Venice is the only city of its kind in the world. It was built on over 100 islands in a lagoon four kilometers from the mainland and two kilometers from the Adriatic Sea. The entire historic centre, is a treasure from both an artistic and architectural point of view.
It takes on an exceptional atmosphere during the phenomenon of "high water," when the high tide exceeds the level of dry land and floods the main streets and piazzas of Venice. For these reasons, Venice is one of the cities most visited by tourists from all over the world.
St Marks Cathedral. Built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Cathedral with its five imposing oriental-style domes and gilded oriental mosaics dominates the piazza, a masterpiece of Romanesque-Byzantine architecture. It was designed according to the wishes of Giustiniani Partecipazio, who wanted to build a structure worthy of receiving the body of Mark the Evangelist, patron of the city, whose remains were carried to Venice from Alexandria, Egypt, in the year 828.
The façade is covered with marble and Byzantine mosaics.
The Grand Canal is the most important mean of communication in the city. Almost four hundred meters long, thirty to seventy meters wide, it divides the historic centre into two parts and is crossed by vaporetti and traditional gondolas. Along its banks the most beautiful Venetian palaces from the Middle Ages up until the eighteenth century have been built.
St Marks Square is one of the most famous piazzas in the world. Its history began in the ninth century, when it was chosen as the headquarters of the Venetian government. The Doges’ Palace and St. Marks Cathedral were later built. The piazza was at that time narrower than it appears today, causing the lagoon to flood a large part of the actual Piazzetta San Marco.
The Carnival of Venice is a must if you are in town. Every year in February the eighteenth-century Carnival comes alive in the piazzas and streets of the city. People travel from all over the world to attend private and public masked balls and people of all ages invade the campi where music and dancing continues nearly day and night. Carnival of Venice now has a different theme each year, The 2004 edition was dedicated to the Orient, with special attention to three places: Japan, China, Thailand.