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Welcome to Venice


City Breaks to Venice

This wonderful city of canals possesses riches beyond compare and the pleasure of strolling in a city totally free of traffic is one of Venice’s greatest charms. In the narrow streets, which wind beside the canals and over the little arched bridges there is a wide variety of enticing shops from elegant boutiques to busy street markets. With city breaks to Venice from Dublin you can wander off the tourist trail to discover squares, bars and markets frequented only by the Venetians themselves.

Information & Facts


Things to do

Venice is made up of 117 islands and is a joy to stroll around. There are a number of guided walking tours on offer all over Venice. One of the most popular ways to view Venice in all its glory is by gondola. Visit Rialto Bridge (Ponte Di Rialto) and watch the world go by with one of our cheap weekend breaks to Venice from Ireland.

There are a number of things to do in Venice but one of the most memorable would be a visit to San Gorgio Maggiore where you can take in breath-taking views of St Mark’s Square. Take a boat to Venice Lido or the islands, Muranao and Burano, famous for glassblowing and lace. And with unforgettable last minute city break & short break deals to Venice you will have more than one excuse to explore this fabulous place.


Venice experiences very high humidity, with hot weather in July and August, the height of summer. Temperatures in summer usually range between 86°F to 91°F (30°C to 33°C), dropping in winter to between 32°F and 37°F (0°C to 3°C). Due to its location on the Adriatic coast, Venice often experiences thunderstorms and rain showers which, particularly in spring and autumn, tend to cause flooding. Known as the 'acqua alta,' it is best to pack waterproof shoes or boots to avoid a soaking. April to October is usually the busiest time in Venice, though it is a popular destination all year round. Christmas, Easter, Carnival (in February) and the Venice International Film Festival (in August) are also busy periods, and winter is perhaps the best time to travel to Venice to avoid crowds and find better rates on accommodation.


The official language of Italy is Italian. English is understood in the larger cities but not in the more remote parts of the country.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. ATMs are widespread. 

On the Lido de Jesolo is Aqualandia, a great new water/theme park that has been earning rave reviews from visitors to Italy. A wonderful selection of attractions such as pools, slides and shows will entertain younger visitors for hours on end - making for a terrific day-trip to be enjoyed by the whole family.

This great gothic Franciscan church was constructed in the 14th century, and is primarily known as the burial place of Titian and the Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova. Titian's tomb in the south aisle watches over large marble pyramid created for Canova. The interior of the church is adorned with the works of famous artists. These include Donatello's St John the Baptist, Giovanni Bellini's triptych of the Madonna and Saints, Titian's famous Assumption of the Virgin and his Madonna of Case Pesaro.

Originally built in the 9th century, this 318-foot (97-metre) bell tower is the highest structure in Venice, and offers visitors breathtaking views of the cupolas of St. Mark's, the lagoon, its neighbouring islands and the red rooftops and church domes of Venice. When the air is clear, one can even spot a snow-capped peak of the distant Dolomite Mountains but, strangely enough, not one canal can be seen from this bell tower. The tower collapsed unexpectedly in 1902 and was rebuilt exactly as before, even rescuing one of the five historical bells that are still in use today (each bell was rung for a different purpose, such as war, the death of a doge, religious holidays, etc).

Entering Venice's Piazza San Marco, the clock tower is one of the first things to be seen, towering above the Procuratie Vecchie (the ancient administration buildings of the Republic). Built in 1496, the clock mechanism of that same period still keeps perfect time. The two bronze figures, known as 'Moors' because of their dark colour, pivot to strike the hour.

Surely one of Italy's most iconic images is that of gondolas being oared through the narrow canals of Venice by stripe-shirted, serenading gondoliers. These flat-bottomed boats are unique to the canals and waterways of Venice, and taking a ride in one is considered by many to be an obligatory tourist activity while on holiday in Italy. Although you will pay dearly for the experience (up to EUR80 for a 40-minute trip), taking a gondola ride in Venice is sure to leave you with a warm and lasting memory of your vacation in Italy. Tourists are encouraged to make the most of the investment, however: take a trip down the back canals of Venice, and not the Grand Canal which is too crowded and impersonal; pick an ornately-carved gondola, with a comfortable seat and blankets if it's cold; and be sure to ask your gondolier if he is of the singing variety before getting into the boat - although it is compulsory for them to wear black pants, striped shirts, closed shoes and (weather-permitting) their straw hats, they are not actually required to sing.

Gondolas are available throughout Venice and can be hailed as one would an ordinary taxi. If you book one through a hotel or tour company, you will probably end up paying a surcharge.

The Lido di Venetia, a 13-mile (20km) sandbar that's home to about 20,000 people, is one of Venice's trendiest areas. Looking out on the Adriatic, the Lido is where Venice's International Film Festival is held each year. The area's best beaches can be found here and a day spent relaxing on the sand is well worth the trip. Lido has enough restaurants, cafés, shops and bars to keep everyone happy.

The Venetian Island of Murano makes for a great trip for the whole family. Visitors can enjoy watching the local art of glass-blowing and be amazed by the products that are created. And since glass-blowing is the thing to do on Murano, there are plenty of glassware shops and factories, most of which can be visited free of charge and where visitors can get some souvenirs to take home, or else simply enjoy looking around. The Museo Vetrario is another great place to admire glassworks.

Kids will love the Museum of Natural History, which is home to the skeleton of an Ouranosaurus found in the Sahara Desert by a Venetian palaeontologist in 1973. The museum also features an aquarium where children will be able to view and learn about the marine life living off the Venetian cost.

With a rich and fascinating maritime history, Venice's Naval Museum is a great place for kids to explore. Displaying intricate models and, in many cases, the real-life thing, kids will find this museum absolutely mesmerising. Gondola-making is also demonstrated.

Once second only to Rome in terms of wealth, Padua is a gorgeous city. The fabulous architecture of the old town, dating back as far as 1,000 AD, is a magnificent backdrop for the wealth of culture the city contains. The main attraction is the cathedral dedicated to St Anthony. The high altar is decorated with bronzes by Donnatello, who was also responsible for the proud equestrian statue of General Erasmo da Narni ( il Gattamelata) that stands in the Piazza del Santo. Padua is situated just 35km west of Venice, and makes a very worthwhile daytrip destination.

The Peggy Guggenheim collection is housed in the former Palazzo of the wealthy American heiress, and has become one of the most illustrious collections of Modern Art in Italy. It spans the artistic movements of Cubism, European Abstraction and Surrealism, with notable works by Brancusi, Marino Marini, Kandinsky, Picasso, Magritte, Rothko, Max Ernst, Dali and Jackson Pollock. Guggenheim built up her collection between 1938 and 1947, and bought the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in 1948, where she lived until her death in 1979.

Visitors to the Po Delta Natural Park can enjoy a day exploring the great outdoors. Discover the park by bike, boat, canoe, horseback or on foot. Tours are also available for those who want to visit the more protected areas of the park, and avid fisherman can enjoy the fishing lagoons, where bream, bass and grey mullet are plentiful. There are great bird-watching opportunities here too, so pack your binoculars.

One of the nicest parks in the city, Parco delle Rimembranze is the best suited to a fun day out with the kids in Venice. Featuring plenty of play areas for children and a roller-skating rink, this park is a must for a family picnic on a sunny day.

The Rialto has long been the commercial core of Venice, and is famed as the place where the first bridge over the Grand Canal was built. The original wooden bridge collapsed under the strain of the crowds gathered here to admire a wedding procession. It was replaced by the (sturdier) single stone arch design of Antonio da Ponte, and built in 1588. Today the area still resembles the bustling fruit and vegetable market of former times, but is additionally swamped with tourists and accompanying souvenir shops and gift kiosks.

A ' scuola' in Venice was a mixture of guild and religious fraternity, where members paid annual fees to support fellow members and to decorate the school's premises. The School of St Roch is known for the canvasses of Jacopo Tintoretto that adorn its interior. Tintoretto was commissioned to decorate the School in 1564, and dedicated 23 years to this task. The paintings are arranged in chronological order that can be followed by beginning on the second floor in the Sala dell'Albergo. Notable amongst his works are the scenes from the Life of the Virgin and the Crucifixion.

St Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco) has always been the nucleus of Venice. The city's first citadel and church were erected on its stony foundations, the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica di San Marco, respectively. The Basilica di San Marco is a unique juxtaposition of Byzantine, western European and Islamic architectural styles. The Basilica's most precious relic is the Pala d'Or ,a Venetian-Byzantine gold relief adorned with precious gems. Travellers and pigeons flock to the Piazza with equal zeal. It is the tourists, however, who pay dearly to eat or drink at the elegant cafes that spill onto the pavements. Designer shops line the streets that radiate from the square. There are worthwhile places of interest to explore beyond the square that include the Museo Correr, the Archaeological Museum and the Museo del Risorgimento, which are housed within the Procuratie Nuova. Attached to the Procuratie Vecchie is the triumphal Torre dell'Orologio. The adjoining archway guides one through to the Mercerie, Venice's main commercial street that stretches to the Rialto.

Venice's main waterway splits the city in half, with sestieriin equal parts to the west and east of it. It is the hub around which much activity in Venice is concentrated and is encircled with elegant facades of the palazzi, which testify to the city's past opulence.

The best way to explore the architectural splendour of these Renaissance buildings is on board a vaporetta. Pedestrian access across the canal is only provided along three bridges situated at the station, Rialto and Academia. Gondolas cross the canal at regular intervals and provide a romantic interlude to the sightseeing itinerary.

Grand Canal palaces and buildings to look out for include the Ca da Mosto, with its rounded arches in low relief. The 'House of Gold' ( Ca d'Ora) is a beautiful Gothic building constructed between 1424 and 1430. Palazzo Corner-Spinelli and Palazzo Vendramin Calergi combine classical and Byzantine elements designed by Mauro Codussi. Architect Jacopo Sansovino was inspired by Codussi's style and infused this in his creation of the Palazzo Corner(Ca Granda). Another notable Palazzo is the Grimani di San Luca, designed by Michele Sanmicheli.

Just two hours west of Venice is Verona, the famous historical city where Shakespeare placed his star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Located in the centre of the city is the house which inspired the residence of the Capulet family, dating back to the 13th Century. Other highlights include several beautifully-preserved Roman structures and examples of architecture ranging from the Middle Ages up to the 19th Century. The city is also a good place for shopping and browsing.

Looking for something a bit different?  Check out our selction of cultural & adventure holidays or if you're looking to go it alone then see our selection of solo holidays.

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