What to do in Venice
The waterways of Venice
The Canalazzo, or Grand Canal, is the main thoroughfare through Venice, and for centuries has been the focus of trading vessels. Now most of the craft are gondolas, barges, and motor boats called vaporetti geared towards the tourist trade.
Along the banks of the Grand Canal are examples of the finest in Venetian architecture from grand palazzos (palaces) to faded frescoes and marble exteriors. To get the best view of it, take a trip in a gondola.
Highlights include the Fondaco dei Turchi which houses the Natural History Museum, the fish market that has been going for 600 years, and the Rialto Bridge in the commercial heart of the city.
There are many other canals throughout the city. Just having a meander alongside them will take you places you might not have expected. If you get lost, do not worry, a friendly local will send you in the right direction.
The Piazza San Marco
Before returning on your homeward flight Venice offers you a truly spectacular sight in the shape of St Mark's Square. With two of the most important historical sights there – the Doge's Palace and the Basilica – the Piazza San Marco is somewhere you cannot afford to miss out on.
There is also the Campanile bell tower, which gives great views of the city, the lagoon and even the Alps on a clear day. It was from here that Galileo first demonstrated his telescope in 1609 to Doge Leonardo Dona. Now visitors can take the lift to the top, but be warned, when those bells chime, it is loud.
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