Connected by nearly 400 bridges over 117 bodies of land and with 150 winding canals to top it off, the City of Bridges is a myriad of waterways and cobblestone paths that will take you on an adorable journey through this fragment of Italy's unique history. Traffic-free streets give the city an amazing air of quiet sophistication, marked by plazas and extraordinary Catholic churches, it's no wonder Venice is one of Italy's most sought-after travel destinations.
Along the northeast coast of Italy, in the region of Veneto, the city of Venice is divided in half by what you might call "Main Street," a waterway known as the Grand Canal, a romantic lovers' paradise. Gondola taxis take visitors from one island to another, often tagging on a little singing for an extra buck or two. Still, the price is worth it as this is one of the most unique cities in the world which, despite huge influxes of tourists each year, maintains a sense of dignity and culture unlike any other.
Multi-colored marble pillars and onion-like domes are hardly comparable when it comes to the great basilicas of the world and St. Mark's Basilica is a classic. Floor-to-ceiling mosaics and numerous museums along the main plaza are not to be missed. Of course, feeding the pigeons and snapping photos against this majestic backdrop is an obligation for first timers.
Nearby at Murano Island you can take in the traditions of glass blowing with a demonstration performed by artisans who have been passing down the technique for generations. Beautiful hand-made jewelry and sculpture are also available for purchase for those who simply can't resist.
Further into the lagoon you'd best be advised to literally get lost. Part of the excitement of this city is exploration and the best way to do it is simply by walking. Cross bridges, peek into antique stores, stop off for some delicious gelato, and simply follow the winding paths. Few places in the world are built to such a human scale, allowing you to use your most basic means of transportation, your feet, to really appreciate the city.
Each year for 40 days preceding Easter is the world-famous Carnevale, in which festivities dating back to 1162 crowd the streets and plazas with performers dawning costumes and masks that will delight your fantasies for years to come. Porcelain, leather, and feathers – these are things that dreams are made of, and Venice falls perfectly in line with these characteristics, a dream waiting to be explored.