Hopeless romantics aren’t the only visitors to fall under the spell of Venice.

The light here seems to rise from the water to reflect off the façades, domes and bridges, while the enchanted squares full of trees and old-fashioned cafés and the many bacari, as the locals call the wine bars, among them the Narannaria, invite you to linger a while. People stroll over the bridges, across St. Mark’s Square and the palaces that border it and through the many narrow lanes of the city.

And then there’s the gondolas. They’re an integral part of the charm of Venice. Although they only operate for tourists these days – the last private gondola belonged to Peggy Guggenheim, who passed away in 1979 – and they’re outrageously overpriced, they’re what make Venice unique and you should give them a try. The best time for a gondola ride is in the evening when the light is perfect and the only thing interrupting the calm is the steady splashing of the oars.

Visitors who leave before nightfall are definitely missing the most beautiful hours in the «Floating City». At night tranquility comes to the calli and the canals. It makes Venice appear so mysterious and marvelous. It’s no wonder that the city is used time and time again as a backdrop for Hollywood films and that the Venice Film Festival is a highlight for many stars.

City Facts

  • Location

    World cultural heritage site in the northeast of Italy.

  • Population

    About 790,000

  • Size

    About 414.6 km² (more than half of which is water)

  • Public transport

    Since Venice is the only purely pedestrian city in the world, the only transport available is on the water. There are gondolas, water busses (locally called vaporetti), motorboats and water taxis. Any of these will bring visitors where they want to go, but Venice is easy to explore by foot.

  • Climate

    Moderate zone with very warm summers and cold winters.

  • Best time to visit

    The early summer months are very popular; the flood season hits Venice between October and January.

  • Good to know

    It’s easy to get lost in the countless winding narrow lanes and no trip to Venice is complete without doing it at least once. There’s hardly any better way to discover the city and its many facets, though.

  • Nice to know

    Since the imposition of a sumptuary law back in the 16th century, all gondolas in Venice must be painted solid black.

  • Airport

    Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), on the mainland 8 km north of Venice.

  • Bus

    The bus departs from the airport twice hourly toward the western end of Venice. The ride takes about 20 minutes.

  • Boat

    A motorboat transfer takes about 75 minutes and stops and several stations.

  • Taxi

    Travellers can reach Venice in 30 minutes with a direct water taxi.