hotspot of the week venice, italy

August 31, 2008

The 65th Venice International Film Festival got under way last week with a star-studded lineup, including Brad Pitt and George Clooney. But you don't have to be a film fan to visit this gem of an Italian city. In fact, if Hollywood made a movie about Venice, it could easily be called Where the Tourists Are. The city receives up to 20 million visitors a year.

1

Ride a gondola on the Grand Canal: The city's main thoroughfare, the Grand Canal, is nearly two miles long and is lined with churches, palaces and other historic buildings.

2

Stroll the square : Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square in English) is considered Venice's front porch. Enjoy the architecture and the beautiful basilica, but please don't feed the pigeons - a new law forbids it.

3

Visit Murano, the island of glass : Visit the museum and factories that highlight the art of glass-blowing. Technically not in Venice, Murano is just a short water taxi (vaporetto) ride away.

4

Observe the locals at the Rialto Market : This hub of activity centers on stalls of fresh produce and gleaming fish.

5

Sip a Bellini : One of Italy's signature cocktails, this drink consists of peach puree and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine.

More information: italiantourism.com

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