The major tourist attractions include:
St Mark's Square. The most famous sight in Venice. A lively square surrounded by beautiful architecture such as the Byzantine basilica of San Marco.
St Mark's Basilica. This is where the art and riches from the East, brought back by Venice's merchants, are kept. The coloured ... More marbles and mosaics are fantastic.
Palazzi and bridges. The best way to explore Venice is on foot or aboard waterbuses with a guidebook at hand to learn about the history of all the beautiful palaces and bridges that you will encounter. The most famous bridges are the Bridge of Signs and the Rialto, over the Grand Canal.
The Accademia. The finest of many art collections in Venice. The Galleria dell'Accademia contains, amongst others, works by Bellini, Piero della Francesca, Veronese, Tintoretto, Titian and Canaletto.
Venice is on the north-west of Italy. Because of its popularity amongst tourists, the best season to visit the “City of Gondoliers” is probably winter, when hotel rates are more accessible and the city streets are a little less full. However, it does tend to get quite icy and misty in ... More this season. There are also two major events in Venice such as the Venice Carnival in February and the “Biennale” (a world famous modern arts festival that takes place in summer every two years) which really should not be missed. August is definitely not the best time to go because it gets really hot and humid.
Venetians decided that the best way to safeguard them from foreign occupation was to conquer the malaria-ridden swamps to build a city from nothing. Indeed, for nearly 1400 years, the two or three miles of shallow water, which separated Venice from mainland Italy, not only protected Venice from invaders but also effectively isolated the Venetians from the turbulent Italian political life.
Venice became a republic of immense power, controlling trade routes in the Adriatic, and waging successful wars with rival states. Ruled by a doge, Venice was a proud and rich republic, known as la Serenissima (the most serene). Every year the Doge would take part in a symbolic ceremony, the Marriage of the Sea, to celebrate Venice's mastery over the ocean.
Like most great powers, however, Venice's glory was followed by a decline. Various battles were lost, notably against the Turks, and the city's trade routes declined in importance after the discovery of the New World.
By the eighteenth century, Venetians decided to take advantage of the beauty of their city and of their palaces by concentrating on the tourist trade.
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