There is no disputing the fact that Venice is indeed the Queen of the Adriatic. Its beauty and grandeur is incomparable, unparalleled by any other city in Italy or anywhere else in the world. The loveliness of this jewel by the sea is very much celebrated in literature, in art, in theater and in film.
Perhaps what fascinates any visitor to Venice is that in Venice, time seems to stand still. The beauty of Venice is ethereal and enduring, seemingly impervious to the relentless passing of time. Hundreds of years have passed since the city was founded, and yet there it remains.
Adding to the dreamy beauty and charm of Venice are its canals, the main thoroughfares of the city. There are 150 canals traversing the city, spanned by some 400 bridges and lined with narrow side streets. Foremost among these canals is the Grand Canal, the main watery highway of Venice.
The gondolas traveling these canals are one of the romantic symbols associated with Venice. Lovers on a holiday in Venice always take the chance to sail leisurely in a gondola oared by a gondolier. Some gondoliers can croon a Venetian love song to couples who ask them to. A local legend even has it that if lovers sail in a gondola along the Rio di Palazzo at sunset and share a kiss under the Bridge of Sighs, the bridge that connects the Doge Palace to the prisons beside it, the lovers shall share a love that lasts a lifetime.
Sailing on a gondola is not the only way to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of Venice. The narrow side streets along the canals are always inviting for a quiet, aimless, hand-in-hand stroll. These aimless strolls can lead to lovers finding themselves at the Piazza San Marco, the main city square of Venice and the so-called “drawing room of Europe.” Lovers can stay at the piazza to watch the famous Venetian pigeons, or they can visit two of the popular landmarks surrounding the piazza – the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica di San Marco.
The Doge’s Palace was once the private residence of the Doge of Venice when the city was still the heart of a republic that is separate from Italy. The Doge’s Palace also housed the various public offices that ran Venice, and so the Doge’s Palace in its time was the center of politics and government of the city. Gothic in style, the palace is now a museum containing various frescoes and artwork illustrating the history of Venice.
The Basilica di San Marco is the biggest and most famous church of Venice. It is noted for being one of the best examples of the Byzantine style in art and architecture. The opulence of this church, exemplified the most by its golden mosaics, is a representation of the power wielded by Venice in Europe before the Age of Exploration.
Souvenirs are always needed as gifts to the people left at home and as mementos of the lovers’ romantic interlude in the Queen of the Adriatic. The best keepsakes to take home from Venice are glassworks from the island of Murano and lacework from the island of Burano. The Venetian craftsmanship that can be seen in these glassworks and laceworks are prized in the whole world for their beauty and durability, perfect for lasting remembrances of a romantic holiday in Venice.
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