The time of the famous Venetian carnival is closing up. It’s just the right time to recall Venice, its attractions and must-sees, its rich history and the cotemporary status of one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
The first thing that comes to mind when speaking about Venice is “the city of canals”. Its amount really strikes – 150! Don’t forget about 409 bridges in Venice and you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that in Venice there are no cars and buses. You can reach any point by water or by feet (Venice is not very big). Big boats called vaporetto play the role of the public transport in Venice. Small private boats are taxies. However, gondola has become the transport symbol of the city. It’s a narrow, usually black, boat for water walks. It’s an expensive pleasure, but it’s the only way to feel the authentic atmosphere of Venice.
The whole city is an art masterpiece; there are no ordinary, ugly buildings. Almost every structure seems to be a hotel. Even if it’s a private house you surely can rent an apartment there. It’s a city making living out of tourists, so the prices are high.
The centre and the heart of the city is San Marco square. Long ago Napoleon called it “the most elegant dining-room in Europe”. The square really looks like salon. It’s surrounded by the galleries and San Marco Cathedral. Between gallery and cathedral lies the exit to lagoon, very beautiful place. St Mark's Square is located in one of the lowest parts of the city, so is always the first to be covered in water when the acqua alta (high tide) arrives.
The place is also famous for its cafes – “Florian”, “Lavena”, “Quardi”. “Florian” is considered to be the oldest café in Europe. Antique furniture, excellent coffee and live music are awaiting for you!
Doge’s palace or Palazzo Ducale (in Italian) is an ancient building hiding medieval secrets and legends.
Rialto Bridge is one of the everlasting symbols of Venice. In Middle Ages there were several wooden bridges, but all of them were burnt. The present, stone bridge was built in the end of the XVI century. On the bridge you can find a lot of souvenir and jewelry shops.
So, now let’s get back to the point. Venetian Carnival. It’s on of the most popular carnivals in the world and shares its fame only with the carnival in Rio-de-Janeiro, although they are completely different. Venetian carnival covers the whole city. Colorful festive crowds fill the streets and the squares of Venice. The origin of Carnival dates back to the Middle Ages. In 1296 the last day before the Lent was proclaimed holiday.
This year the Carnival takes place from 18th till 28th December. The theme of the carnival 2006 is “The Dragon and the Lion”, all the events and theatre performances are connected with the Chinese culture. The program is very diverse – from the shows on the streets for children to the luxurious parties in palaces for the adults. Costume and mask is a must!
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