Venice, the beautiful city of waters, thrives on its tourism industry as the exceptional beauty of the city lures many tourists all the year round. Venice is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges. In the early days, the canals serve the function of roads, and almost every form of transport is on water or on foot. Even today, a visit to Venice is incomplete without boat trips around the Venetian Lagoon and gondola rides along the canals which also allow the tourists to see various attractions of Venice.
The classical Venetian boat is the gondola, although it is now mostly used for tourists, or for weddings, funerals, or other ceremonies. Many gondolas are lushly appointed with crushed velvet seats and Persian rugs. The main transportation means are motorised waterbuses, which ply regular routes along the major canals and between the city’s islands, and private boats.
Address: Campo San Luca, San Marco 4179, Venice
Tel: +39 (0)41 240 6736
Cooperativa San Marco runs daily island tours of Burano, Murano and Torcello from April to November. The tours are approximately 3.5 hours long and depart at 09:30 and also 14:30 from the Giardini Reali, nearby the Piazza San Marco. Tickets can be purchased at the Alilaguna kiosk.
Apart from boat tours, the visitors can absorb the beauty and feel of the city by foot with licenced tour guides. Taking a guide will ensure that you do not miss any important sights on the route, and at the same time get to know the history and detail of each attraction. Some of the most recommended tours are:
- Walking tours of the San Marco area, lasting approximately two hours – daily
- Afternoon walking tour ‘Magic and Enchantment of Venetian Life’, complete with gondola ride – April to October
- ‘Walks Inside Venice’, with several themed tours around the city for small groups
- ‘Private Guides’ in San Marco, with more than 100 knowledgeable English-speaking guides, tours last about two hours
- ‘Venicescapes’ offer several themed itineraries and groups are fairly small. Tours last from three to seven hours and reservations may be necessary
Some of the major attractions of Venice are Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. Also worth visiting is the Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the renowned public square.
It is advisable to book your hotels in advance before visiting Venice as the city can be very overcrowded at some points of the year.