Venice stands on an island in a lagoon at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. From landing at the nearby airport, arrival by water taxi from mainland is spectacular way to have first sight of the city to enjoy a spectacular city break. Restaurants, cultural events, narrow canals, gondolas aboud surrounding romantic couples to the city of culture and creative art. An ancient historical city state until joining Italy in the mid 19th century, Venice has been the hub of commerce and trade for centuries past. Its unique position gave it economic and defensive advantages over its trading rivals, and much of the wealth generated was invested in the construction of monuments to the glory of both God and the merchants.   The whole city is a work of art:artists like Canaletto have immortalized the Dodge's Palace, St.Marks Square and the Bridge of Sighs in numerous paintings. It is also famous for its little canals, Gothic churches and the serenity characterized in Thomas Mann's book. The association with romance is very strong for a variety of reasons, not least extensive literature coverage throughout the world.   Even though you may have read or seen paintings and photographs of it, nothing will have prepared you for your first view of the Grand Canal, or St. Mark's Square, the architecture, the miriad of small canals weaving through narrow openings, often with the result of getting temporarily lost. Take a guide tom be sure, don't try and navigate around on your own.

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