Spread over 118 small islands, boasting 450 royal residences and with a staggering 417 bridges and 127 piazzas, Venice is without any doubt an extraordinary architectural masterpiece. The city of water has been shining bright since the dawn of time and every year that goes by is a blessing to still have this place intact, despite the terrible news of its fast sinking and the local phenomenon of acqua alta, a particularly high tide - around 9 cm rise - occurring with special weather conditions and causing major flooding through the city.
Taking a trip to Venice is quite a surreal experience. A city entirely made 'to walk', where boats serve as means of transport of people, goods and services. Fancy rides like gondolas are there to entertain visitors and make them feel a true part of this romantic scenario, that is moulded from a whole other era. The magic doesn't end here, and the neighbouring island settlements of which Burano, Lido, Torcello take the stage, are lovely sights of tradition. Venice is unique on so many levels and retains the title of one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres. Don't be fooled, the city is not just populated with hoards of outsiders, as fishermen in small craft are a common sight in the lagoon, as much as children are still using the squares as playing fields giving the urban life of Venice a sense of normality away from the main crowded routes.