Venice is full of unexplored corners and undiscovered cultural gems. In additional to exploring the many palaces, squares and alleyways of the city proper, be sure to visit the outlying islands of Burano and Torcello for a more provincial picture of Venice.
Considered one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice has pretty canals, ancient palaces, magnificent piazzas and impressive art, music and wine. But don’t just take our word for it, book cheap holidays to Venice through lastminute.com and you can experience it all for yourself.
Start your holiday at the social hub of the city, St Mark’s Square, where visitors wander its patterned floor gazing up at the sacred Basilica San Marco. Get the best view of this magnificent cathedral in the evening when the mosaics on the façade glow in the moonlight. Stroll around the piazza to find vendors selling Murano glass and live string quartets serenading the crowds. Also within the piazza sits gothic gem Doge’s Palace. Once the centre of power (ruled by the Venetian Republic); today, it’s a must-see museum, its grand halls housing paintings by the Venetian masters such as Tintoretto.
Find holiday deals to Venice in February and witness the most vibrant festival in the city’s calendar. Venetians have celebrated the Carnival of Venice since the 15th century. Head to the piazza during the festival and you’ll see costumed and masked locals wandering the surrounding streets posing for photos. It’s an extravagant affair – essentially one big fancy-dress party. So, if you want to be more than an observer, don your mask and follow the procession leaving from Piazza San Marco. To really get in the party spirit reserve your space at the Grand Masked Ball and watch the procession of decorated boats and gondolas carrying passengers down the Grand Canal.
As an island city built on water (117 islands are linked together by water canals). It’s little wonder that water features so prominently in Venetian festivities. One of the most spectacular events of Venetian life is the Regata Storica, which takes place on the waters of the Grand Canal. This eye-popping celebration of the city’s water heritage includes a parade of boats decorated in 16th century style, with costumed crew at the helm. Head to the Castello area to see four different races begin or cheer them over the finish line at Ca’ Foscari.
If you’ve bagged yourself a cheap holiday to Venice, you’ll probably be looking for authentic Italian food and drink to suit your budget. Choosing all-inclusive deals means most of your meals are covered. But, if you get peckish while you’re exploring the city you can grab a snack from the small neighbourhood bars (bàcari ) serving Cicchetti (tapas-like dishes), washed down with local Italian wine.
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