Venice at a glance
Venice is quite simply unlike any other city break destination. The vista of canals with their candy striped boat moorings, ornate architecture, perfectly arched bridges and gondoliers in traditional straw boaters are picture perfect. The city is supremely rich in history and tradition, with a concentrated collection of museums, churches and architecture all housed within a small group of 118 islands.
The name Venice originated from the ancient Veneti people who lived in the marshy lagoon around the 10th century. The city grew to become a capital and maritime power as well as a vital centre of trade right up through to the Renaissance period when it took a large role in the development of symphonic and operatic music and was home to a unique style of art known as the Venetian School.
Today the entire city of Venice is listed as a World Heritage Site. Virtually unchanged from its existence centuries before, it continues to possess an unparalleled magical quality. As Lord Byron proclaim, Venice is ‘a fairytale city of the heart.’
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Stunning architecture
- Iconic sites
- Historic attractions
Adding to the charm of a bygone era is the city’s complete lack of motorized vehicles. Claiming the title of the world’s only pedestrian city, Venice is a haven for visitors who want to explore by foot, or in true Venetian fashion, by gondola or vaporetti (public ‘bus’ ferries).
Venice is a haven of unique, hand-crafted products, many of which have been produced for centuries. Colourful Murano glassware can be found in a variety of forms, from vases and candlesticks to jewellery and sculptures. Carnival masks are also widely exhibited in shops throughout the city due to the popular annual Carnival of Venice which has a history dating back to the 12th century.
Dining in Venice
There is a variety of dishes on offer in most areas of Venice – avoid the tourist trap eateries and seek out advise from locals or guidebooks to truly enjoy the local cuisine.
With its location close to the sea, fresh seafood can be found on most menus in Venice. Pasta and pizza is also popular, with side dishes including risotto, polenta and gnocchi.
Must-try local dishes:
- Tramezzini - triangular, white bread sandwiches with a choice of fillings including meats, cheeses and vegetables
- Cicchetti - small, snack dishes such as cooked meats, seafood, croutons and savoury pastries served both hot and cold
Osprey Holidays top tips
A gondola ride is an expensive treat but if you have overspent in the lovely shops and cafés, just hop on the No.1 vaporetto and admire the wonderful palaces on the world's most picturesque main street.
Visit St Marks square in the evening when the day trippers have dispersed!
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Venice designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice (not just Saturday to Saturday!)
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Venice hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 270,843 Languages Italian Currency Euro Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
A great way to tour the Grand Canal is by vaporetto - a 230 seat passenger boat which travels along Venice's main waterways.
- Featured accommodation
- Distance from airports
Venice Marco Polo 8km
- Railway stations
Venezia Santa Lucia