A Venice travel guide – canals, rustic Venetian cuisine and waterfront palaces hiding priceless art

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There’s not a car in sight on a Venice city break. It’s the canals that breathe life into this archipelago city on the Adriatic, Gondolas sweep under low wooden footbridges and past lively squares. Book a Venice hotel for a waters’ edge city awash in history.

Canals and squares

The best way to see Venice is by foot along shady alleyways and over dozens of wooden footbridges crossing the canals dissecting Venice. Every now and again streets open up into campi – or squares - where espresso is served on café terraces and market stalls sell fish, fruit or Venetian masks. For a cheap ticket to see over 170 buildings and Renaissance and baroque palaces hop on a waterbus along the S-shaped Grand Canal. Explore rustic islands across the marshy Venice Lagoon. On sleepy Burano and Murano local artisans sell lace and glass.

Art and museums

Picasso and Miro line the whitewashed walls of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in the leafy Dorsoduro suburb. The Doge’s Palace on the other side of the canal houses the world’s largest oil on canvas, by philosopher Tintoretti, on its gothic walls. For a trip through centuries of Venice history examine the coins, manuscripts and art under the frescoes at Museo Correr, also on St Mark’s Square.


Venetian dining

For rustic Venetian dining take the waterbus to Locanda Cipriani on Torcello island, 10km from central Venice. Raw meat carpaccio and homemade pasta are served on the terrace. Or head to the home of the peach Bellini cocktail, Harry’s Bar, near St Mark’s Square, an institution since the 1930s. For traditional Venetian meat and fish served in cosy corners with nautical decor try La Caravella on Calle Larga XXII Marzo.