VeniceApartment > Venice Guide


Venice’s thousand year history
The birth of Venice: the islands of the Venetian lagoon were first inhabited in the 5th century when the mainland population sought refuge from the invasions of the Goths and the Huns and, later, the Lombards. It was on this group of islands that the Byzantine Duchy of Venice was born. In 751, the islands of the lagoon succeeded in freeing themselves from Byzantium rule and gained their independence. When the Franks attacked the lagoon islands, the inhabitants decided in 810 to transfer the capital from Malamocco to the Rialto island and, between the 9th and 10th centuries, this became the centre of the city’s political and economic life.
How to reach Venice
How to reach Venice: Transport in Venice. Below you will find some general information on how to reach the Historic Centre of Venice and the apartment that you have booked. Remember that we will email you customised information letting you know how to get to the city and to the apartment that you have chosen.
Shows and Events in Venice
The Venice Carnival is one of the most famous, and possibly the most picturesque, carnivals in the world, boasting truly ancient origins. Historical sources date the festival to the end of the 11th century. The Carnival’s most illustrious period was undoubtedly in the 16th century during which lavish celebrations took place. However, even today, the most notable century of the Carnival remains the 18th century.
Tour around Venice
District of San Marco, Venice’s historic centre
San Marco is one of the smallest sestieri (districts) in the city, a small, precious jewel, which encompasses the most beautiful buildings in Venice and, some might say, the world. When you arrive in Piazza San Marco, you are already in the centre of the district. At this point, all you need to do is to look around you and you will realise that you are in the most beautiful place in the world, surrounded by hundreds of years of history represented by superb monuments such as the Doge’s Palace, the Basilica of San Marco, the Procuratie Vecchie and the Bridge of Sighs.
District of San Polo, Venice’s historic centre
Enclosed in a vast loop by the Grand Canal, San Polo is the smallest district in Venice but it encompasses the most lively part of the city – Rialto. Ancient history relates that Rialto is one of the oldest inhabited centres of the Venetian islands where the first inhabitants concentrated their trade after escaping from the mainland. The name “Rialto” derives from the Latin “Rivus Altus” which means deep bed or canal, a reference to the Grand Canal which flows along its borders.
District of Cannaregio, Venice’s historic centre
After Castello, Cannaregio is the largest and most densely populated district in Venice. It begins in the part opposite the canal of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, with the bridges as boundaries, and ends at the railway station of Santa Lucia. There are two different explanations for the name: the first is that the name derives from Canal Regio, which once served as the access point to the city from the mainland; the second explanation is that the name derives from Canna Regio, a reeded area. It is crossed by the “Strada Nova”, an artery which links the railway station to the Rialto bridge and Piazza San Marco.
District of Dorsoduro, Venice’s historic centre
The district of Dorsoduro covers the southern part of Venice including the island of Giudecca and its Chiesa del Redentore. The name Dorsoduro refers to the quality of the soil as it is believed that this district rose up on terrain which was compact and less marshy. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it acquired dignity and prestige with a major reconstruction of churches and magnificent buildings. Venice’s horizon changed radically with the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute and the Fondamenta delle Zattere.
District of Castello, Venice’s historic centre
If Venice vaguely resembles the shape of a fish, then Castello is the fish’s tail. Located in the most easterly part of the city, it is the biggest and most diverse of the 6 districts and it is here that the Arsenale is found, an ancient naval shipyard, as well as being a fortified centre hidden behind its high towers. It is also the greenest part of Venice because of the Napoleonic Gardens, the city’s largest park which is home, amongst others, to the famous Biennale d’Arte di Venezia.
District of Santa Croce, Venice’s historic centre
The district of Santa Croce is in the north western part of Venice. It covers 94 acres and in ancient times was an important salt marsh area. It is an important commercial zone as it links Venice to the mainland. Venice is reached from the town of Mestre via the Ponte della Libertà, a bridge almost four kilometres long, which crosses the lagoon to Piazzale Roma, the only place for arriving in Venice by car. The little district of Santa Croce also has its gems. A drink or a walk in the exquisite Campo San Giacomo dall’Orio is not to be missed.
Venice's Principal Museums
The Doge’s Palace: This palazzo, which is located in Piazza San Marco, was constructed in the 9th century and is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of Gothic architecture. The building was enlarged over the centuries, reaching its current size in 1438. The museum houses a number of paintings by world famous artists such as Tintoretto, Titian and Veronese. All the works are positioned in lavishly decorated rooms across three floors. The building also contains the famous cells where Giacomo Casanova was held in prison for many years...
Venice's Lagoon Islands: Murano, Burano, Torcello
This tour will allow you to experience the most beautiful parts of the Venice Lagoon in a comfortable, reliable and fast tour boat. Firstly, you will be taken to Murano, the home of the famous glassmakers, then to Burano, famous for its lace and crochet crafting, and the last stop a visit to Saint Mark’s Square, the heart of Venice. Our staff will welcome you and take care of you during the tour with our tour Captain, Boatman and multi-lingual Guides available to you at all times. The on-board Guide will explain during the tour the history and culture of Venice’s islands and will gladly answer any questions or curiosities that you might have.
Where to eat
Where to eat
Where to go
Where to go