Venice, the city of romance and water, is the favourite destination of every tourist, with its unique and unmatched assortment of landmarks. St. Mark's Square is just one feature that makes Venice so unique, especially its view over the lagoon in the southeast corner, outlined on one side by the high Bell Tower and on the other by the splendid gallery of the Doge's Palace. Tourists from all over the world pass through this vast open space surrounded by historic buildings, having their photo taken while engulfed by the numerous pigeon that flock Venice.

This is where the events of the Carnival is held (one of the most important carnivals in the world), and where it is possible to admire the most beautiful and elaborate masks, in a spark of colour that goes back to the splendour of the golden age of Venice between the XVI and XVIII centuries. St. Mark's Basilica has always been the pride of Venetians, symbol of the greatness of the Republic; it housed the most precious treasures from the oriental cities under Venetian domination, including the treasures from the conquest of Constantinople.

The interior of the Basilica is decorated with a wealth of mosaics, the best mosaic work created between the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The Bridge of Sighs linked the courtrooms in the Doge's Palace to the New Prisons (built as an extension added to the Palace and separated from the main building by a small canal). Hidden behind what appears to be a sentimental name and a backdrop to gondola tours taken by lovers, originated from romantic literature, which described the last glimpse of the condemned, overwhelmed by the nostalgia of the Venetian panorama, seen for the last time from the central window at the centre of the bridge before succumbing to their punishment. It is now one of the biggest tourist attractions on Venetian gondola tours.

Venice can be accessed in two ways, either across the bridge on the lagoon or via the public vaporetto waterbus service. The main canals in the city are the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal. The reversed S shape of the former cuts the city in two; the other canal separates the historic centre from the island of Giudecca.


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