A romantic labyrinth of waterways and sweeping bridges, Venice enjoys an unrivalled place in the collective imagination. But it’s far more than just masks and masquerades. It is, in fact, a marvel of engineering, with its marble churches and grand palaces resting on ancient wooden piles driven into the muddy banks of the lagoon that surrounds it.
There really is a lot going on under the surface. Art, literature and architecture are the three cornerstones of its charm. Moorish and Byzantine influences abound in its ornate buildings and there are artistic masterpieces on every corner. The soaring views from Campanile di San Marco are unparalleled, while Campo Santa Maria Formosa is a haven for design enthusiasts.
We recommend a short ferry ride to the quiet fishing village of Burano. Its twisting streets are a riot of colour and little fishing boats bob along its narrow thoroughfares. Famous for its lace-making, Burano has traditional workshops where this painstakingly precise textile craft is still practised. While on the island, try the local wine made from the rare Venetian grape, Dorona.