The San Marco basilica in Venice, Italy
Discover the heart of Venice in Piazza San Marco, home to outdoor cafés and flocks of hungry pigeons. Enter San Marco Basilica to admire its Byzantine architecture and golden mosaics. Then take a lift to the top of the 100-metre Campanile bell tower for rewarding views of Venice.
A group riding in a gondola in Venice, Italy
A boat cruise is a must-do when visiting the City of Canals. Relax in a gondola, as you’re rowed along the Grand Canal and under the stone-arch Rialto Bridge. Paddle your own kayak through the Venetian lagoon. Or take the motorised Vaporetto waterbus around neighbouring islands.
Travel to the offshore island of Murano to go behind the scenes in a historical glass-blowing factory. Watch local artisans create one-of-a-kind glassworks, using techniques dating from the 13th century. You can even take home your own masterpiece from one of the island’s glass showrooms.
Fresh-off-the-boat seafood from the surrounding lagoon highlights many Venetian menus. Try fritto misto (lightly fried seafood) or risotto frutti di mare (fruit of the sea). Afternoon cicchetti (small plates) come in the form of meatballs and bruschetta, while baicoli (thin oval cookies) and fregolotta (almond cake) satisfy dessert lovers. Enjoy a bellini in Harry’s Bar, birthplace of the Italian cocktail.
A string of souvenir kiosks borders the Grand Canal, but roam the backstreets to browse in artisan studios. Pick up authentic Venetian pearl jewellery, marbled paper travel journals and long-nosed carnival masks. Burano is known for its handmade lace products, while hand-blown Murano glass comes in the form of vases, jewellery and housewares.
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