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Bauer Palazzo
Bauer Palazzo

San Marco 1459, Venice 30124

5.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (877 reviews)

Set in Venice's most fashionable shopping district, this hotel 150 metres west of St Mark's Square features two terraces …

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Hotel Savoia & Jolanda
Hotel Savoia & Jolanda

Riva Degli Schiavoni 4187, Venice 30122

4.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (1,194 reviews)

This centrally located century-old hotel sits on Venice's waterfront promenade, busy with pedestrians, stalls, gondolas and …

£128
Hotel Montecarlo
Hotel Montecarlo

Calle Specchieri 463 San Marco, Venice 30124

3.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,142 reviews)

This modernised 17th-century building in Venice, formerly a convent and a palazzo, is 50 metres from Piazza San Marco, 200 …

£100
Hotel Canal Grande
Hotel Canal Grande

Santa Croce 932, Venice 30135

4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (872 reviews)

Located in Santa Croce, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Scalzi Bridge and St. Mary of the Friars. Rialto Bridge an …

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Baglioni Hotel Luna
Baglioni Hotel Luna

San Marco, 1243, Venice 30124

5.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (518 reviews)

Regarded as Venice's first lodging, this hotel dates from the 12th century and lies just 50 metres from St Mark's Square, …

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Ai Patrizi Venezia - Luxury Apartments
Ai Patrizi Venezia - Luxury Apartments

Campo Manin 4255, Venice 30124

Located in San Marco, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Rossini, Rialto Bridge, and St. Mark's Basilica. St …

£133
Hotel Giorgione
Hotel Giorgione

SS. Apostoli, 4587, Venice 30131

4.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (1,245 reviews)

This 76-room hotel amid Cannaregio District is situated 50 meters from the Church of the Holy Apostles and 200 meters from …

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Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia
Hotel Ai Cavalieri di Venezia

Calle Borgolocco 6108, Castello, Venice 30122

4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (335 reviews)

Located in Castello, this hotel is steps from Santa Maria della Pieta and Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo. Rialto Bridge and …

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B4 Bellini Venezia
B4 Bellini Venezia

Lista di Spagna, 116/A, Venice 30121

4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (1,404 reviews)

On the Grand Canal in the Cannaregio district, this Venice hotel is steps from Santa Lucia train station and vaporetto …

£80
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia
Hotel L'Orologio Venezia

Sestiere San Polo - Riva de L Ogio 1777, Venice 30125

4.5 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (309 reviews)

Located in San Polo, this luxury hotel is steps from Pescaria and Ca' d'Oro. Rialto Bridge and St. Mark's Basilica are also …

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Pocket Guide: Venice

Venice is known by a number of nicknames: the city of water, the city of bridges, queen of the Adriatic, and the city of light. This range of names points to the difficulty of trying to capture the intangible quality of this most unique of cities. Indeed, Venice has been performing something of a magic trick for well over a millennia: built on 118 tiny islands, with a marshy lagoon as its base, the city has managed to defy gravity for more than a thousand years.

Classic highlights

Even if you haven't visited Venice, you've probably already seen images of its classic highlights: gondolas on the Grand Canal, the gothic Doge's Palace's Palace, and the pigeons on St. Mark's Square. You can rest assured that the reality of these places is every bit as majestic as the postcard pictures make them out to be.

More than just a series of famous snapshots, however, Venice is a mesmerizing, mysterious city laced with hints of melancholy. Once a major maritime power, Venice continues to survive largely because of the tourist trade, with the number of actual residents dwindling year after year. Ever-increasing flooding wreaks havoc on architecture, while the summer's heat can make the city feel almost swamp-like. Decadent palaces stand next to decaying houses, glorious restoration next to gloomy ruin, making the city nothing short of a floating museum - but in many ways this is also its barrier to modernization.

Mix of contrasts

This profound mix of contrasts makes Venice a fascinating destination. As it struggles to find a balance between preserving the rich cultural heritage on which it depends and carving out an identity as a still-living city in the 21st century, Venice remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Just like in country’s capital of Rome, the reputations of the signature tourist 'musts' are well-deserved, but the discoveries you make by getting lost in Venice's winding streets and canals are equally rewarding. Exploring your extraordinary surroundings is sure to make you sigh in disbelief. One of Venice's most famous bridges, in fact - just one of over 400 bridges connecting Venice's islands - is called the Bridge of Sighs.

Artists' inspiration

Even the light in Venice is different; the reflection off the water has provided inspiration for many artists. The Accademia Gallery holds several Venetian masterpieces, and you'll notice the play of light in many of its painting. The unusual light is far from being the city's only special quality. Visit during Carnevale and you'll see a glamour you thought no longer existed. Also well worth a visit is Venice Biennale, Europe's classiest international forum for contemporary art.

Cars aren't allowed in Venice, so you'll get to know the city by walking or riding vaporetti (public water buses - an alternative to the more expensive water taxis or gondolas, although it's worth splashing for a romantic evening out). Venice is notoriously crowded (and expensive), but people come for good reason. There is no other city like it in the world - its culture and canals, basilicas and bridges continue to leave visitors marveling. Despite its uncertain future, Venice hasn't lost its magic.

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