Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world, with its impressive architecture and historical significance it is a fantastic place for a long weekend with the family. The capital of the Veneto Region of Northern Italy, Venice actually lies on 117 small islands that are connected by a series of bridges and separated by a network of canals. With a population of around 250,000, Venice is not one of the largest cities in Veneto, but it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.
Spring is arguably the best time of the year to visit Venice. In the summer months it is incredibly humid, incredibly busy and home to an extraordinary amount of mosquito's! In the winter months Venice is much quieter but due to the tides it can be prone to flooding so this can interrupt any plans you have.
Of course when visiting Venice you must visit the Piazza San Marco, here you can find St. Mark’s Basilica. Easily the most famous building in Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica is an impressive piece of architecture that still remains one of the most important religious buildings in Northern Italy. Piazza San Marco is a hub of activity, the kids will love chasing the pigeons and you can also find Doges Palace here which looks out onto the Grande Canal.
The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most viewed structures in the city and is an important historic landmark. Passing over the Rio di Palazzo, the bridge connects the Prigioni Nuove to Doge’s Palace.Legend has it, that as criminals were taken from the Palace over the bridge, they would cast one last glimpse at Venice and sigh; considering their forthcoming punishment and imprisonment.
Murano is famous for its glass-blowing, here you can visit factories and watch the skilled workers and if you're lucky give it a go yourself. Be warned though, its pretty difficult to come out of these factories without a hefty purchase! Murano is accessible by water taxi from Venice. Murano has a wonderful charm and is often not as crowded as Venice.
Burano is known for its brightly coloured fishermen's houses, and has a very relaxed atmosphere. You can often stroll down the streets admiring the pretty houses and see elderly ladies making lace and children playing. Burano is an ideal place for a day trip, enjoy some of the tasty local cuisine and visit some of the lace factories where you can see the immense craftsmanship it takes to produce something as small as a handkerchief. Many boat operators will offer a day trip to Murano, Burano and Torcella Island, well worth it if you fancy a little escape from the crowds.
Often the greatest way to explore new cities is by walking, in Venice you can regularly get lost in the winding streets and canal bridges. It is definitely worth walking of the beaten track to find some traditional trattoria's which will be a fraction of the price compared to the one's in Piazza San Marco and will probably be much nicer and more relaxing!
One of the most popular things to do is of course take a ride in a gondola! This is a great experience however comes with a hefty price tag!
Whatever you decide to do during your weekend in Venice you are sure to enjoy, beautiful architecture and delicious food, you can easily loose yourself during a weekend here.