Venice - Italy
The breathtaking city of Venice is situated on 120 islands formed by 177 canals in the Venetian Lagoon between the mouths of the River Po and Piave rivers, at the northern extremity of the Adriatic Sea. Because of its historic role as a naval power and commercial centre, the city is known as the "Queen of the Adriatic". Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And works by Titian, Tintoretto, Bellini, Veronese and Canaletto can be found in churches and palaces all over the city as well as in the Galleria dell' Accademia. The cruise terminal is close to the city and shuttle buses will take you to Piazzale Roma from where you can walk or take a waterbus or watertaxi into the centre of Venice. There is also a waterbus direct from the terminal to St Mark's Square. Cruise ships arriving or leaving Venice will pass along Canale della Giudecca and Canale di San Marco to give magnificent views of St Mark's Square and the city. The centre of the city is St Mark's Square bordered by St Mark's Cathedral and the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale). On the northern side of the piazza is the Procuratie Vecchie (1496) and on the southern side, the Procuratie Nuove (1584), both in Italian Renaissance style. The most conspicuous feature of the city is the campanile, or bell tower, of St Mark, which is about 91 m (300 ft) high dating from 874. At the back of the Doge's Palace is the famous Bridge of Sighs but the most famous of the three bridges spanning the Grand Canal is the Rialto (1588), lined with a double row of shops. The Grand Canal, the principal traffic artery of Venice, is lined with old palaces of the Venetian aristocracy. Along the Giudecca Canal are some of the most famous monuments of Venice: the Stucky Mill, Chiesa del Redentore, the impressive Basilica della Madonna della Salute, the Punta della Dogana dividing the Giudecca Canal from the Grand Canal and the ancient Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio. Hidden parts of this city include the gardens of the Biennale Exhibition of Modern Arts, the Church of San Pietro in Castello planned by Palladio, the impressive surrounding walls of the Arsenal with its magnificent Renaissance main gate and the Naval Museum hosting a model of the Bucintoro (Doge's Boat) and the Pavilion of Gondolas housing Peggy Guggenheim's own vessel. Near the lagoon, is the 15th-century church of San Giovanni in Bragora. Islands extend to the east in the direction of the Lido, an island outside the lagoon that is famous as a bathing beach and holiday resort. The glassmaking island of Murano is worth visiting. The history of Venice began during the early 9th century when the Venetian Empire quickly gained power under the rule of a "Doge." Venice grew to be one of the wealthiest trading cities in the world enhanced during the 14th century when Marco Polo brought many treasures to Venice from China. The peak of the Venetian power was reached during the 15th century when Gallipoli, Cyprus and Crete were conquered as well as many cities in Italy's mainland. It was during this time that the Italian Renaissance started Venice yielded many of the country's most talented artists. The decline of the Venetian Empire began in 1453 when the Turks captured Constantinople. Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice in 1797, dissolving the Venetian Empire and abolishing the 1000-year old constitution. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.