Venice, built on a reclaimed lagoon, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Colourful marble palaces line the banks of the canals as they criss-cross the city. Narrow alleys and waterways crossed by quaint bridges fan out from the picturesque St Mark's Square, which is dominated by the magnificent Church of San Marco.
Although visitors flock to Venice all year round, winters can be cold and wet, with some areas liable to flood. The best weather is between April and October. Venice has a year round calendar of festivals. The "Biennale di Venezia" art exhibition takes place every two years. The dates of the Carnival vary, but this lively event takes place around 10 to 17 days before Ash Wednesday. Concerts, processions and fireworks mark the "Festa del Redentore", held on the 3rd Sunday in July. An 11-day international film festival takes place on Lido Island during August or September.
Venice is cheaper than London, with a meal in an inexpensive restaurant starting at around 10EUR and a drink of beer costing about 4EUR. Food in markets and alcohol are cheaper than in the UK.
The "FLY" shuttle bus is operated by ATVO and runs to the Piazzale Roma in central Venice. A one-way ticket costs around 15 EUR. The number 15 local ACTV bus makes the same journey and costs about 8EUR for an adult single ticket with a journey time of approximately 25 minutes. The "Alilaguna" water bus also serves the city with single tickets priced at around 15 EUR. A taxi journey costs about 40 EUR.
Most city centre public transport is provided by the water bus, or vaporetto, system. A ticket, lasting 75 minutes, costs around 7.50 EUR, while day passes (also valid on the buses) are sold for about 18 EUR. A two-day pass costs around 30 EUR, and 7-day passes are about 60 EUR. A Carta Venezia is recommended for visits of three or more days. Taxis can be costly, starting at about 16 EUR for 3 km and then about 2 EUR per km after that. Central Venice, however, is fairly compact and most tourist attractions can easily be explored on foot.
Hostel prices start at around 25 EUR per night, while a 3-star hotel costs approximately 50 EUR per person per night.