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It is hard to think of a more romantic destination to visit this spring than the floating city of Venice. With its twisting canals and delightful alleyways, its deserved reputation as a global leader in all things related to the arts, and its plethora of paintings, sculptures and architectural treasures, this is a place that has so much to offer. Stunningly beautiful, many visitors comment that they feel like they are walking through a work of art by one of the great Renaissance painters; Venice truly has a uniquely magical atmosphere that is not replicated anywhere else on earth.

Most of the low cost airlines run services to Venice so there’s no excuse to postpone your visit any longer. To arrive in true style, hop on one of the water taxis that run from the airport to the centre of Venice, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of the city than from the water The city was founded in the 5th century on the island of Torcello. The earliest inhabitants were refugees attempting to elude the violent confrontations with Germanic tribes that were a regular occurrence on the mainland. The island swiftly became a significant trading destination, and was one of the Byzantines main ports. It is still possible to see evidence of the buildings constructed by the first settlers. Sedimentation and a resulting rise in the numbers of dangerous numbers of mosquitos meant that the population stretched out to cover more of the area, and the area we now know as Venice was formed.

In the 9th century, Venice was granted independence, and it started to quickly expand its military and commercial endeavours. Venetian fighters joined the Christian crusades, and began to bring home scores of stolen treasures with which to decorate the newly constructed buildings at the heart of the city.

Venice’s heyday was during the 14th and 15th centuries, when it was regarded as a paradigm of maritime exploration, architecture and book printing. This position was only challenged when the Americas were discovered, as this understandably lessened it commercial influence. Several consecutive bouts of a terrible plague that blighted the area further weakened its standing, and had a catastrophic effect on its resident population. The intervention of Napoleon effectively ended a thousand years of independence as the 18th century drew to a close. A brief period of Austrian rule followed, the islands were finally claimed by Italy in 1866.

Today Venice is a bustling, eclectic city with a unique and wonderful atmosphere, both by day and night. Many people return again and again, because however many times you visit, there is always so much more to see.

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