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Venice - romance, gondolas, and good food

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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
The Ponte dei Sospiri was given its English name by part-time Venice resident Lord Byron, who wrote in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I stood in Venice on a Bridge of Sighs, a palace and a prison on each hand." Byron's travelogue nails it: When you...
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Campo Santa Sofia, 4198/99, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
An ornate 15th-century private palazzo has been transformed into a lavish hotel (below) that faces the Rialto market. Artworks from the 1600s meet 21st-century amenities in the 42 rooms and suites, many of which overlook the Grand Canal. Doubles...
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The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of four bridges that span the Grand Canal, and will get you quickly from San Marco to the labyrinthine Dorsoduro neighborhood. Originally built in 1854 out of steel, the current wooden bridge was built in the 1930s...
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Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Built in 1525 as the family home of Doge Andrea Gritti, this antique-stocked palazzo has rooms with mosaic floors, hand-painted furniture, and panoramic views of the Grand Canal. Murano glass chandeliers and sconces light up the hotel that Ernest...
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Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
This pink-marble waterfront edifice in Piazza San Marco dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence and seat of government for the doges (rulers) of Venice. Today the ornate Byzantine- and Moorish-influenced Gothic Palazzo Ducale is...
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Piazza San Marco, 52, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Few people know about the Museo Correr and yet it is in plain sight within San Marco square. For those looking for quality time within a museum dedicated to the history of Venice - from ships flags, to visiting Popes, books, maps and old coins (to...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Calle del Mondo Novo, 5801, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
As the winter solstice approaches, the light in Venice becomes diffuse. Multistory buildings cast the city in deep cold shadows that allow the canals to reflect the clear blue sky. It's the off-season. Many shops will close after Christmas until...
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Sestiere San Polo, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy
The Rialto Bridge is the oldest of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal, and without question it's one of the most iconic sights in Venice. There has been a bridge at this site since the 12th century, connecting the districts of San Marco and...
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal is the no-brainer must-do Venice experience, and the best way to explore the city's main thoroughfare is on a vaporetto, or water bus. For a great introduction to the area, ride the vaporetto from the railway station, at the edge...
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Undoubtedly, Venice is beautiful by day, but at night, it comes to life like very few other places do. There's no right or wrong place to be. Walk around, preferably with a loved one by your side, and stop at the bridges to watch the gondolas go...
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Fondamenta Vin Castello, 30100 Venezia VE, Italy
Two things you need to know about gondola rides in Venice: They're worth it; and the price is agreed beforehand. Knowing those two things, you can happily hop aboard this traditional Venetian mode of transport and relax, because, touristy as it...
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Santa Croce, 2063, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy
Hotel Al Ponte Mocenigo is a charming 10-room hotel that transports visitors back to 18th-century Venice thanks to its gilded antiques, Murano chandeliers, rich fabrics and palazzo marble floors. The hotel has modern conveniences, too (such as...
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Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Since few areas within the city of Venice afford high perspectives of the entire city, take the elevator (no stairs) to the top of San Marco's Campanile in Piazza San Marco. You may have to put up with a few elbows to get a spot against...
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Calle de la Malvasia Vechia, 6014-6015, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
The front section of this small spot was crowded with locals having a quick drink and a plate of cicchetti. We had reserved one of the six tables in the back. The menu, written on a blackboard, was all almost all unknown to me. Thankfully my...
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Fondamenta di Santa Caterina, 3, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy
Begun by the family of winemaker Gianluca Bisol, who is famous for his prosecco, the menu at this Mazzorbo restaurant is focused on seasonal and local ingredients, much of which is grown right on the estate, which is located 35 minutes from the...
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Dorsoduro, 1, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
We came into Venice from the sea which is the way to see a city that is so influenced by the waters that surround and flow through it. As you can see from the picture that weather was perfect. We went in mid October and it was still in the...
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The Gallerie dell'Accademia is the place to see Venice through the eyes of centuries of famous Venetians. The museum has a huge collection of paintings from the Byzantine and Gothic eras through the Renaissance and into the 18th century (including...
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Campo S. Stefano, 2801, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
Part Sicilian part Venetian and served by a Neapolitan, this restaurant served one of the most memorable things we ate in Venice. After an epic and very unusual summer thunderstorm we made it to the restaurant and got a table inside. I love Zuppe...
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Campo San Giacometto, 122, 30125 Rialto, Venezia VE, Italy

At the foot of the Rialto Bridge with fantastic views of the Grand Canal, Osteria Bancogiro sits under the archway of the Bancogiro (a bank founded in 1600) from which the tavern gets its name. Here, you'll find a ground-floor wine bar serving...

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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Near the base of the landmark Rialto Bridge, the historic Rialto Market is well worth a wander. Seek it out in the early morning when it provides an authentic local experience (and awesome social-media ops), with fishmongers hawking their fresh...
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ABC, Fondamenta Toletta, 1169, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Osteria Enoteca ai Artisti in Venice served the best pasta I have ever tasted. Once wasn't enough—I had to go back to this place again during my stay in Venice. The osteria boasts a great view, great atmosphere, great people, and most importantly,...
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Calle Lion, 3383, 30121 Venezia VE, Italy
We spent the day walking around Venice and getting lost in its wonderful maze of streets. The end of the day found us facing this large church as the cat-in-the-cradle moon hung low in the sky. Randy went onto the bridge for a better view and...
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Fondamenta Nani, 992, 30123 Dorsoduro, Venezia VE, Italy
If you are in Venice, you will surely get familiar with local spritz (a fizzy, refreshing aperitif) and cicchetti, or small snacks. If you want to have a local experience, be sure to stop by Cantine del Vino Già Schiavi while walking around La...
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S. Marco, 2159, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
The Westin Europa and Regina Hotel's, La Cuisina Restaurant, is another of Venice's premier cooking school experiences. Classes are led by Chef Alberto Fol and his team, and they usually are all about what's local and fresh from the fields and...