Venice is a city unlike any other. No matter how often you've seen it in photos and films, the real thing is more dreamlike than you could imagine. With canals where streets should be, water shimmers everywhere. The fabulous palaces and churches reflect centuries of history in what was a wealthy trading center between Europe and the Orient. Getting lost in the narrow alleyways is a quintessential part of exploring Venice, but at some point you'll almost surely end up in Piazza San Marco, where tourists and locals congregate for a coffee or an aperitif.
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Things You Can't Miss
Float past the city’s beautiful bridges and centuries-old palazzos that are sinking slowly into the sea. Or treat yourself to a pricey gondola.
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Go early or late in the afternoon to beat the crowds. Then take a water taxi to the Murano glass factories on Giudecca.
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The American heiress and art patron amassed 20th-century masterpieces from some of her friends — Picasso, Dalí and Pollock.
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Padua has Giotto’s frescoes and Palladian palazzos, Verona has Juliet’s balcony and Romeo’s house, and Ravenna has its Basilica’s Byzantine mosaics.
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Caffè Florian, beloved by Byron, Dickens and Woody Allen, is pricey. So is Harry’s Bar, but have a Bellini there anyway. Just because.
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Must Reads Before You Go
Venice vacation travel guide and tour information including highlights such as Piazza San Marco, Castello, San Giorgio Maggiore and Ca' Rezzonico.
Consider yourself a foodie? Try visiting the John C. Campbell Folk School and other places to learn how to cook like a local.
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