Today we are happy to introduce a new destination in Europe: Venice and the Dolomites. Two real gems for lovers of art and nature. Everything we can say about Venice is not enough to describe the magic of this wonderful city with its famous canals, one of the most evocative and magical destinations in the world. In addition to being a gigantic museum because of the huge amount of works of art that it houses in its different churches and palaces, just walking through its streets or navigating along its channels is in itself an incomparable experience. On the other hand the Dolomites are a very close mountain area and a true paradise, with incredible landscapes and an incomparable natural wealth. Numerous paths allow us to discover its most spectacular corners.
Venice boasts 150 canals, 400 bridges and many magnificent 16th- and 17th-century palaces and piazzas across its six sestieri. Each of the sestieri is stunningly beautiful, in fact the entire city can be described as an extraordinary architectural masterpiece. Cannaregio is an authentic district where you can see locals in their daily business. The best way to travel around Cannaregio is by foot enjoying canalside walks. Follow the canals to find stunning churches including Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Madonna dell’Orto and Oratorio dei Crociferi. Another top tourist tip in the district is the Jewish Ghetto. San Marco is the heart of the city. St. Mark’s Square and Basilica and the Doge’s Palace are the main attractions in this sestieri. Dorsoduro is the most authentic of the city’s sestieri and is the perfect place to experience local Venetian life. The streets that wind through the district are really narrow and picturesque. It is home to Galleria dell’Accademia, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and a grand selection of churches.
The smallest of the sestieri, San Polo is best known by its main attraction: the Rialto Bridge, which is the oldest bridge across the canal and offers breathtaking views over it. Another historic attraction worth visiting is Ponte della Donna Onesta where there is a stone face on wall. Castello is probably the most varied of all of the city’s districts. The west side of Castello is all about glamour and houses some of the most exclusive art, architecture and monuments, while over east it is all about residential areas. Some of the best attractions include the Gothic-Renaissance San Zaccaria Church, Santi Giovanni e Paolo which is one of the most important churches in Venice, and Arsenale, Venice’s historic shipyard. Santa Croce has many lively squares, including Campo San Giacomo dell’Orio. There are also some tourist attractions worth seeing. For instance, Baroque Ca’ Pesaro Palace which houses Venice’s Museum of Modern Art. Plenty of historic buildings can also be viewed including the almost demolished monastery of Santa Chiara and the Church of San Giacomo Dall’Orio.
The region north of Venice is dominated by the jagged rock walls of the Dolomites. Some of the most eye-catching peaks in Europe, these vast massifs have been eroded into a weird and wonderful array of needles, towers and pinnacles. The range belongs to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List for their unique geology. Numerous cable cars rise from the region’s small resorts enabling you to hike at 2000–3000m, with a network of well-marked trails. Down in the valleys, there are interesting towns such as Vicenza, Verona, Padua, and many more… The scenic Great Dolomites Road links Bolzano with Cortina d’Ampezzo. National Parks such as the Dolomiti Bellunesi or regional parks such as Tre Cime or Dolomiti Friulane or Prealpi Giulie give you access to the most spectacular hiking trails and landscapes in the region. Many hiking trails which we have include in TravelEchoes. Enjoy them!