Lagoons and canalside palaces in La Serenissima
Venice is the kind of city that needs little introduction – its gondola-flecked canals, ornate bridges and waterside palazzi have graced the covers of hundreds of travel magazines and brochures. Its main island is split into six districts, each with their own distinct character.
There’s San Marco, where you’ll find the famous piazza and mosaicked basilica. Adjoining it is quieter Castello and Cannaregio, home to the Jewish Ghetto and a great jumping-off point for exploring lagoon islands like Murano and Burano.
Cross the Rialto Bridge and you’re in San Polo. The Rialto Market is the big name here, its stalls piled high with fresh, local produce and just-caught seafood. Neighbouring it are sleepy Santa Croce and Dorsoduro, where the Accademia art gallery is located. Last but not least is Giudecca, a laid-back island with a lengthy promenade offering fantastic views across the water.
Flights from the UK to Venice take around 2 hours.
Transfer time from Venice airport to Venice is approximately 45 minutes.
Summer in Venice sees beautifully balmy temperatures in the high 20s. That said, the humidity can be fairly high, which does lead to the odd afternoon or early evening thunderstorm – these tend to clear pretty quickly, though. If you visit during late summer, you might catch the Venice Film Festival, which takes place in early September. Spring and autumn are cooler, but still usually warm enough to dine outdoors, while winter gets pretty chilly (only slightly warmer than the UK) but has a fraction of the summer crowds. Early February is a good month to visit, as it’s when the famous Venice Carnival takes place – if you fancy taking part, there are plenty of lavish balls and parties you can buy tickets for.
British citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Italy.
When you dine out in Italy, you will generally be charged a coperto (cover charge), which is for the bread, tablecloth, cutlery, etc. Tipping in Italy is not customary, but is always appreciated.
The official language of Italy is Italian. English is widely spoken too, so getting by is easy.