Luxury Venice Vacations Offering a Taste of Northern Italy
A vacation in Venice is best enjoyed if you receive personal attention, with your own private car and boat - not shared between you and 50 others all with their own agendas. There is nothing as good as a private boat tour round the canals of Venice and a luxury hotel set right on the Grand Canal itself - the main thoroughfare of this wonderfully romantic city.
Venice consists of 118 islands in a large lagoon and around 150 canals. Although it is believed to be slowly sinking, it will not do so while you are there! Venice is famous for its explorers (Venezuela was named after it - Little Venice), artists and musicians, boasting such famous names as Marco Polo, Cabot, Titian, Bellini, Vivaldi and, of course, Casanova! No wonder, then, that Venice offers so many museums, art galleries and other centers of culture.
The center, if there is one, is St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace that was decorated by some of the best known renaissance artists. Not far away is the famous Bridge of Sighs, allegedly so called after the sighs of the prisoners crossing it to Venice's prison. The gallery of St. Marks' church contains the bronze horses of Constantinople, brought to Venice during the Second Crusade of 1147 - 1149 among other artistic treasures.
The lagoon is home, not only to Venice, but also to some major islands including Murano, famous for its glass. If you want to make the most of your Venice vacation, don't fail to visit the magnificent glass museum with some unbelievable works made from blown glass, or check out the Byzantine mosaics in the church of Santa Maria Assunta on the island of Torcello. Another of the lesser known areas to tourists is the Squero de San Trovaso where you can see gondolas being built and repaired at the boatyard, one of the very few left in Venice, a major city that used to be one of the greatest maritime cities in Europe.
Venice is famous for its palaces, although most have been converted to hotels, and if you can, try to get a room in one of these. The architecture is breathtaking and most of the rooms are huge, although many have been reduced in size to accommodate more guests. Another thing you must do when in Venice is to visit the surrounding area of Veneto - Venice is the capital city of this Italian region. You might not have time to visit Verona, of Romeo and Juliet fame, but you should visit Vicenza.
No Venice vacations should miss Vicenza, the birthplace of Palladio, arguably the most influential architect of all time. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and The Rotunda in the town is typically Palladio. The Teatro Olimpico is Europe's oldest indoor theatre, and there are many more Palladio buildings in this picturesque town. If you do have time to visit Verona, apart from the Shakespeare connection (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as Romeo and Juliet) you will a find a well preserved Roman amphitheatre here - the Arena. This is currently used for outdoor concerts. If you like Roman remains, Padua is another old Roman city close by. I suppose Roman cities in Italy should not be surprising!
Most people on Venice vacations like to try some of the great Italian wines grown in the region, such as Soave, Bardolino and Valpolicella. In fact, it is best to leave Venice once you have visited what you want to see, and change base to visit other parts of northern Italy. The vineyards and wineries around here welcome visitors to come in and have a taste.
Milan too is a must, particularly if you are fashion conscious, and if you get the chance to visit Lake Como, then take it. This Y shaped lake is the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest in Europe with the bottom about 656 feet below sea level. There are a lot of good hotels around here, particularly around Lake Maggiore that has some great little islands you can explore, and you don't have to remain in Venice if you want to enjoy the north of Italy in general.
Venice vacations have a great deal to offer those interested in culture, particular architecture and other forms of physical art, but try to enjoy Venice in style. Personal attention is well worth getting, particularly after traveling all this way, and you can't beat your own personal guide, boat, car and business class flights to really make a holiday the luxury and pampered experience it should be. Make sure that you visit Northern Italy, and lake Como and Maggiore because they offer the simpler luxuries that can sometimes be overlooked during your Venice vacation.
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For luxury Venice vacations offering additional accommodation on Lake Maggiore and visits to Vicenzo and Verona, visit Ultitude a luxury travel company who focuses on personal service, individual guides and first class travel and accommodation. Also be sure to visit Ultitude-Travel.com, our luxury travel blog on luxury vacations Italy.