collaborative post // One of the most unique locations in the world, it is no surprise that Venice is also one of the most popular destinations for travellers across the globe. This UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Italy is a network of islands connected by a series of canals leading out to the Adriatic Sea, appearing to float unsupported on the water.
Originally founded in the 7th century as a refuge from invaders as the Roman Empire crumbled, Venice quickly rose to be an important trading station for the Byzantine Empire and later a military power backed by its commercial success. To this day, Venice maintains an air of majesty that is apparent from the moment you arrive.
Given that Venice is a coastal city of complex waterways, naturally a fantastic way for travellers to explore is by boat. Those looking for an authentic perspective of Venice should consider guided group Italy tours which include the option to take a cruise around this historic destination.
As well as easy access to the nearby islands which are well-worth visiting, a cruise gives you the added advantage of avoiding the city’s expensive and often cramped hotels. Discover the highlights that lie in store when you cruise the city of canals.
The first things that people identify with Venice, apart from its unusual geography, is the astounding architecture. St Mark’s Square is home to the most spectacular structures including the Campanile di San Marco, which provides exquisite views across the city and beyond, and the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica.
The latter is a sumptuous cathedral of intricate design with Byzantine domes, marble-clad walls, ornate pillars, and mesmerising murals from both the Medieval and Renaissance eras.
You can also visit the imposing Palazzo Ducale, once the city’s courthouse which fronts the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, named for the sighs of prisoners who were transported from court to jail via this route. Majestic gothic architecture conceals an enormous and elegant interior containing a collection of classical artworks by key Italian painters including Carpaccio and Tintoretto.
Sail across the Venetian lagoon to the nearby islands and you will discover another side to Venice. Mazzorbo boasts the island of Burano, a charming place known for its exquisite lace-making industry. Neighbouring island Murano is the heart of glass manufacture.
Undoubtedly the most famous craft in Venice is mask-making, which was given official artisanal status in the 15th century due to the growing popularity of these products. Stemming from traditions held by the Ancient Greeks, Venetian Marks were historically worn in theatres and for important events and are still celebrated today in the annual Carnevale di Venezia.
Beyond these two major highlights of a Venice cruise, travellers can also look forward to watching wonderful live music in the pretty squares, enjoying delicious Italian cuisine in beautiful destination dining spots, and encountering a myriad of other art history masterpieces. With a Venice tour, there is something for everyone.