Experience Romantic Venice, Italy
For 400 years the romantic city of Venice in the northern region of Veneto has attracted the finest painters, architects and craftsmen in the world. Spend your days exploring the magnificent sites of this 1,700-year-old city, such as the Piazza San Marco, with its stunning St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, where all the most religious and civil ceremonies have been held. Walk through narrow alleys and across the curved bridges of this picturesque city, taking in the shops where famous Venetian glass and lace are on display. Sip an espresso at a sidewalk cafe and experience the unique atmosphere that makes Venice one of the most visited cities in the world.
If you’re a romantic at heart, you will not want to miss taking a gondola ride. The Bridge of Sighs is always a popular place to kiss, but if you’re looking to escape the crowds, you may want to find a quiet ride on the back canals, such as the San Polo neighborhood.
There are 150 canals with more than 400 bridges that connect Venice’s 118 small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. If you choose to dine near the famous Rialto Bridge, a stone arch that crosses the Grand Canal, you can watch the gondolas and their stripe-shirted captains lazily drift along the Grand Canal. While a prime tourist attraction today, the Rialto Bridge was once a mecca for trade when Venice was a maritime power.
Venice is, as one might expect, also known for its fabulous museums. The Galleria del Accademia is one of Italy’s most important art museums, with 24 rooms in three historic buildings. The museum boasts stunning Venetian treasures. Stroll the halls where paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries are represented, including those by Paolo Veneziano and Giovanni Bellini. Venice’s largest cache of 18th-century art is located in the Ca’Rezzonico, displaying three floors of paintings, sculpture and furnishings as well as four rooms containing significant works by Giambattista and Tiepolo.
Italians have a saying: dolce vita. The literal translation is sweet life, and that is what they offer. The manifestation of dolce vita varies from city to coast to island, but the message is the same: Life here is meant to be enjoyed.