to the other in about an hour, provided you don’t get lost (a common occurrence).
Between autumn and early spring, the city is often threatened by flood tides pushing in from the Adriatic. You can get an acqua alta map at the tourist offices either at the railway station or St Mark’s Square. This will show you the higher, dry routes and the ones with walkways set up during the various flood alerts.
The Carnival of Venice is held annually in the city, It lasts for around two weeks and ends on Shrove Tuesday. Venetian masks are worn. The Venice Biennale is one of the most important events in the arts calendar. In 1895 an Esposizione biennale artistica nazionale (biennial exhibition of Italian art) was inaugurated.
! “Coloured Pasta” and “Venetian Limoncello” (not the original napolitan one) are not Italian food, no Italian would ever eat them, they are particularly made for tourists.
To save money at lunch, eat standing up – that’s what Venetians themselves do.