Imagine a motley collection of one hundred and seventeen islands small and large. Threading though these islands are a hundred and fifty waterways and canals. Some large and deep and others not so prominent. But of course these hundred and fifty canals need to be crossed and the city has four hundred and nine bridges that do just that. Surprisingly, only three bridges span the grand canal. This is the magical charm of Venice, Italy, for your memorable Venice vacations..
It must have been a difficult task to calculate the area of the one hundred and seventeen islands, but someone did do it. The city covers all of 458 square kilometers. Not too bad for a small city.
The great thing about the waterways of the Venice city is that all forms of motor transport are banned inside the city. Even if you drive up, you will have to park your vehicle on the mainland (and pay a fair amount to park as well). Fortunately, you can walk around all of Venice and get to see the city as it really is rather than seeing only what the guides want you to see during your Venice vacations.
The city is divided into six districts called Sestieri. Guide books will give you details of each but let me give you a short introduction. The heart of the city is San Marco and is contains perhaps 80% of whatever Venice is well known for.
In the eastern part of the city is the district of Castello – much of the cottage industry originates from here and many locals stay here. You can walk through and pick up some good bargains here while enjoying the vacations in Venice.
Dorsoduro is the southern district. It is a more happening place and is filled with shops offering you handicrafts and curios. As you can guess, Dorsoduro is crammed with visitors and is certainly a place to visit.
Cannaregio – the northern district is famous for its churches and is a prime destination. This district, along with Santa Croce and San Polo is a prime location with graceful and intriguing monuments that attract visitors by the boat load.
If there is one place every one visits in Venice, it is the San Marcos square. Many Venice hotels overlook the square and it is a central place from where one can start his meanderings through the city. An early morning stroll through the square with the mist giving a surrealistic touch to the square is an amazingly serene and uplifting experience which makes your Venice vacation a great charm.