A treasure trove of museums, charming cafes, stunning sights and foodie delights, Venice truly has something for every kind of traveller. An architectural marvel built right on a lagoon, this bucket-list city was visited by over 11 million tourists in 2019.
Despite there being so much to see and do however, you'll find that the pace of life is relatively laidback here, making it a stress-free break that still packs plenty of cultural punch. So, indulge in a lazy start from your luxury apartment in Venice, grab a cappuccino and some biscotti from one of the many canal-side cafes, and soak up the atmosphere before getting on with your day.
You can't take a trip to Venice without enjoying a gondola ride or two, but make sure you take some time to appreciate the bridges you pass under on your travels. Ponte de Rialto is the oldest in the city, built across the Grand Canal in the 16th century. Once you walk its structure yourself, take some time to explore the Rilato district and all its charms on the other side - especially the market and large variety of vibrant stalls.
The quieter Dorsoduro district is also well worth a visit, boasting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection inside the American art collector's former home. You'll find world-famous masterpieces here that even the most casual art fans can appreciate, with temporary exhibitions running throughout the year to keep visitors coming back for more. Particularly into your art? The Biennale Arte Exhibition runs every year from April to November.
We couldn't not mention the Carnival of Venice in our line-up here: held every February and running until Shrove Tuesday, this lively celebration is known for its elaborate masks, with the best costumes seen from St. Mark's Square. There's no charge to attend, though many exclusive parties are held throughout the city.
Finally, the Saint Marco district is a must-see during your stay in Venice. While it's known for being something of a tourist trap, the views from the top of the Campanile di San Marco plus the grandeur of St Mark's Basilica are well worth taking on the crowds for.
You probably expect to eat a lot of pizza and pasta on any trip to Italy. While that's certainly still offered in Venice, it's not necessarily what the locals dine out on. Due to the city's proximity to the sea, fish is actually most popular and prepared in numerous exciting ways.
We'd suggest trying Sarde in saor, which consists of sardines fried in vinegar, onions, raisins and pine nuts - you won't find it anywhere else! Baccala mantecato is also worth a shot if you're feeling adventurous - the fishy mousse is made to be spread across bread or polenta as an antipasto favourite.
If you're dining as a group, you'll have the most fun indulging in cicchetti - these small plates encompass everything from fried meatballs to open-faced mini sandwiches.
Looking for something sweeter? Sweet pastry fritters known as fritole are traditionally eaten during the carnival season but available year-round, while baicoli biscuits are made to be enjoyed with coffee or hot chocolate. And of course, you can get your gelato fix here too - head to Gelateria San Leonardo for the quirkiest flavours and thickest scoops.