Venice - Classic & Undiscovered

5 days from only €939pp

Selected departures up to October 2014

Venice really is one of the few cities on earth that genuinely can be called unique and when you arrive you will be staggered that every painting, TV programme or photograph you have ever seen of this wonderful place is telling the simple truth: Venice is one of the most beautiful cities on earth! You cannot walk for more than a few minutes without admiring an amazing church, museum, swish restaurant or just a stunning view that can only be this wondrous city. It has a unique atmosphere too with the bustle of St Mark’s Square, home to arguably the world’s most beautiful basilica to the quieter areas where time has stood still and you can enjoy an unhurried coffee in this most Italian of cities.

It has an amazing history, steeped in violence, intrigue and politics. The first settlers were 5th century refugees fleeing Attila the Hun followed by domination by the Byzantine Empire. If a single act though was to define Venice as an independent state, it was the 9th century theft of the body of St Mark from Alexandria. Less than 100 years later the Venetian Empire, made immensely rich by its monopoly of trading networks with the Orient, dominated the eastern Mediterranean. With an unbroken series of ports stretching to the Black Sea, ship loads of wealth tumbled into the city with the silks, spices, porcelain and other exotic cargoes Europe’s aristocracy craved. Fortunes were made and Venice became the world’s wealthiest city for the next five hundred years with its rich merchants finding expression in the huge array of palaces, aristocratic mansions, churches and galleries you see today.

The world’s finest artists and sculptors descended en masse, keen to divert some of this new wealth in their own direction, filling the city to bursting point with some of the finest art treasures ever created. Today the number of ‘must see’ churches alone is over fifty, whilst the Academia, full of Venetian Art contains nothing but masterpieces. Indeed Venice is almost Canaletto’s personal trademark whilst the San Rocco and San Giorgio degli Schiavoni are full of Tintoretto’s, Carpaccio’s and other priceless renaissance works. Venice today however, is so much more than art, monuments and buildings. It has a quieter side too; wander where your feet take you and lose yourself in the tangle of alleys of the delightful smaller parishes discovering another Venice – that of the Venetians. Here are the traditional shops heaving with colourful fresh vegetables, children playing in the streets and the locals stopping to pass a few words in the street. This unique city awaits you.